Selecting the right Texas personal injury attorney is very important. The decision could mean the difference between winning and losing your case. Or, it could mean the difference between a high damage award and a low damage award. Moreover, the wrong decision could result in years of frustration and sleepless nights. So, instead of turning through countless pages in a phone book and pointing to an attractive ad, know that there are steps you can take to improve your chance of success for finding a professional and competent Texas personal injury attorney.
First and foremost, word of mouth is key. Begin by asking friends, family, colleagues or other lawyers if they can recommend a good Texas personal injury attorney. Also, use the internet, or an unbiased attorney referral service to find a lawyer in your area with expertise in personal injury cases and with your particular case type.
Second, do your homework. Do a background check on your selected personal injury attorney. Start by visiting the attorney's website. Read the attorney's biography and any testimonials to determine the attorney's educational training, experience, certifications, professional affiliations and areas of expertise. Next, visit the attorney's profile at the State Bar of Texas website. There you can check the attorney's professional credentials, the date the attorney was licensed to practice law in Texas, as well as any Texas Board of Legal Specialization Certifications held by the attorney. You should also review the attorney's public disciplinary history for the past 10 years, which is listed on the State Bar of Texas website. Contact the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for sanction information beyond 10 years.
Third, you should speak with the attorney and conduct a "get-to-know-you" interview. Ask about the attorney's knowledge and experience with your particular case type. Learn how many cases the attorney has tried and how many of those cases ended in a successful verdict. Also, determine if the attorney will personally handle your claim or give it to a less experienced associate.
Finally, ask how the attorney will handle fees. Bear in mind that most personal injury attorneys in Texas charge on a contingency fee basis, which is to say that they only get paid if there is a successful verdict, and the fee is a percentage share of the award. However, not all personal injury attorneys charge this way. Accordingly, it is important to understand fees up front and to read the client agreement in its entirety before authorizing the attorney to handle your case.
For more information on tough, smart Texas Personal Injury Attorneys in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio, visit Jim S. Adler & Associates, or our Texas Personal Injury blog.
|Author: Jeremy C. Lynds
Attorney, Jim S. Adler & Associates