How to Choose the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Arkansas
When you suffer an injury in an accident, it can seem like your whole world is crashing down around you. Life as you know it may never be the same, and you need someone on your side to help you navigate this new path. As you focus on your recovery and on rebuilding your life, you need a personal injury lawyer in your corner to negotiate with insurance companies and protect your legal rights to compensation. Your attorney will have your best interests in mind and can ensure that any settlement you reach includes enough money to cover all your damages – both now and in the future.
Yet, choosing the best personal injury lawyer in Arkansas is not an easy task. How can you know you have the right attorney representing you? How can you find the best personal injury lawyer?
When choosing the best personal injury attorney in Arkansas, it is essential to do your research and be selective. This is an important decision and one that should not be entered into lightly. When you go through the attorney selection process, here are some things to keep in mind.
Understand Your Case
Before you attempt to find a personal injury attorney to represent you, it is important for you to understand your case thoroughly.
- What type of injury did you suffer?
- What type of accident were you involved in?
- What type of damages are you going to seek?
Someone who suffered an injury on the job in Arkansas might need a very different attorney than one who suffered a brain injury in a trucking accident. Understanding your case is the first step towards finding the right attorney to represent you. This will also help you narrow down attorneys in your area that may help you. If you know you need a personal injury attorney with experience handling truck accident cases, you can eliminate personal injury attorneys who mainly handle workers’ compensation claims or sexual harassment claims.
Do Your Research
Once you understand more about your personal injury case, it is important to do your research. Ask friends and family members for referrals and begin to build a list. While not every referral will be an appropriate choice, it can help you start the selection process.
After you ask for referrals, visit reputable websites to find even more attorneys in your area you can call.
Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry
The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry contains more than 1 million attorneys peer review ratings. They routinely rate attorneys to quickly help injured accident victims identify reputable law firms. An “AV” rating, for example, will identify lawyers with an extremely high legal ability. This is something to look for when evaluating attorneys in your area.
The Best Lawyers in America
This legal website and publication list the best lawyers in 57 specialties across the country. The Best Lawyers in America are selected by their peers and have maintained stellar reputations in their communities. You can check if the lawyer you are considering is on this list. If they are, you can rest easier knowing they’re a premier attorney in their field of law.
Super Lawyers is another listing you can check. It lists the most outstanding lawyers in over 70 practice areas. Lawyers who attain Super Lawyers status have a high degree of recognition by their peers and outstanding professional achievement.
Another way to research attorneys is to visit their websites and read past client reviews. Check the news to see what local landmark cases they may have been a part of. This can help you narrow down your search and point you in the direction of law firms with stellar experience and reputation.
Questions to Ask
Once you narrow down your search, call the law firm, and ask to set up a free initial consultation. Many personal injury lawyers will meet with you in your home, office, hospital room, or wherever is most convenient for you. You can also request a virtual appointment to make things even easier.
During your initial meeting, it is important to ask them questions about your case so you can begin exploring your legal options. Don’t be afraid to ask anything on your mind, and remember, you need to feel comfortable with this lawyer throughout the process. This is the first step towards finding a personal injury attorney that you believe can give you the best chance of winning your case.
What type of questions should you ask?
Experience and Reputation
- How long have they been handling personal injury cases?
- What kinds of cases do they handle daily?
- Do they try lawsuits in court?
- Do they teach or lecture at legal education seminars?
- Are they a member of legal organizations that specialize in representing the injured?
- What are their peer reviews?
- What percentage of their cases are referrals from other lawyers?
- Do you focus on one area of law or handle many types of cases?
- Do they send “solicitation” letters to potential clients’ homes after an accident?
- Have you handled a case like mine before? If so, did you succeed?
- How will my case be assigned, and who will I be working with?
- How quickly does your office return calls or emails to keep me up to date on the status of my case?
- How long do I have to take legal action?
- How long does a case like mine usually take to resolve?
- Do you think I have a good chance at a successful case?
- What is the fee arrangement for handling this type of case?
- Do they only charge a fee if there is a recovery?
- What does it mean when lawyers say “no fee if no recovery”?
- Do they have the financial and staffing resources to take on my case?
What to Look for in a Personal Injury Law Firm
When you meet with prospective attorneys and ask questions, consider taking notes during your meeting. This will help you remember their answers so you can more fully evaluate and compare them. You will have many personal injury lawyers to choose from. How can you know you are choosing the best personal injury attorney for you?
During your meetings, here are some things to look for in a personal injury lawyer:
Ease of Communication
The best personal injury lawyer for you is one you can talk to. Can you ask tough questions? Do you feel comfortable being honest with them? How easy is it to understand their answers?
The right attorney will communicate your legal options in a way you understand. You will feel supported and confident when talking with them, not even more confused. If the attorney you are talking with does not take the time to answer your questions adequately, that may be a red flag that this is not the right attorney for you.
You may have found the best personal injury attorney for you, but if that attorney does not have the time to devote to your case, you should keep looking. You need a lawyer who will give you their undivided attention and treat your case as if it is their only one. You want to know that your attorney will file claims timely and negotiate swiftly on your behalf. When you meet with prospective attorneys, be sure you ask how busy their caseload is and whether they genuinely believe they have time to devote to you and your case.
Fees & Costs
Almost all personal injury lawyers handle injury cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that you do not pay any attorney fees unless there is a recovery. If the attorney you select negotiates a settlement or wins an award, the lawyer will collect a percentage of that recovery. This gives all accident victims the opportunity to seek justice regardless of their economic standing.
However, attorney fees are not everything. There are costs associated with negotiating and litigating your case. These are called expenses. Almost every personal injury case will accrue some amount of expenses.
Examples of personal injury expenses include:
- Expert witness fees
- Court reporter fees
- Medical record charges
- Physician report charges and fees
- Filing fees
- Accident reconstruction team fees and expenses
How will the attorney handle those expenses? All law firms tackle case expenses differently. As such, you want your attorney to be transparent about how your case expenses will be paid. How they handle your case expenses depends mainly on their firm’s philosophy and their financial resources. Some smaller law firms may require the injured accident victim to pay a portion of expenses upfront. This can create a financial strain for already struggling accident victims and their families.
We Can Help
When you are looking for a personal injury attorney to handle your accident case, we can help. The team of personal injury lawyers at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, want to meet with you and discuss your case personally. Arkansas and Tennessee are our homes and we want to make sure our neighbors and friends are supported. With seven office locations – Little Rock, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, and Memphis —our personal injury lawyers are easily accessible when you need help. Our experienced injury attorneys are here to help you through this difficult time.