You’ve been in an accident or hurt by someone else. After getting out of the emergency room at the hospital, in pain, and re-assessing what happened, everyone is telling you to hire an attorney. Exactly how do you go about obtaining legal representation in Texas? Our personal injury lawyer in Houston, Terry Bryant, can help! But read on for valuable tips.
We Haven’t Come That Far from The Yellow Pages
In the old days, most folks would just recommend grabbing a business phone book and choosing an ad. Today, the same happens with Internet search engines. However, this is the professional who will be representing your interests in recovery and your long-term return to the status quo again. So, you want to pick the right person versus just randomly.
There is no question that there are lots of Texas attorneys available. Just drive down the road in Houston, and you’ll eventually see a billboard for one advertising legal services, specifically for personal injury. That said, there are some criteria you can use in finding a highly qualified personal injury attorney, including one that will make sure your representation is taken care of at an expert level. Remember, the way the law works; any attorney can take on just about any legal case with a law license; you want representation from counsel actually experienced and skilled in personal injury litigation versus general law alone.
Tips from a Practicing Personal Injury Attorney, Terry Bryant
Here are some key tips from Terry Bryant, a well-respected personal injury attorney for clients in Houston, TX, that can help clear up the field for you and narrow choices down to viable service providers:
Use Reviews Heavily
In this case, the Internet and your friends can help tremendously; much of what both provide is free. You need to have the time to go through all the information available. Real client reviews and references are some of the best ways to determine if a law office is the correct type for a given legal claim or misses the mark. Real people who’ve had real experiences tend to detail what works and what doesn’t in their reviews, which makes their input extremely valuable. While no case will be exactly the same as the other, commonalities can be found in reviews. For example, are some attorneys focused on just settlements alone? How about how they communicate with a client and update case status regularly? Were there a lot of promises made that didn’t flush out? These are all indicators of how an attorney will take on your case based on how they have treated others.
A Free Consultation is Just That, Free
There are few things in life that are truly free, and an initial consultation is one of them. If you think you may have found a good attorney for what you want, don’t hire just based on a name and digital info alone. Set up an initial consultation, lay out the issue, and see how the person responds. This is your first and best chance in person to really see how a given lawyer will work with you. In fact, a very reputable, highly-skilled attorney may be frank and tell you a given case just isn’t strong enough to pursue; that’s someone to keep for the future when there is a solid case. The point of the consultation is not so much to convince an attorney to take your case as it is to find someone whom you will be comfortable with representing your best legal interests. Best of all, there’s no cost, so do it.
Watch for Fee Agreement Details
Generally, personal injury attorney representation works on what is known as a contingency fee basis. Essentially, suppose the attorney wins the case for a client or settles it positively. In that case, the attorney-client agreement affirms that the attorney gets a percentage of the financial recovery involved as a payment. This is, generically, assumed to be a third or 33 percent, but the actual fee varies. Some law offices lump everything together into one contingency fee, which could be a higher percentage. Others break out service costs and expenses as separate charges on top of a contingency fee that might seem at first to be a lower percentage. The exact details are between the client and the attorney hired, but any client should always pay attention to exactly what charges are included and how the contingency fee is defined.
Look at Education and Training
As noted earlier, any licensed attorney can take any legal case if they are authorized to practice in that given state or jurisdiction. That doesn’t mean they are the best for a given type of legal case. Education and training provide valuable flags as to whether an attorney specializes in personal injury versus just general law. Ideally, a client wants an attorney who is experienced in personal injury tort law and litigation. This last part is key; there are lots of attorneys who have never actually tried a case. If the party being sued doesn’t want to cooperate in a settlement, litigation will be necessary. Having an attorney with no litigation experience representing a personal injury is not a good idea in practice. Verification of training can be confirmed online with the state bar and with the information the given attorney provides. Most do a good job highlighting what they specialize in, which is no surprise. It helps that given lawyer stand out from the crowd.
Who Actually Handles the Case
Small legal offices might seem like they have one or two key attorneys handling a case, leading to the assumption that the attorney in the initial consultation will be the one actually managing the case. However, in reality, it’s quite common for attorneys to farm out their work to contracted attorneys as well. So, if you want to be sure the attorney you want to hire and are talking to will actually be the one representing your case, ask. There’s no offense in making sure who exactly will be the counsel involved. And it makes a big difference between an experienced lawyer and a contracted rookie in his or her first or second year of practice.
Your Gut is Speaking, So Listen
If you feel deep down a given attorney is not the right fit for you, more than likely, your other senses are picking up on something that isn’t immediately obvious to your logical side. Listen to your gut. It would be best if you worked hand in hand with the personal injury attorney taking on your case, and that involves a level of trust in their direction and competence. If you’re not comfortable, it’s going to turn into a bad relationship later on.
Experience Works in Your Favor
Terry Bryant has worked on hundreds of personal injury cases and successfully represented clients in settlement and litigation. Understanding both the law itself as well as the practical side of carrying a case to its best outcome in Texas is critical and only comes with experience. Call our Houston, TX office, and you can work with Terry Bryant directly on your personal injury case. There’s no reason to take a wild guess with an Internet search engine when your recovery is what matters. Terry Bryant is ready to help you; call us today for a consultation!