Welcome to the second blog in my series called “Choosing a personal injury lawyer”. Today, I look at how to find your personal injury lawyer—the one who is right for you. In my first blog in this series, I answered the question: Why do you need a personal injury lawyer?
So how do you find the right personal injury lawyer for you?
You can approach finding your personal injury lawyer in much the same way you would approach finding any specialist. Try the following 5 tips. As you look for a personal injury lawyer, jot down the name, phone number, and website address of the personal injury lawyers that interest you.
1. Use your network
Ask the people you trust in your personal network for references. Your personal network includes relatives, friends, and work colleagues. Your extended personal network includes the people they know.
If you have used a lawyer for other reasons, such as a real estate transaction or writing a will, you may want to ask for a reference to a personal injury lawyer.
Remember, to achieve maximum fair compensation for your injury, you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, not a good lawyer who occasionally takes on personal injury cases. See my blog Why do you need a personal injury lawyer? on this point.
2. Check law society records
In Alberta, you can find out if a personal injury lawyer is in good standing on the Law Society of Alberta website. You can search the website’s lawyer directory and also find information about any disciplinary hearings and outcomes.
3. Use the Internet
Try some standard web searches.
- Go to your favourite search engine and enter a term specific to the type of injury or accident you experienced plus a term like “personal injury lawyer”. Add your location for more accuracy. For instance, your search term might be “spinal cord injuries Edmonton personal injury lawyer”. Your search results will show a series of advertisements followed by websites of lawyers who deal with this type of injury.
- If you have already identified possible lawyers, search using each lawyer’s name and a term specific to type of injury or accident you experienced. For instance, if you are searching for me and you have a TMJ jaw injury, your search term could be “joseph nagy tmj jaw injury”. If you were injured in an auto accident and maybe aren’t sure of your injuries yet, you could try searching for “joseph nagy auto accident”. You can also add the location to be sure you get the right lawyer, e.g. “joseph nagy auto accident Edmonton”.
4. Review the lawyer’s website
Your Internet searches should give you the websites of two or three personal injury lawyers you want to consider. Review the website of each personal injury lawyer you are considering to learn more about who they are and their practices. My next blog, “5 Guidelines to Help You Choose Your Personal Injury Lawyer”, will include tips about the kind of useful information you may find on a lawyer’s website.
5. Contact the personal injury lawyer
Once you have narrowed your search for a personal injury lawyer down to one or two candidates, it’s time to contact them directly. You will probably have chosen lawyers who offer free consultations. The lawyer’s website should have a contact form and a phone number. Ask for a free consultation.
In a later blog, I will discuss more fully the kinds of questions to ask during a free consultation to ensure you gain the maximum benefit from the personal injury lawyer’s time.
My next blog in this series will be “5 Guidelines to Help You Choose Your Personal Injury Lawyer”.
Can you think of other tips for finding a personal injury lawyer? I hope you will share your comments and feedback below!