Find an Honest Personal Injury Lawyer in Chicago
You’ve been injured and you need legal representation. You’ve never filed a personal injury lawsuit before. You want to make sure that you pick a lawyer who will be assertive and persuasive in protecting your rights. You also want to make sure they aren’t going to rip you off. The people that you see in late night TV ads and the yellow pages simply don’t seem trustworthy. Does this sound like you?
Every year, thousands of people face this same dilemma. The good news is that there are plenty of competent, qualified lawyers who can help you. The trouble is finding one. We could simply tell you that we are honest, skilled lawyers – and we believe it’s true. But you shouldn’t have to take our word for it.
So, here are a few pointers that will help you to identify an experienced and honest personal injury lawyer:
- The Best Lawyers Don’t Advertise Much
It’s a simple rule, but it is usually true. The people that are running dozens of late night TV ads are usually not the people that are at the courthouse trying cases. Most firms do the occasional small, tasteful ad in community newspapers, etc. But, you may want to steer clear of the places that are spending big bucks to get you in the door.
- Don’t Pick Your Lawyer from the Yellow Pages
Most lawyers are listed in the yellow pages. There is nothing wrong with it. But, there is nothing about a yellow pages ad that lets you know if a lawyer is any good. The promises and claims in these types of ads simply don’t tell you what you need to know. If you need to find the telephone number of a specific lawyer, use the yellow pages. But if you are shopping for a lawyer – don’t start there.
- Busy Lawyers Need to Be Near the Courthouse
People are often eager to hire a lawyer that is near their home. Certainly, there are some good lawyers in every community. Remember, though, that busy lawyers who go to court often generally want to have their office near the courthouse. If getting to their office is inconvenient – ask if they will come out to meet with you at your home for the initial meeting. Many injury lawyers will agree, after all, they are in the business of representing people who are injured.
- Excellent Lawyers Don’t Overcharge for Their Services (or undercharge)
A one-third contingency fee plus costs, is standard in the legal profession for personal injury lawsuits. The best lawyers usually do not feel the need to charge more than that. Likewise, the best lawyers don’t usually agree to charge less. How much you may receive from a personal injury recovery has a lot more to do with how much your lawyer can obtain for the case than it does on saving a few percentage points on the fee.
- A Good Lawyer Will not Promise the Moon
The value of personal injury cases are determined by juries. Even in the cases that settle – the amount that is offered by an insurance company is based upon what juries are awarding in similar cases. Juries are notoriously unpredictable. Any attorney that tells you that they can predict the outcome of a case is lying to you. It would be like a doctor telling you that they can cure cancer. A responsible doctor wouldn’t do that – and a responsible lawyer will not make unreasonable promises either.
- Client Reviews Can be Informative
The internet has allowed people to post reviews of everything from restaurants to lawyers. Can you trust all of the information that people post? Of course not. But, it can be a piece that you consider. If former clients are posting that this lawyer does not return phone calls or treats clients rudely – that might be something to know.
- Experience Matters
At the end of the day – experience is important. Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer if they have experience with this type of case. Ask if they will handle the jury trial if the case goes that far. Look to see if they are members of professional organizations like the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Illinois Bar Association or the Chicago Bar Association. Ask for information about past verdicts and settlements by the firm or lawyer. If they can’t handle the tough questions, you don’t want them as your lawyer.
So, take some time, do your homework and choose wisely. If you we make it onto your “short list” – we would be honored. But, even if we don’t, we think that these guidelines will help you to find a great lawyer.
The Chicago law firm of Stotis & Baird Chartered handles cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, trucking accidents and nursing home neglect in Chicago, Cicero, Markham, Robbins, Midlothian, South Holland, Riverdale and the rest of the Chicago Suburbs. You can learn more about the firm at our web site – www.stotisandbaird.com. If you would like to discuss your case please feel free to call us at 312-461-1000 or email the author of this article at firstname.lastname@example.org