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How to Hire the Best North Miami Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you need an experienced advocate to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. The options for an attorney may feel overwhelming, especially if you are in a place like North Miami where there are a lot of firms and a lot of lawyers to choose from. Getting the right attorney for your case is important, but do you know where to start? Make time to do the necessary research, and take these steps to help ensure you make the right decision:

Step One: Perform an Attorney Search

Not all attorneys are the same. Before you hire an attorney for your case, ensure they have the necessary experience and practice focus for your type of case. Just as you would not hire a dentist to treat your broken arm, don’t get a family law attorney to handle your personal injury claim.

The web is an excellent resource for finding an attorney, but it can be an overwhelming place to start. You may prefer to first contact local bar associations, or ask your friends, family, and co-workers for referrals. Once you have an initial list, you can research specific professionals.

Alternatively, you may search for the right type of lawyer using the common search engines but also look to other resources, such as state bar listings, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and attorney-specific websites like Avvo. Avvo offers searches by type of lawyer and location, and provides additional information, including:

  • Avvo rating. The Avvo rating is calculated using several factors, including the attorney’s years of experience, practice knowledge, education, publications, awards, and client reviews. Note that ratings are not objective. For example, attorneys who have “claimed” their Avvo page will have higher ratings than others who do not use this tool for reaching potential clients.
  • Reviews. Past client reviews may be helpful for determining whether this attorney will fit your needs.
  • Contact information. You can find direct contact information and navigate straight from Avvo to a lawyer’s website.

Step Two: Check Reviews

If you use a resource like Avvo in your lawyer search, you will have immediate access to client reviews with the click of a button. Other places to look for reviews include the firm’s website, Google My Business, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, and review sites like Yelp. Keep in mind that anonymous reviews may not be reliable, while reviews that have been published on the lawyer’s website are likely to only be positive.

As you read reviews, view them in light of your own priorities and values. If you want a responsive attorney who provides you with a lot of personal attention, note any reviews that identify this attorney as hard to reach. If you want a skillful negotiator, look for accolades on that point. Other suggestions:

  • Think about what you want in your attorney. Of course you want an attorney who will be successful with your case, but what else do you want? You may value someone who can explain complex legal issues in simple terms, or want someone who is personable. Perhaps you don’t care how often you get an update from their office if your attorney is assertive with the insurance companies and defendants. You may want an attorney who has been practicing for many years, or you might not care about experience as long as they have expertise in your type of claim. If you are very clear on exactly what you want, it will be much easier to sort your choices.
  • Consider the attorney’s style and skills. Are they a great negotiator? Are they reluctant to litigate? Do they prefer to handle a lot of cases and go for quick settlements, or do they invest in only a few cases? What is their opinion about how long is too long to pursue a fair resolution? No matter who you hire, they should be respectful of you, opposing counsel, other parties, and the court. However, don’t make uninformed assumptions about their professional demeanor, or the impact their personality might have on how effective they are. For example, a soft-spoken lawyer in the office may be just as capable of commanding the courtroom as a more gregarious lawyer, and an attorney does not have to be blunt or discourteous to aggressively and successfully advocate for their client.
  • Read all of the reviews – good and bad. Consider everything other clients report about the lawyer. The most positive reviews are likely to come from clients who won their case or otherwise had a good outcome. However, pay special attention to anyone who recommends their attorney even if they didn’t get the optimal result in their case, because that means the client is basing their review on more than just the bottom line of their settlement or judgment. The lawyer may provide exceptional service, or have done the best job possible for a case that simply had difficult facts that could not be overcome regardless of lawyering skills. Also, carefully consider poor reviews from clients, especially when they are based on something that you value. Overly emotional or superlative reviews (“He is the worst lawyer in the history of the world!”) may be of little value to your decision making, but reviews with thoughtful and credible details can be very helpful (“She explained how I could help my case by keeping a journal regarding my injuries, and she called me every week to give a status report on the case, regardless of how busy she was.”)

Step Three: Look for More Information

After you have narrowed your search and read all of the client reviews, you should look at the lawyer’s professional reputation and record.

  • Are they involved in any bar associations, Inns of Court, legal education, clinics, or public education initiatives? Many lawyers do not exclusively practice law, and are also involved with advancing their profession and serving the community. This may be as a leader in the bar association, an adjunct professor at a law school, or as a pro bono attorney offering no cost services to legal aid programs. Being actively involved in public service, and in their own professional development as well as that of others, may indicate that a lawyer is well-regarded and respected in their profession and the community.
  • Would another lawyer use them? There may be few higher recommendations for a lawyer than when a fellow attorney says they would hire them for their own case. When you are looking for a lawyer, if possible, ask other lawyers for their opinions about them.
  • Is the attorney published? Lawyers who participated in law review as law students are often excellent at important skills such as legal research and writing. Additionally, practicing attorneys are sometimes published in bar association publications or online, especially if they have unique expertise. You may be able to find articles written by the lawyer you are considering at the library or through a search engine.
  • Has the attorney earned awards, honors, or recognition? Every firm website should include biographical information for each of their lawyers, including their admissions, education, awards, and any relevant achievements or recognitions. You may also find this type of information on Avvo or LinkedIn.

Step Four: Visit the Firm’s Website

Law firm websites are marketing tools, and any lawyer who is invested in generating new business should have a strong, regularly updated website with plenty of useful information. At a minimum, they should provide clear information about practice areas and individual attorneys and staff. They may also have testimonials, client reviews, past case results, an information blog, contact page, and even real time assistance if you have an immediate question. Thoroughly explore the website before you schedule a consultation and you may get some of your questions answered, or have new questions come up that would be most appropriately asked in an in-person interview. Going to that meeting prepared will save time and help ensure you get the information you really need and care most about.

  • What type of law does the lawyer practice? Your lawyer should practice in the area of law relevant to your case, because lawyers generally have very different knowledge, experience, and skill sets based on their area of practice. This can even mean that if you need a personal injury lawyer, you don’t hire a general personal injury practitioner, but someone with a practice focused on cases like yours, be it motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, or product defect claims.
  • How does the lawyer choose their cases? Some lawyers will accept any client, as long as the client pays their fees. You do not want this type of lawyer for your case. Instead, look for a lawyer who carefully considers the potential client’s needs and how they align with the service the lawyer can provide. They should also evaluate the merit of the claims. A good lawyer will not accept any case that is frivolous, will be outside of the statute of limitations, or is flawed in ways that cannot be overcome. It is unethical to accept cases with weak claims, and a lawyer should not take such cases just to generate billable hours for themselves.
  • What information does the lawyer provide to their potential clients? Websites are a good place to get a lot of general information, but the attorney should have detailed and specific information available when you have a consultation. This may include details about their billing practices, the laws that will be applicable to your case, expectations for how long a case like yours might take to resolve, and possible next steps. They should be willing to spend time with you to explain their approach to their practice, and how they will handle your specific claims should you choose to move forward with their representation. You should treat each consultation like an interview, and you are the one making the hiring decision. Take a list of questions to your meeting and don’t sign an agreement if they are unable to answer each question to your satisfaction.
  • Does the lawyer offer a free consultation? Many lawyers offer a free or low-cost initial consultation to learn more about your case and determine if they are the best lawyer for you.

Step Five: Make a Decision

It may be necessary to schedule several consultation meetings with different lawyers at different firms. However, after you have completed your initial consultations, review all of the information you have collected about the lawyers and make the decision about who to hire to represent you. It can be helpful during a stressful settlement negotiation or potential lawsuit if you genuinely like the lawyer you hire, but be sure your decision is based on more than just personality. Your lawyer should be a good fit for your case and your needs, so use all of the information you have gathered to make your choice.

While searching for an attorney is a critically important process that deserves sufficient time and your best effort and attention, don’t delay in making a final decision. The sooner you have an advocate on your side, the quicker your claims may be successfully resolved. Furthermore, if you have been injured, recovering your damages can make a huge difference in your life, recovery, and future.

Do You Need an Attorney in North Miami? Call Us

Getting the right lawyer for your case does not have to be an overwhelming experience. There are a lot of resources available to help. If you are in North Miami and have been in an accident and suffered damages because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

The legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, has a record of success, and work hard to meet our client’s expectations and ensure the best possible outcomes for their case. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (833) 552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) or online to schedule a free consultation and learn if we may be able to help you.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1820 NE 163rd St 306
North Miami Beach, FL, 33162
(305) 676-8154

North Miami Beach Personal Injury Lawyer