Gain an understanding of the legal problem you face.
Before the advent of the internet and other mass media, knowledge of the law was all but reserved to attorneys and the legal community. However, in today's world everyone has immediate access to important information through the internet. You should be forewarned that there is no guarantee that the information you're going to garner from your study of the internet will be accurate.
Begin to gather names of potential attorneys to consult with.
Certainly the authors of the books on the Consumer Rights Alliance website (www.4accident.com) are a good start in compiling your list of attorneys to consult with. However, there are other valuable sources you should consider, including friends and family members who have had experience with an attorney in your community. You may also wish to consider a state Bar-approved referral service as a source for qualified attorneys. Once you have put together what you believe to be an adequate list of attorneys, consider moving to Action 3.
Call the attorney's office and ask for written information.
If an attorney cannot or declines to provide you with written information, you may want to remove them from your list. You are about to enter into a very important contract with an attorney that is going to be responsible for your legal and financial welfare. If they have not taken the time to put together meaningful consumer information in writing, they may be a poor choice. If you contact their office and find yourself experiencing high-pressure sales tactics, immediately run the other way. Warning: Always beware of any lawyer who calls you first or has someone else solicit your case either by phone or in-person. Unless you have a pre existing professional relationship with the attorney, any such contact is unethical, and may be illegal.
Narrow your choices.
At this stage, you should narrow your choices to three to five lawyers that appear experienced and have provided you with written information about your particular legal problem. No matter how experienced the attorney, it is critical that you feel comfortable entrusting your case to the attorney at what can be a very stressful time.
Here's a few example questions: How many years have you been a practicing attorney? What actual experience do you have in handling cases like mine? Please explain my case to me. What legal challenges do you see? Do you carry malpractice insurance? Have you been disciplined by your state Bar association? Please describe the process that I will experience in the handling of my case Who in your office will I be working with on my case? How will you keep me informed as to the status of my case? What is my case worth? (This is a good trick question. Any attorney that begins quoting you numbers is someone that you should not consider.) Do you represent insurance companies? Do you regularly attend continuing legal education courses? Have you published articles, guides or books?
Rank the information you've received.
By ranking the information you've received into the categories that you feel are most important, you'll be in a position to make a decision that is both wise and based on real information that you've gathered from the attorneys you've interviewed. Take your time in your selection of your attorney, as this will be one of the most important decisions you can make in determining the outcome of your personal injury claim.