Injured in Rhode Island? Whether it happened in Providence or Westerly (or anywhere in between), finding the best personal injury lawyer is crucial.
If you have been injured and you’re dealing with an insurance company, claims adjuster or someone else from the other side, it’s probably pretty obvious that finding the best personal injury lawyer is a critical next step.
The right personal injury lawyer will help you navigate this trying time and make sure you are compensated fairly.
The wrong attorney may prolong the whole process or make mistakes along the way that lower how much money you will receive.
So, the big question is “how do you find the best personal injury lawyer for your claim?”
I’m so happy you asked.
How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding a personal injury lawyer is just the first step. A Google search for “best personal injury lawyer near me” will do enough to bring up some likely candidates, but you have to remember that Google Ads will put anyone on top that pays for it — it doesn’t mean they are the best. It just means they are spending money on ads.
Same thing goes for lawyer directories. While the reviews are real, how and where the lawyer is featured on the site depends on how much money they are paying the directory. It’s a “pay to play” game. This is true for Avvo, Super Lawyers and any of the other lawyer websites that you’ve likely come across.
This is why it is a good idea to reach out to your network and see if anyone already knows a good personal injury lawyer. This can often be the best way because you will have real insight into how they handled the case and how well they communicated along the way.
However, after you find an attorney, you’ll definitely want to do some initial online research to determine if they look like a good fit.
- Do they have good online reviews?
- Do they focus exclusively on personal injury law?
- How many years of experience do they have?
If you’ve found some personal injury lawyers that can pass this very basic test, the next step is to pick up the phone.
Do You Have the Best Personal Injury Lawyer?
One conversation can really help you understand the type of service you can expect and the level of experience the attorney has.
So, where do you start?
- Choose some good candidates and pick up the phone.
- Ask for a free case analysis.
- Explain what happened.
- Ask to speak to the attorney that will handle your case.
- Interview them using the guide below.
Once you get them on the phone, follow this simple interview guide.
We’ve outlined some very direct questions that will help you decide if you are dealing with the best personal injury lawyer for your case.
The great thing about this approach is you get to see how confidently the lawyer can answer questions on the spot, which will give you some insight into how well they can handle tough questions from the other side, the judge or the claims adjuster.
Now, let’s move on.
Q: Who will be assigned to my personal injury case?
This question is like “draw four” in Uno when hiring a law firm. If the lawyer that would be representing you can’t take a couple minutes out of their day for a phone call, can you really count on them to keep you apprised of critical matters in your case?
If it’s next to impossible to talk to the attorney and the only people doing the talking are secretaries, paralegals or intake specialists, you should likely move on. You’re not going to get any personal attention, and it’s likely that the firm is either understaffed or too big to care about individualized attention, which is important if you want to maximize the amount of damages you receive for your claim.
Q: What is your overall experience and focus areas?
If you are talking to a personal injury lawyer with years of experience, then you are definitely talking to the right person. While this isn’t everything, a lawyer with a lot of experience has likely seen it all — but you want to make sure that experience is specifically centered on personal injury law.
If the attorney you are talking to has been practicing law for years, but their focus areas have been all over the place, that can be a sign that they are generalists — not specialists — and likely do not have the in-depth experience that may lead to a significant verdict in your automobile or motorcycle accident claim.
Q: What type of settlements have you obtained for past clients?
Only about five (5%) percent of personal injury cases go to trial. In most cases, the liability is clear, so the other party would rather settle and move on.
So, much of the battle happens outside of the courtroom.
This is where an experienced negotiator is critical. Insurance companies are notorious for playing hardball and attempting to settle a claim for as little as they can. If you are talking to the best Providence personal injury lawyer for your case, they should be happy to share similar results that they have achieved for other clients.
Q: Do you have trial experience?
Even though most cases are settled out of court, you still want an attorney who isn’t afraid to go to trial.
The threat of trial sometimes encourages the other side to settle faster, and if the attorney you are speaking to has successfully won in court, you can best believe this will help move your claim along faster.
A personal injury lawyer who is not afraid of going to court will always negotiate harder than an attorney who lacks the confidence or resources to go up against insurance companies in court.
Insurance companies are smart enough to pick up on this.
Q: What is the fee arrangement?
Understanding the cost of the service upfront will help you understand what you are comfortable with. Depending on the type of personal injury claim that you have, there may be state laws that limit the amount that the attorney can charge.
The standard fee that is typical across the board is 33 ⅓% plus costs.
What does this mean?
It means that if (and only if) your lawyer wins will they get paid. You pay nothing upfront. You pay nothing if the case ends up in trial.
The only time you pay is if you WIN. Your attorney’s fee comes directly from the amount that they obtain for you.
A good example would be if your personal injury lawyer obtains a $20,000 settlement. With a fee arrangement of 33 ⅓ %, they would be paid $6,666.66.
The beautiful part of this type of fee arrangement is 1) you pay nothing upfront and only pay if you get paid and 2) your attorney is incentivized to get you the highest possible settlement.
Q: When will my case be filed?
This question is really about determining what’s on the attorney’s plate this minute and how soon they will begin working on your claim. You want to understand the timeline upfront, so you have a good idea of what will happen when and when you are likely to receive a settlement.
Obviously, with any claim or lawsuit, your attorney does not have everything in their control. You will need to get them the information they need when they need it, and they will also be dealing with the other side’s lawyers. Court might become a factor. The important takeaway is that you want to know they are ready to begin working immediately.
Best Personal Injury Lawyer Near You?
If you are anywhere in the State of Rhode Island, contact us today for a free case analysis.
Our offices are based in Providence, but we serve the entire State of Rhode Island and have been doing so for over 30 years.
Here is what you can expect from me:
1. I personally handle each case from start to finish.
2. I answer my telephone after hours and weekends.
3. If you’re injured and can’t come to me, I’ll come to you.
4. I offer after-hours and weekend appointments.
5. I treat my clients the way that I would want to be treated.
6. I give my cell phone number to my clients.
7. I do virtual video consultations via Zoom so you can talk to me without leaving your home.
Ready to talk? Get in touch with me right here.