If you have a personal injury claim, you should at least consult with a lawyer, and it’s likely you will need to hire one. How do you decide who to hire? That’s an extremely personal decision, but there are some helpful guidelines. First, see if a lawyer has a rating by either Martindale-Hubbell or Super Lawyers. Both of these services were created by companies that provide the two main sources of legal research tools for lawyers. Both services use a rating system where the lawyers have to have a minimum number of years in practice (sometimes with different years for different ratings) and both are voted on by other lawyers. Super Lawyers ranks attorneys primarily on overall legal ability, and rates younger attorneys as “Rising Stars” and then more experienced lawyers as “Super Lawyers.” At the Miller Law Group, the leader of our Personal Injury Practice Group, Sean Cole, was rated as a “Rising Star” for several years and then has been rated as a “Super Lawyer” since 2013.
Martindale-Hubbell ranks attorneys on overall legal ability and ethical standards, and includes review by judges within the lawyer’s state. Both Sean Cole and firm founder Stacy Miller are rated as “AV / Preeminent” for what that service calls the “Highest Level of Professional Excellence.” Both Stacy and Sean have held this rating for over 10 years. Our firm also has the distinction of being one of the only firms in the country where both senior attorneys hold this rating.
Beyond these rating systems, though, you need to get a feel for the attorney you’re hiring. Sometimes your first call or two may be answered by an assistant or paralegal, but if you never get a chance to talk to your lawyer, that’s not someone you want to hire. It’s always a better idea to make sure your lawyer is one who actually takes cases to trial and doesn’t just settle them. Although settlement is the most common way personal injury claims are resolved, you need to know that your lawyer “has that club in their bag.” The insurance companies track which attorneys try cases and which ones don’t, and they nearly always factor that into their evaluation of what to pay for your claim. If they know your lawyer doesn’t try cases, they know they don’t have much to fear from a jury.
Above all, hire someone you’re comfortable with, and someone you trust. Ask friends and family, and above all, see what people have to say who have actually been clients of the lawyer you’re considering. Check out our client review page to see what our clients have said about us. Contact us today to see if we can help your case. The consultation is free (never hire a personal injury attorney who wants to charge you for a consultation) and if we can help, we’ll take the case on a contingency fee basis so we only get paid if you get a recovery. We’re the Miller Law Group, and we’ve got your back.