In the days following an auto accident, you will face many important decisions that have long-term effects. Finding the "right" Rhode Island personal injury attorney to represent you is often the most critical decision you will have to make. At Sheeley Law, we understand how overwhelming this can be as you run up against the clock with insurance companies contacting you and medical bills piling up. When a Google search yields hundreds of local law firms, how should you go about choosing the right attorney for your case? If you were injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident and the other driver is at fault, below is some valuable advice and questions to help you make the best possible decision.
1. DO NOT choose a personal injury attorney from ads, alone. While all businesses, including law firms, need to market their business, advertisements should never be the sole factor in your decision. There are unscrupulous lawyers who pump a lot of money in TV ads and billboards because they work on a high volume and quick turnover basis. This means they may settle your case as quickly as possible for any amount the insurance company offers without negotiation. Also, beware of lawyers who send “solicitation” letters to your home following an accident. Ambulance chasers will use aggressive tactics to obtain your business and will not likely have your best interests in mind.
2. DO choose an attorney who specializes in personal injury, has extensive experience and a solid reputation. Insurance companies have the financial means to hire highly trained lawyers to defend personal injury claims, which is of the many reasons why the experience and skills of your personal injury lawyer will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of your case and the amount of compensation you will receive. No matter how intelligent and savvy an attorney appears, if they have only been in practice a few years, they probably don’t know all the ins and outs of the system. Inexperienced lawyers may be trying to build their practice and will often take on cases they are not equipped to handle. Seasoned attorneys will work efficiently and effectively to deliver the best possible results.
3. DO look for a lawyer with trial experience. Not all personal injury cases go to trial. Sometimes, they are resolved through mediation or settlement. However, insurance companies will try to get you to settle for the least possible amount. Some personal injury attorneys are very quick to settle outside the courtroom, particularly if they perceive the case to be too complicated or time consuming. At Sheeley Law, we believe it is your attorney’s duty to stand up for you and fight for maximum compensation.
4. DO NOT select a firm based on its size. The size of the law firm hardly reflects how competent its attorneys are in delivering results. Many accident victims are unaware that larger firms charge high fees for inexperienced lawyers who have no track record of success in the courtroom. Smaller, boutique firms often provide more personal attention to you and your case. When considering an attorney, you should always ask who is going to handle your case? Often times you will have an initial consultation with a senior level attorney but they will pass your case on to a junior level attorney. At Sheeley Law, we believe you deserve to have the same, experienced attorney handling your case and guiding you throughout the entire process.
5. DO choose an attorney that genuinely seems caring, compassionate and attentive. One of the most overlooked factors in hiring an attorney is personality. Before you finalize your decision on which attorney to retain, you should always schedule a consultation. This allows you to see how attentive the attorney is towards you. Did they take the time to listen to your situation and answer all your questions? Do they seem to genuinely care? If they pass you off to a paralegal or junior staff member, then what type of attention do you think they are going to give your case? An attorney who is concerned about the welfare of his/her clients will always work hard to protect your rights and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
An accident can be a very traumatizing experience. When you need a Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney, the firm you choose can make a significant difference in the final outcome of the case. You only have one opportunity to prove your injuries. At Sheeley Law, we don’t believe in surprises or gimmicks. Our track record speaks for itself. For over 25 years, we have been delivering results at critical times when results matter the most. Attorney Ann Sheeley handles each case personally and will be by your side, guiding you every step of the way with care and compassion, until you get the settlement you deserve. There is no cost or obligation to speak to us. We will give you a free consultation, listen to your situation, answer your questions and guide you on your best course of action. You may contact us at any of our five Rhode Island offices by calling 401-619-5555 or toll free at 866-435-5000, or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.