Most people usually are able to exist without ever needing the legal services of a personal injury attorney. However, when things beyond your control like a dog bite affects you or one of your family members, you should consider getting legal advice. The question is how do you choose a lawyer? As a long time trial attorney our firm suggests that you look at several factors.
The number one question you need to find out is whether or not the attorney is competent. Any person that is legally practicing law in the state of Texas must pass the Texas Bar Exam, which means they have met the minimum level of proficiency necessary to practice law in the state of Texas. The other issue related to competence is the area of law that an individual practices. Some attorneys focus on real estate, some on estates, others might focus on personal injury law. So just finding any attorney to represent you in a dog bite case might not be the best course of action. That attorney might be an outstanding estate attorney but if they don’t handle dog bite cases regularly then they won’t be familiar with the case law necessary to get you the best result.
Next, you need to get an idea of an attorney’s reputation. This can be difficult but on most occasions doing a quick Google search on an attorney will turn up if they have ethics violations or if they have been disciplined by the state board. This type of information can be helpful in determining the attorney’s reputation. You can also look at online client reviews from places like Google, Avvo, or FindLaw. The above aren’t perfect methods but they should give you a good feel for the type of attorney that you are dealing with.
Third, you need to get a sense of the attorney’s integrity. You need to take the time to meet with the attorney and get a feel for the person that will be representing you. Do you feel like you can trust them? Does the attorney care about you and your situation? Are they interested in doing whatever is necessary to get you a great result or are they looking for shortcuts?
Lastly you need to know that your attorney is willing to go to trial if necessary. If you have a dog bite case, on most occasions a seasoned attorney will try and resolve the case without going to trial. However, there are many reasons that a trial might be necessary to get the best results for you and your family. You need to find an attorney who is experienced, ready and willing to finish the job. On some occasions the defendant or the insurance company will decide they aren’t going to settle the case. The answer isn’t to take your marbles and go home. At that point we will be ready to do what is necessary to get a favorable result and the damage compensation that you are owed.