5 Steps to Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

By Peter DePaolis

Having a high-quality personal injury attorney could make the difference in whether you win your case against the negligent party who caused the accident or not. If you have never needed to hire a lawyer before, you might not know the best way to find a good personal injury attorney. Also, if your only experience with lawyers was from a divorce or traffic ticket or something other than personal injury, you will most likely need to look for a different attorney for your personal injury case.

A DC personal injury attorney can handle your injury claim or lawsuit and answer your questions about the 5 steps to hiring a personal injury attorney. 

One – Ask for Recommendations

You could ask friends or relatives for recommendations of a personal injury lawyer. Be careful who you ask. Limit yourself to friends and relatives whom you trust and respect. A bad recommendation can be worse than no recommendation. When somebody suggests a personal injury lawyer, you might ask if that attorney has handled a personal injury case for that person. Often, people recommend a lawyer simply because they saw their ad on television.

Two – Check Online Reviews

Law firms often post testimonials from their clients. After reading these client testimonials on the attorney website, you might want to check out third-party reviews. You will want to take those reviews with a grain of salt, however, because some people enjoy posting bad reviews online even though they never went to the lawyer. Also, an unscrupulous competitor could post false negative reviews, using a fake name. 

Three – Meet with the Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Personal injury attorneys usually give a free initial consultation. You should take advantage of this opportunity to meet the lawyer or someone from the law office to get a feel for how they treat their clients. A few questions you might want to ask them at the initial consultation include:

  • How much of your total law practice focuses on personal injury? If personal injury is only a small percentage of their total law practice, they might not have enough expertise to handle your case as well as it should be handled.
  • How many years have they practiced personal injury law? You do not want to be the case on which they learn how to practice personal injury law.
  • Does the lawyer handle trials or only settle cases and refer unsettled cases to another firm?
  • Ask the lawyer to quote you some actual results from cases they have handled. 

In the initial consultation, you can also ask them questions about your personal injury case. Beware of lawyers who make grandiose promises without even investigating your accident.

Four – Check the District of Columbia Bar Website Attorney Registry

All members who practice in the District of Columbia must be in good standing with the bar. You can check the disciplinary record of any lawyer you were considering for your personal injury case. Simply go to the DC bar member directory

Five – Trust Your Instincts

After taking all these steps and comparing the pros and cons of each personal injury lawyer you are considering to handle your case, trust your instincts. If an attorney made you feel uncomfortable, talked down to you, or treated you like a number instead of a person, listen to your inner voice. A DC personal injury attorney can help you go after the compensation that you deserve from the party who harmed you through negligence. For help with your case contact our office today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.