What Should You Look For In A Personal Injury Attorney?

If you were recently injured in an accident, you may find yourself in a disoriented state, unsure of what your best plan to move forward may be. When another party is at fault for your injuries, your most prudent available maneuver — after obtaining immediate medical care — is to seek legal counsel. In truth, however, there are a number of personal injury attorneys in the Bay Area, and selecting the right one for your needs can be a daunting process.

At Shea & Shea - A Professional Law Corporation, we understand that a personal injury is often accompanied by a degree of mental duress. We not only offer our clients an assortment of legal services, but we also provide compassion and commitment to each claim that we take on. You can learn more about our firm by calling us in San Jose at (408) 292-2434, and we are happy to offer the following step by step guide on how to vet an attorney on your own.

Recognizing An Attorney's Paramount Qualifications

If you find yourself needing to hire an attorney, you may not know what to look for. Personal injury cases are just that — personal, so not every lawyer may be right for your particular case. In catastrophic injury cases, particularly those involving injuries to the spinal cord or brain, the lawyer you choose should have a certain set of important qualifications. Namely, you will want to look for the following:

  • Relevant experience to your case: It is important to determine that your lawyer has pertinent experience. Not every lawyer is equipped to navigate serious injury cases such as those involving traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). You can afford to be discerning when hiring a lawyer, as you will only get one opportunity in the courtroom. Ignore an attorney's boastful ad campaigns — instead look into their actual track record with significant cases.
  • Sound answers to your interview questions: Hiring a lawyer is not much different than hiring someone else to do a service for you. If you are doing work on your home, you vet the contractors that you meet with to ensure that they have practical experience. You should perform this same task with a potential attorney, and asking them questions is often effective. Ask your potential attorney questions that will illustrate their competence and knowledge as it pertains to your case. Do not be afraid to ask probing, in-depth questions — your future financial security could very well be on the line.

As for which questions you should ask your attorney, that can depend on your case. You may want to go very granular in your scope if your case is particularly serious. What follows are some basic, fundamental questions that you should ask your prospective attorney:

  • Have you recently reached a settlement for a client with a case similar to mine? If so, what was the settlement amount?
  • Are you currently working on any cases that are analogous to mine? Are any of those cases going to trial?
  • What is your educational background? For how many years have you worked on cases similar to mine?
  • What are some of the more significant judgments you have received in serious injury cases?
  • Do you have any notable cases that have involved catastrophic injuries?
  • Would you be opposed to me attending a segment of your next trial? Is there a specific portion you feel I should witness?
  • How many catastrophic injury cases have you taken on in the past five years? What is your record in those cases?
  • What was the result of your last traumatic injury case?
  • Do you know the names of any local groups or counseling services that deal with my variety of injury? Where can I find a support group for victims of traumatic injuries?
  • Have you participated in any sort of continuing medical education?
  • When litigating a catastrophic injury case, what is the highest sum of legal costs that you have advanced?
  • Can I seek a reference from one of your previous personal injury clients?

Accidents that result in serious injury can often strip you of your ability to work, and you must account for this when building your case. Also, insurance companies and liable parties are often notoriously slow to pay, so it helps to have a fierce advocate. The attorney that you hire should be, above all else, experienced and successful in cases related to your particular injury. When you meet with an attorney, you should also come away from the consultation believing that they care about you and your family's needs.

Our Firm Is Happy To Answer Your Questions

At Shea & Shea - A Professional Law Corporation, we proudly serve clients throughout Northern California. If you would like to learn more about our experience and how we can apply it to your claim, please call (408) 292-2434 today. You can also arrange for a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our attorneys by sending us an email.