Most lawyer ads would have you think that every personal injury lawyer in South Carolina is the same. Nearly all of these ads offer free consultations, promise aggressive representation, and assure you that the lawyer really cares about you. In many instances, they also say, “No fee, no recovery! 100% Guaranteed!”
Choosing the right attorney for your case is not easy. Then again, it is not as hard as it may appear. If I were in search of a lawyer, I would base it on the same criteria I use in selecting a doctor. And because I do not choose doctors based on TV commercials, Yellow Page ads, or funny slogans, I do not think that is a good way to pick an attorney. Instead, I offer the following tips to help you make the best choice for your case:
1. What do past clients say about the lawyer?
I would not want a doctor who has repeatedly being sued for malpractice or accused of misconduct. Likewise, I would want to know how an attorney’s clients are treated, whether their calls are returned, and if they respected the lawyer at the end of the case. Testimonial pages and Google Reviews are a good place to start.
2. How many cases like yours has the attorney handled, and what were the results?
It is great to have 20 years experience practicing law, but in those 20 years, has he ever handled a case like yours? If so, what happened? A doctor may have been operating on knees for many decades, but that does not mean I would choose her to perform open-heart surgery on me. The law surrounding personal injury cases is more complex than most ads would have you believe. It is important to select an attorney who understands the issues, and possesses a track record of outstanding results.
3. Do you like the lawyer enough to entrust him with representing your interests?
Serious accident cases often take at least one year to properly handle. That means you are going to have to spend considerable time with your attorney (or at least you should). If I were beginning long term medical care, I would want a doctor who was not only skilled, but also personable and trustworthy. Likewise, before signing a contract, I would want to meet the attorney and decide whether he or she is the type of person with whom I would break bread, have in my home, or introduce to my family.
If you are in search of a personal injury lawyer, I strongly encourage you to consider these factors in order to make the best choice. I also suggest meeting with several attorneys and requesting free copies of my books prior to entering any type of contract. To learn more about my firm and meet with me in person, call my Columbia, SC office today at 803-790-2800.