The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), citing a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), stated that floors and flooring materials lead to more than two million injuries due to falls every year. If you have been injured from slipping or falling and want the person or entity responsible for the fall to be found negligent, it will not be hard for you to find a lawyer willing to take the case. The difficult part will be choosing a good lawyer. Since the law allows you only one opportunity to sue, the error of choosing an incompetent or unreliable lawyer could ruin everything. There are several factors you should keep in mind during this process:
What are the characteristics of a good slip and fall accident lawyer?
- Experience with slip and fall cases: it doesn’t matter how good a lawyer is; if he or she isn’t experienced in slip and fall cases, they won’t be able to represent you as well as you deserve.
- Legal representation: it’s essential that those who work in the court—colleagues and opponents—believe and respect your lawyer. His or her professional reputation is as important to the success of your case as knowledge and experience in the area of slips and falls.
- Sound, established legal firm: when choosing a legal firm, it’s important to ensure that your lawyer’s decisions will not be affected by financial problems. Litigation is an expensive process, and you’ll want to be sure your lawyer’s firm has the financial backing needed to go up against insurance companies.
- Teamwork: the lawyer’s staff should be qualified and capable. A lawyer’s work requires the assistance of reliable researchers and experts. He or she will also require doctors who specialize in this type of case, who can testify in court and explain your injury in a way that anyone can understand, simple but effective.
- Free consultation: in this area of practice, it is customary to give the first consultation free of charge. If a lawyer tries to charge you up front—for the first consultation or in order to file a lawsuit—he or she is not following standard legal practice.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lawyer
- Customer service: a good lawyer cares about you and your case and will allow you to explain your situation freely and ask any questions you might have. He or she will inquire about what you want to accomplish in the legal process, whether you prefer a settlement or wish to go to court. A good lawyer will be there for you, to guide you and represent you, but will also keep in mind that ultimately you are in charge.
- Availability: when you contact your legal representative or someone at the legal firm, he or she responds quickly and accommodates your needs. If you have a question for your lawyer, you can expect to have your call returned at the end of the day, after any courtroom proceedings are finished, or within twenty-four hours of receiving your call. It’s essential for there to be open communication between client and lawyer.
- Ability to communicate in your first language: while it isn’t necessary for a lawyer to speak your language in order to defend you properly, it would make communication easier for you without requiring an interpreter. In the ideal situation, your lawyer will share not only your language but also your customs and values.
- Fees: although the first consultation is free, you should find out what the lawyer will charge if you win your case. You will want to make sure that the amount he or she charges or the percentage of compensation you will have to pay is comparable to others in the industry.
- Results: the lawyer or firm has a good success record, with satisfied clients who recommend the firm to friends and family members. A good record speaks for itself.
This Blog is made available by Grupo MedLegal for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or medical advice. The information provided on the Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal or medical advice from a licensed professional.