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There are now over 146,000 personal injury lawyers across the US. If you’re searching for a personal injury attorney in Honolulu, it helps to know which qualities to prioritize. Otherwise, you might hire a lawyer who lacks the experience and expertise you need.
Here are seven characteristics of a reliable personal injury lawyer to consider during your search. Finding an attorney with these qualities can help give you peace of mind.
You can feel confident in their abilities to fight for your best interests.
Read on to discover the factors to consider when hiring an attorney today.
1. A Strong Reputation
You can streamline your search by turning to friends and family members who live in the area. Ask members of your inner circle if they’ve hired a personal injury lawyer in the past year. If they have, ask about their experience with the attorney.
Consider drafting a list of questions you want to ask ahead of time. For example, you can ask:
- Why did you need a lawyer
- Did the lawyer handle your case
- Was the case handed off to a paralegal
- Did you encounter any problems with the lawyer
- Were they experienced
- Did the lawyer win your lawsuit
- How much were they able to win
- Are you satisfied with the results
Speaking to members of your inner circle can help you create a list of lawyers to research further. It could also help you find valuable information that’s likely not available online.
If you’re unable to gather personal referrals, use some of the online directories that are available instead. For example, you can check:
- Your local bar association website
- The Martindale-Hubbell law firm directory
- The Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms list (by US News and World Reports)
Once you have a list of local personal injury lawyers, read reviews for each attorney. Reading reviews can help you gauge their reputation.
Find a personal injury lawyer who already has a strong reputation in the area. You can feel confident choosing a lawyer that others have trusted in the past.
2. Relevant Expertise
Once you have a list of lawyers to choose from, consider the details surrounding your case. What kind of personal injury case are you pursuing? For example, a personal injury attorney might handle:
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Auto accidents
- Slip and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Product liability
- Premise liability
- Elder abuse and neglect
You can even break some of these categories down further. For example, about six million auto accidents occur in the US every year. Three million people sustain injuries, while two million develop lasting disabilities.
Auto accidents can include car, truck, bike, pedestrian, Uber, Lyft, and motorcycle crashes.
However, maybe you sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of the crash. In this case, hire a spinal cord injury attorney.
Before choosing a personal injury lawyer, consider their area of expertise. Try to find someone who specializes in cases like yours. They’ll have thorough knowledge of the laws and procedures that can impact your case.
Determine how many cases like yours they’ve handled in the past year. Then, determine how many similar cases they’ve handled overall. What was the outcome for those cases?
Finding someone with relevant expertise could increase your chances of winning your lawsuit.
Before choosing a personal injury lawyer from your list, make sure their credentials are in order.
First, visit your local bar association website to determine if they’re licensed to practice in Hawaii. Make sure their license is up-to-date.
Next, determine if they’re a member of any national or station organizations.
For example, some organizations appeal to lawyers who represent injured clients. Perhaps the lawyer is a member of the American Association of Justice. These lawyers will have more thorough knowledge about lobbying for consumer rights.
Perhaps you want to find a board-certified civil trial lawyer instead. Determine if they’re certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. These lawyers receive extensive courtroom training.
They’ll have an easier time handling your case in court.
Determine how long each lawyer on your list has practiced law. Then, consider how many cases they’ve handled within that time.
Consider how long they’ve specialized in cases like yours, too. Make sure they have years of relevant, hands-on experience. An experienced attorney is less likely to make a mistake while handling your case.
Make sure the lawyer also has extensive courtroom experience.
How often do their cases go to court? Consider the outcome for those cases (including the payout).
Some lawyers are nervous about going to court, enough that they prefer to settle cases outside the courtroom. Unfortunately, these lawyers won’t fight with your best interests in mind.
Choose an attorney who has experience that aligns with your goals.
5. A Winning Track Record
Ask each lawyer how many cases they’ve won versus lost. Then, determine how many cases like yours they won versus lost. Their track record can speak to their ability to win your case.
Ask about the payout for each case as well.
6. A Strong Skill Set
Schedule a consultation appointment with two or three lawyers on your list. During the meeting, discuss the details surrounding your case. What outcome do they expect?
The lawyer shouldn’t give you a guarantee. Instead, they should help you consider your legal options. They shouldn’t push you one way or the other, either.
During the meeting, pay attention to how the lawyer speaks and acts. Are they confident? Do they have strong communication skills?
Choose someone with a strong skill set.
7. The Right Fee Structure
Ask each lawyer about their fee structure as well. For example, some work on a retainer. Others follow a contingency fee structure.
With the latter, your attorney will only expect payment if they win your lawsuit. Even then, you’ll only pay them a percentage of your winnings.
Start Searching: Hire the Right Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case
Don’t make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced lawyer for your case. Instead, use these tips to hire a reliable, talented personal injury attorney. With these tips, you can feel confident in your choice.
The right lawyer will fight at your side to win the compensation you deserve.
Ready to get started? We’re here to help.
Contact our office today to schedule your consultation appointment.