If you listen to commercials for personal injury attorneys or watch TV, you get the wrong impression of personal injury cases. They make it sound like a quick process: you get injured and then you get paid.
The reality is far more complex. Too many people have been left footing the bill for their injuries because their case didn't go as planned.
We don't say this to scare you. We say it to stress the importance of hiring the right attorney from the start. If you're struggling to find a personal injury lawyer in Omaha to handle your case, these tips can help.
Locate a Specialized Personal Injury Lawyer in Omaha
As you look for an attorney, limit your search to lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases. While lawyers learn about all areas of the law in their education, they all specialize in something different in their careers. They delve into the more intricate aspects of that specialty while they handle case after case.
A contract lawyer has some knowledge of personal injury issues from law school, but they won't match the expertise of someone who handles personal injury cases day after day.
Make sure your attorney specializes in personal injury law and that they have a wealth of experience in this area.
An easy first step in your lawyer search is to get recommendations from family members and friends.
Make sure they're relevant recommendations, though. Someone may have had a great divorce attorney but chances are that they can't handle your car accident case with the same skill.
Another note about recommendations: take them with a grain of salt. It's a great place to start but no matter how happy someone else was with the attorney, you need to research them the same way you'd research a random name you found online.
Investigate Their Background
You don't have to become a private eye to hire a lawyer, but don't take everything at face value either.
Check with your state to verify a lawyer's license before you make a commitment. Don't assume that everyone who advertises their services has the credentials to do it with expertise.
Have a Personal Meeting
Hiring an attorney is an important choice. They'll be the difference between whether you get compensation for your injury or you're left in a financial hole.
As important as it is to research your lawyer, never underestimate the importance of an in-person meeting.
On the surface, the meeting is a chance for you to tell them about your case and get their initial thoughts. At the same time, pay attention to whether you and the lawyer seem to communicate well. There is an amount of communication chemistry you need to have to work well with an attorney.
Learn Their History with Your Type of Case
We mentioned above that you want a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases, but that isn't all.
Within the category of personal injury, there are many types of cases. There are different ways to handle car accident cases compared to slip and fall cases.
We aren't saying your attorney has to handle your type of case exclusively. If their personal injury practice is almost exclusively focused on a different type of case than yours, though, they may not be the best fit.
Find Out Who Actually Handles Your Case
Too many people have thought they hired the best lawyer around, only to find out that attorney never touched their case.
As you're interviewing attorneys, find out who will actually handle your case. There's no problem with delegating much of the legwork to paralegals and junior lawyers, but you want to know who will be involved.
This is especially true at large law firms. Chances are that the face you see on the side of the bus won't be the one toiling over your case.
At many law firms, the firm will ask past clients if they would be willing to serve as a reference. They maintain lists of people you can speak to for yourself.
While you shop for law firms, ask for a few references who have had similar cases to yours. If you're suing someone for a car accident injury, it won't be as relevant to talk to someone who won a medical malpractice suit.
As helpful as testimonials can be, don't view them as substitutes for client references. You want the opportunity to ask specific questions and get the answers straight from someone who's been in your shoes.
Pay Attention to the Details
Before you hire an attorney, you're likely to have contact with them several times to set up meetings, ask questions, and more.
As you do this, pay attention to what seem like minor details. How easy is it to get in touch with them? Can you schedule a timely meeting or does it take weeks to get in? How soon do they respond to your emails and calls?
Considering that they're trying to win your business, remember that this is probably them on their best behavior. If it's a burden to get them to return a phone call now, do you really want to put up with that throughout your case?
Choosing Your Future
Your lawyer may not be the only factor that determines whether you get the settlement you want, but they're a big one. No matter how easy and clear-cut you think your case is, the wrong attorney can tank it.
The tips above can help you find the best personal injury lawyer in Omaha for your case. The most important thing to remember is to take your time to find that perfect fit. It's better to wait a few extra months for a great settlement than to rush the process and get nothing.
To find out how we can help you, contact our personal injury attorneys today.