How To Choose the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in San Antonio, TX
December 7, 2023 | Personal Injury
The lawyer you choose for your personal injury case might make the difference between a fair outcome and an unsatisfactory one. Unfortunately, this decision often takes place under very stressful circumstances. Worse yet, you might have no experience in hiring a personal injury attorney and no idea where to start.
Fortunately, you have many resources to help you as you consider which lawyer to choose. Personal referrals and free consultations can give you the information you need about the lawyer’s experience, knowledge, and skills so you can pick one that fits your needs.
What Do San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
Before getting into how to choose a lawyer, you must understand what they do. By knowing how lawyers conduct injury claims, you will know what to look for.
Your attorney-client relationship will begin with a case evaluation. Most lawyers offer a free consultation so that you understand your legal rights and options before committing to the lawyer or a plan of action. During this consultation, you will discuss the value of your case and the strength of your legal arguments.
All lawyers learn personal injury law, also called tort law, in law school. But only some attorneys build their practice within this legal field. You need someone who has experience handling personal injury cases. While a general practitioner might know injury law, someone with experience will spot the issues you might face and find ways to navigate around them to keep your case on track.
Most injury cases start with an insurance claim. At this point, your lawyer works as both an advocate in preparing your claim and a negotiator in working to settle your case. To establish your claim to insurance benefits, your lawyer needs to prove liability.
In injury cases, the theory of liability can take different forms depending on how you were injured:
- Negligence applies to unintentional injuries from carelessness
- Intentional torts apply to injuries caused by intentional, harmful contact
- Strict liability applies to dangerous activities and in many product liability cases
A good personal injury lawyer knows which theories apply and which do not. Importantly, they also know how to use alternate theories and pursue multiple parties to increase your odds of success.
If the lawyer cannot settle your claim with the insurer, you may need to file a lawsuit. At this point, courtroom experience is critical to giving yourself the best chance of winning.
How To Choose a Personal Injury Attorney in San Antonio
All of this probably seems overwhelming to someone who has suffered a serious injury. Good injury lawyers understand your situation and will work to accommodate you. Many will meet with you at your home or conduct virtual consultations. They will also make sure to assess any time deadlines you have in your case due to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations will hang over your head throughout the process of selecting a lawyer. Although you get two years in most situations, this time can pass quickly. As a result, you should work diligently to find a lawyer so they can start on your case well before time expires.
You have many potential resources for names. The most valuable information will come from personal referrals. If you know a friend or family member who has pursued an injury claim, ask them about their lawyer. A former client will have valuable insight into the attorney’s skills as well as their personality.
Also, make note of any negative referrals. If someone recommends against hiring the lawyer they used, you should take their bad experience into account. If someone does not like their lawyer, they often have good reasons.
If you have no one who can give you a personal referral, look for someone in the legal profession who can give an unbiased recommendation. If you know a judge, lawyer, or paralegal, they will probably know the best and most respected injury lawyers, even if they practice in a different field.
The next most reliable resource will probably come from legal directories. Publications like Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo.com list a lawyer’s awards and peer ratings. This information can tell you how other lawyers view the attorney.
Finally, you can use client review ratings to identify lawyers — but read client reviews with a grain of salt. Most websites do not verify whether reviewers were actual clients or just people with a grudge against the attorney.
Narrow Down the List
Do a bit of research to narrow down your list before scheduling free consultations. First, make sure the lawyer handles your type of case. Although the same legal principles apply to most injury cases, a lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice might not necessarily be the right lawyer for a car accident case.
Different fields within personal injury may require different types of expert witnesses. They may even involve different insurers. By using a lawyer who is accustomed to your type of case, you eliminate their learning curve for getting up to speed in an unfamiliar field.
Also, make sure to check each lawyer’s disciplinary record on the State Bar of Texas website. While attorneys are human and make mistakes like anyone else, you want someone who has not done so due to ethical lapses.
Meet With Lawyers
You will schedule free consultations with your top picks. During the consultation, you will discuss your case with the lawyer and learn how they can help you. Make sure you arrive at the appointment prepared with questions for the lawyer so you can gather the information you need to make a hiring decision.
Some questions to ask include:
- How much do you charge?
- Will you handle my case or pass it off to someone else?
- How much experience do you have with this type of case?
- What outcomes can I expect?
As you talk to the lawyer, make note of their communication and analytical skills. Lawyers need to provide sound analysis and communicate effectively. If you have trouble following the attorney’s logic or understanding their explanations, a claims adjuster or juror might feel the same way.
Hiring the Best San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney For Your Case
Take your time to choose a lawyer, keeping in mind any impending deadlines. Choose one who has both legal and interpersonal skills. Your case could take several months, and you will work closely with them throughout the process. You need someone who can produce results but also works well with you.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in San Antonio, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in San Antonio, Texas, and need legal help, contact our San Antonio personal injury lawyers at George Salinas Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.