How Do I Choose an Oregon Personal Injury Law Firm?
From time to time, I thumb through the yellow pages or surf through web pages of lawyers who advertise for clients who have personal injury claims. And, of course, there is always the television commercial of a law firm that pops up from time to time on a local channel. I often wonder how someone who has never hired an attorney sorts through this maze of information.
As a trial lawyer who has been practicing for 38 years, I can offer a few suggestions.
This is the age of specialization. The law has never been more complicated than it is today. Those with injury claims would be wise to seek out lawyers who specialize in injury claims. Beware of those who also attempt to handle bankruptcies, divorces, and criminal cases. It is difficult to stay on the cutting edge of a practice area if you are spread too thin.
This is also the information age. You should seek out lawyers who belong to organizations that keep them up to date on changes in the law and in cutting-edge practice techniques. At a minimum, a lawyer should be a member of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice. Don’t be afraid to ask a lawyer what seminars they have attended recently to keep them up to date.
“Customer satisfaction” is important in the legal field, as it is in any other type of business. Don’t be afraid to ask if the lawyer is willing to share the names of recent clients who may have had similar claims. (The lawyer will have to get permission from the client first to reveal the name, but it is not an unreasonable request.) You might also ask if the lawyers send out client satisfaction surveys to their clients when they finish handling their cases. Firms that do this care about doing a good job for their clients and they will often have those surveys available to share with you.
Injury claims usually involve negotiations with insurance companies. Insurance companies keep track of their dealings with lawyers and they know if a lawyer is afraid to go to court. That gives the insurance company an edge in negotiations. Don’t hesitate to ask the lawyer how many cases they have actually tried in a court of law to a jury and how recently they have had that experience. Some law firms have lawyers who are “the negotiators” and some who are “trial lawyers” and they work as a team.
You should consider the advantages of finding a qualified personal injury lawyer who is fairly local to your claim. Local lawyers know the local judges and deal frequently with the medical providers and have a good sense of how juries in a particular community will react to a case. It’s also nice to be fairly close to the lawyer’s office so you can stop by for a face-to-face meeting from time to time.
It is also very important to feel comfortable with the lawyer you hire. Meet with the lawyer face-to-face. Does the lawyer seem to genuinely care about your circumstances? Is the lawyer willing to take the time to answer questions and exhibit a willingness to keep the lines of communication open throughout the course of your claim?
The choice of a lawyer or law firm can make a substantial difference in the outcome of a personal injury claim.
Call us today at 877-928-9147 or fill out the form and we will respond to your personal injury claim.