If you were seriously injured in an accident, it is very important to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney will provide many benefits, will be critical in protecting your legal rights, and will help you through the legal process for pursuing your claim. If your accident occurred in Kansas, Missouri or the Kansas City area, you will likely want to find the best Kansas City personal injury attorney for your case.
Hiring an attorney but can be quite overwhelming and confusing. Your decision should not be made on the basis of advertising alone. Television, the internet and Yellow Pages are filled with attorney advertisements that all basically say the same thing. You should not hire an attorney solely based upon their television, Google or Yellow Page ad. Anyone can create a slick advertisement, and many have.
How do you find the right Kansas City personal injury lawyer for your accident case?
Personal injury cases should not be handled by someone who does not regularly practice in that area. Too often, we have looked at cases that were previously handled by attorneys who do not regularly practice in the area of personal injury or accident law. Unfortunately, we cannot accept many of these cases because of the manner in which the cases were handled by the prior, less experienced lawyer.
In addition, insurance companies keep track of and know which attorneys actually go to court and try cases and who just settles. The insurance companies use this information to evaluate their risk and develop strategies.
There are specific questions you should ask that will lead you to the best Kansas City personal injury attorney for your case. These questions will help you identify the attorney with the experience and skills along with the best client service.
How do you find the best attorney for your case in the Kansas City area?
Here are our top 5 tips:
- Get a referral from an attorney that you know. He or she may know someone who does focuses in the area of law that you need. If you need any attorney in an area that we do not handle, call us. Even if we do not practice in that area, we can help you find the right attorney for your case.
- Before you visit with an attorney, see if they have information like this book available or a web site that details their qualifications, experience, results and verdicts, what past clients have to say, and their method of handling a case.
- The Internet or Yellow Pages can be a good source of names. However, you need to be aware of three things. First, not everyone advertises. Most of our cases come from referrals from other attorneys and from satisfied clients. Second, be careful about ads from an attorney who claims many different specialties (for example family law, criminal law, personal injury, trusts and estates), no one can do everything well. Third, advertising typically attracts a lot of cases, including the small cases of questionable quality. Make sure that the attorney you hire is selective with his or her cases and is able to give your case the attention it deserves.
- Be careful about any attorney who rushes you to sign a contingent fee agreement. Make sure you read and understand this document. Also, beware of an attorney who immediately wants to send you to one of his or her doctors. Avoid any attorney who calls you first or any firm associated with a “runner,” a person who “runs” to a hospital, accident scene or even your house to encourage you to sign with a firm.
- Ask your attorney if he or she is licensed in the state where your case will be filed and whether he or she has ever been disciplined by a state bar.
Here are some other factors to consider and ask any potential attorney about:
Experience: Ask the attorney how long he or she has been practicing and if they concentrate their practice on personal injury cases in the state where you were injured. Does the attorney have a track record of successfully resolving a case like yours whether by settlement or jury verdict?
Reputation in the legal community: Is the attorney known and respected in the legal community? Has he or she been recognized or received any awards from Superlawyers, area business journals, or the state bar association? Has he or she ever been disciplined by a state bar?
Continuing education: Does the attorney speak at continuing legal education seminars to other lawyers?
Publications: Has your attorney written anything that has been published and was it on a subject relevant to your case? This is another sign of respect that the legal community has for his or her skills and experience.
Client satisfaction: Ask the attorney to show you what past clients have to say about their experience.
Attorney Rating: Does the attorney have a rating of "superb" on the attorney rating site www.Avvo.com? This rating involves a combination of education, experience, what other attorneys and clients have said about the attorney, and various other factors.
Membership in trial lawyer associations: Is he or she a member of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, or American Association for Justice? These organizations offer a variety of education and networking opportunities for trial lawyers.
Communication and Personal Attention: Ask the attorney who will be handling your case, how he or she will keep you informed about your case and whether the firm has sufficient time to take your case. There are many aspects of a case that do not require the experienced attorney’s attention. However, if you are hiring an attorney for his or her trial skills, you want to make sure that attorney will be handling the important aspects of your case.
Still have questions about how to hire the best Kansas City attorney for your personal injury case? For more information about this and accident and injury claims in Missouri and Kansas, please download a free copy of my book, Crash Course, from our website. You can also contact our firm by calling (816) 203-0143 or by filling out our contact us form below for a free, confidential consultation.