If you've been seriously injured in an accident, or if the other side is being contentious right out of the gate, you'll probably want to put your personal injury case in the hands of an experienced attorney. You shouldn't turn to just any lawyer for help; look for someone who has experience handling your type of personal injury claim -- and whom you feel that you can trust. (On the other side of the coin, for the basics on representing yourself, see Nolo's article Personal Injury Claims: When You Can Handle Your Own.)
Finding Experienced Lawyers
There are several ways to get referrals to experienced plaintiffs' personal injury lawyers. Once you get referrals, be sure to comparison-shop. Get the names of several lawyers and meet with each of them to discuss your claim before you decide to hire someone. And be prepared for rejection. Many lawyers do not take cases if they fall below a certain potential recovery amount, or if the claim is not crystal clear.
Here's where to look for referrals:
Friends and Acquaintances
Talk with friends or coworkers who have been represented by a lawyer in their own personal injury claims. If the friend or coworker says good things to you about a lawyer, put the lawyer on your list of people to consult. But do not make a decision about a lawyer solely on the basis of someone else's recommendation. Different people will have different responses to a lawyer's style and personality; don't make up your mind about hiring a lawyer until you've met the lawyer, discussed your case, and decided that you feel comfortable working with him or her.
Nolo's Lawyer Directory
Nolo offers two ways to find an attorney. You can use the "Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer" tool at the bottom of this article to quickly enter in the details of your case and have local personal injury lawyers contact you.