HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M GETTING A GOOD PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?
If you are injured in an auto accident, a product defect, a medical incident or any number of situations that can cause harm, you will need an attorney to bring a claim. So how are you to find one that you can trust to achieve good results for you?
The airways, television, and highway billboards are filled with ads by lawyers, all touting themselves as experienced champions of justice. But many competent lawyers don’t spend their money or time advertising at all; advertising can deplete the lawyer of resources that could be better used to advance your case. These are lawyers to whom the advertisers often refer their more difficult cases. Why not hire a lawyer on the basis of the lawyer’s credentials, rather than how they pitch themselves through ads?
So how is one to know about a lawyer’s experience and track record if she or he doesn’t advertise? Of course, searching on Google for a lawyer in your community, who practices in a certain area of law, will get you names. Reading the lawyer’s website will tell you several items of information that can be important, such as how long the attorney has been in practice, whether the attorney has partners to back up, etc.
But it doesn’t stop there – you will want to know if the lawyer is recognized by his or her peers as having expertise. There are several legal organizations that invite lawyers who have proven themselves as skilled and experienced to become members, or who give recognition for distinction. Here are some of them:
- The Board of Legal Specialization of the Arizona State Bar will certify some lawyers as specialists in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation, based upon the lawyer’s experience and test performance. Check to see if the lawyer you are considering is a certified specialist.
- The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) admits certain lawyers who are nominated by members of that organization based on their recognized work performance and years of practice. See if the lawyer you are considering is a member of ABOTA.
- The Belli Society, named after the famous trial lawyer Mel Belli, invites certain lawyers who have proven themselves skilled and experienced advocates. At last count, there were only three Arizona lawyers who are admitted to that prestigious organization.
- Lawyers of Distinction is an organization that admits experienced lawyers who have proven themselves worthy of recognition.
- America’s Top 100 Attorneys is an organization that recognizes accomplished lawyers in specialized fields of practice, such as America’s Top 100 Medical Malpractice Litigators.
- Arizona’s Super Lawyers and Arizona’s Finest Lawyers are other organizations that recognize lawyers with exceptional skill.
- The American Association of Justice and its State counterpart the Arizona Association of Justice are organizations whose members participate in legal education and government lobbying efforts to advance justice.
When selecting a lawyer to handle your injury case, recognition by and membership in the above organizations will help assure you that the lawyer you are considering is recognized as having the skill and experience you want.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact H. Micheal Wright at 480.409.2473, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area.