Injuries sustained in an accident can vary in severity; you may only be dealing with a few cuts and bruises or your injuries can be more severe or even life-altering, requiring the filing of a personal injury case.

Along with recovering from your injuries, you may also be focusing on receiving compensation for your damages, which means you’re probably going to need assistance from a personal injury attorney. Finding a personal injury attorney is a little more complicated than closing your eyes and randomly picking out a name. You may get lucky and land on a great personal injury attorney. However, there’s a better chance you’re going to regret your decision.

If you’re searching for a personal injury attorney, there’s a relatively simple way to find the right one. Asking a few questions is often all you need to do to know if it’s the right attorney to take on your injury case.

1. How do their Colleagues Rate Their Performance?

Yes, attorneys rate each other’s performance, but there isn’t an official rating system. For example, universities and even the National Bar Association don’t rate attorneys by their performance—however, lawyers do pay attention to each other and aren’t afraid to leave reviews.

Sometimes, the reviews are outstanding, and others are scathing. There are a few websites you can check for lawyer reviews, but one stands out. The reviews tend to be less biased, meaning you get a better idea of the personal injury attorney’s capabilities.

Over 11 million attorneys across the country leave reviews on The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry. Look for personal injury attorneys with an “AV” rating, as this identifies the attorney and/or firm as having exceptional legal ability. The rating also indicates the attorney is experienced and professional.

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2. What Percentage Of Their Cases Are Referrals?

Why do you want to know about an attorney’s referral rate? This is an easy metric to use to gauge an attorney’s professional abilities and to get an idea of how other lawyers in their field view them. For example, an attorney is rarely going to send a referral to a subpar lawyer. All this often accomplishes is a poor review for both attorneys by an upset client.

If you’re wondering what percentage of cases should be referrals, there’s no set number. A good tip to follow is to look for a personal injury attorney with a caseload, either open or closed, comprised of at least 20% of their clients coming from referrals.

You may not want to choose an attorney working solely off of referrals. They may be too busy to adequately handle your case, which can also be a sign they’re too lazy to find clients on their own.

3. Do They Use Gophers To Find Cases?

Okay, lawyers aren’t using small, burrowing animals to root out potential clients. Although, it may be difficult to turn down an attorney showing up in your hospital room holding a small, furry animal.

Instead, a gopher is a runner who searches out accident victims. Sometimes, gophers even hang out in hospital waiting rooms in search of potential clients. Not only is this a little creepy, but it’s also extremely unprofessional.

A good personal injury attorney isn’t known as an ambulance chaser since their professional experience ensures clients show up at their law offices. They don’t need to track down potential accident victims since they’re too busy successfully negotiating settlements.

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You should also ignore any solicitation letters from attorneys; the only difference here is they’re using the mail system instead of a runner to try and drum up business. Instead, try to stick with an established personal injury attorney to help ensure the success of your personal injury case.

4. Do They Charge A Consulting Fee?

Okay, so the word free almost always grabs your attention. You know, free ice cream samples, buy one and get one free, that type of thing. Advertising anything for free is almost always effective, and this includes a consultation with an attorney.

However, before you start feeling like you’re getting a great deal on a personal injury attorney, there’s something you should know. Pretty much every attorney offers a free, no-obligation consultation. Something else to know: the consultation is often with a legal specialist and not an attorney.

So, what is a consultation? A consultation is simply a conversation about your case. You’re not going to get any legal advice or any movement on your case. Instead, the specialist will look at the merits of your case. The consultation also gives you the chance to get a feel for the law firm. If your case has merit, you can decide if you want the attorney handling your personal injury case.

If there is a consultation fee, you may want to choose a different personal injury attorney.

5. Is the Attorney Experienced in Handling Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases can be complex as there are filing deadlines to meet, and going past the statute of limitations can result in an automatic dismissal of your case. Unfortunately, if you’re past the statute of limitations, you probably can’t file a claim for damages. There are very few exceptions.

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While experience is always a bonus, you can also find a great lawyer with only a few years of experience. Remember the attorney rating system? You may find an attorney just starting out with several excellent reviews from their peers.

Don’t automatically discount this attorney due to their limited experience. There’s a good chance their fees are lower than those charged by an attorney with decades of experience, which means more money in your pocket from the compensation check.

However, if you do decide to go with an attorney with limited experience, ask if they’re familiar with the civil court system. There’s always the chance your case heads to trial. In this instance, you’re probably going to want an attorney with experience in the courtroom.

Get The Right Attorney For Your Personal Injury Case

Selecting the appropriate attorney for your lawsuit is a process that requires careful consideration and due diligence. It’s generally not advisable to settle on the first attorney you find through a simple Google search.

Instead, invest time in researching and comparing different attorneys to ensure that you find someone with the relevant experience, expertise, and a proven track record. The right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, often increasing the likelihood of a successful and favorable settlement of your personal injury case.