How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
Nobody calls a personal injury lawyer when everything is fine. You only call one because you or somebody you love has been hurt. Trying to find the best personal injury attorney for your case can be confusing.
Searching for “personal injury lawyer near me” should be the start of your search, not the end of it.
Googling “personal injury lawyer near me” will result in the names and contact info of lawyers and law firms in your area. Although that might be a good starting place, there are more steps we advise you to take.
Before you call a personal injury lawyer, write down any questions you have. The fact that you are calling an attorney at all means you are already under a fair amount of stress. It can be easy to forget everything you want to ask.
Talk to friends and family. If you have friends or family that have hired a personal injury lawyer in the past, ask them about their experience. This can be a great way to find a lawyer (or to avoid one.)
Try a referral service. Organizations in the St. Louis area that have an online lawyer referral service include:
Searching for a “personal injury lawyer near me” uses your location data, which may or may not be near where you were injured.
If you Google “personal injury lawyer near me” while you are at home, you’ll get a list of attorneys close to where you live. By the same token, doing your internet search from a work computer will result in lawyers near your place of employment.
For a lot of people, this is just fine. Most accidents take place within 25 miles of their home. But what if you were injured farther away?
Many personal injury attorneys are licensed to practice law in more than one state. This is especially true when the lawyer works near a state border. For example, most of the personal injury attorneys in Brown & Crouppen’s St. Louis office are licensed in both Missouri and Illinois, while most of the lawyers in our Kansas City office are licensed in both Missouri and Kansas.
However, if your injury took place in a state where the attorney is not licensed, they may refer you to an out-of-state firm.
Check out referrals from a lawyer.
Even if a personal injury lawyer is licensed in the state where your injury took place, they may still suggest a referral to another law firm. There are several common reasons for this, including:
Having a personal injury attorney closer to the courthouse where your case will be filed can keep certain expenses, like mileage, at a minimum.
Local counsel often has a better working knowledge of the rules and quirks of the local courthouse and its personnel.
A good track record for specific types of accidents or injuries. Some firms and lawyers may be better equipped to handle the unique circumstances of your case than others.
Understand the contingency fee contract.
Most personal injury attorneys get paid for their services through a contingency fee contract. Here are some terms you will want to understand before signing one.
Contingency fee: The attorney will retain a portion of settlement or verdict proceeds as the fee for legal services. In most contingency fee contracts, the attorney only gets paid if they settle the case for you or win at trial.
Your lawyer will need to lay out some monies in order to fully and ethically pursue your case. Certified copies of medical records, mileage, investigative costs, and court costs are examples of the sort of expenses in a typical injury claim. Some firms require a retainer up front to cover the expenses on a case. Other firms, like Brown & Crouppen, do not require a retainer.
In-house fees. The law firm may charge for things like copies, postage, storage, and the like. Some firms charge a flat fee, while others keep track of individual charges in the client’s file.
Remember that your case belongs to you.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer brings you into something of a long-term relationship. Even a simple personal injury case can go on for several months, while complicated cases can take a year or longer. You owe it to yourself to be comfortable and confident that you have hired the best personal injury law firm for you.