By: Grace Hancock
Advertisements for attorneys are everywhere, pasted on billboards and bus stops we pass in our cars and playing on our televisions during commercial breaks. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you need to hire a lawyer, the first attorney you’ll likely think of is from one of these highly-advertised big law firms. Just because you see a lawyer’s face everywhere doesn’t mean that they’ll be the right lawyer for you or even that they’ll have the expertise to help you with your specific legal matter and be able to give you adequate legal advice.
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we understand that the law is complicated and that finding an attorney who will treat you as more than a case number is difficult. We want to equip you with information on what to ask yourself when choosing a lawyer who will best represent your legal claim. Here are five important questions to ask yourself when searching for a lawyer.
What kind of lawyer do I need?
There are many types of law, such as real estate, family, or personal injury law. Most lawyers only practice a certain area of the law, meaning that you need to find a lawyer who has the expertise to handle your specific case. For example, our attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys practice personal injury law. Our firm specializes in personal injury claims, such as car accidents, slip and falls, and traumatic brain injuries.
Imagine a situation where you’re a tenant, you’re arguing with your landlord over your lease, and you want the help of an attorney to deal with the situation. In this case, you’d need a real estate lawyer. Because Hancock Injury Attorneys is a personal injury firm, we won’t be able to help you with your claim. That being said, because we are a part of the North Tampa Bar Association, we know qualified lawyers in every practice area of law and may be able to refer you to a trusted real estate lawyer who can handle your claim.
Be cautious of lawyers who claim to be a “jack-of-all-trades.” General practitioner lawyers know a little bit about all areas of the law and will likely use your case as a learning experience. You want a lawyer who knows every rule, statute, and law pertaining to your unique case in and out so that you get the best legal representation possible. For instance, attorney Mike Hancock has been practicing exclusively personal injury law for over 30 years. Mike started his career on the defense side of personal injury law, meaning he has insider knowledge of insurance company tactics that he uses to represent plaintiffs and get his clients what they rightfully deserve.
Does this lawyer have good reviews from real people?
Online reviews can easily be faked. Short reviews with little to no detail and generic language are typically indications that an online review is phony. Law firms usually don’t list the names on their websites of those who’ve submitted reviews to protect their clients’ identities, so whether or not a review has a full name attached to it (i.e. Debbie Gonzalez instead of Debbie G. or D. G.) may not be a good indication of whether or not that company’s reviews are legitimate. For instance, our team at Hancock Injury Attorneys only posts the initials of our clients who submit reviews on our client testimonials and Google reviews page, but if you search our firm on Google and look at our reviews there, you’ll find clients’ full names attached to the majority of the reviews.
Instead of looking for full names, you should look at the language being used in reviews to judge whether or not a lawyer’s reviews are legitimate, like whether or not the reviewer is giving specific details of his or her experience with the lawyer. For example, in a recent Google review of Hancock Injury Attorneys, reviewer and client Jim Mitchell mentions how his case was declined by many other law firms, and how attorney Mike Hancock took on his case with confidence and tenacity.
Has this lawyer been awarded by a peer-reviewed organization?
You may benefit from not only seeing feedback from clients who’ve been represented by a lawyer, but also by seeing feedback about the lawyer from other law professionals. Peer-review ratings provide honest feedback from an attorney’s professional colleagues.
Organizations like Martindale-Hubbell, avvo.com, and Better Business Bureau award law firms accreditation ratings based on reviews of other lawyers, law professionals, and judges. Attorney Mike Hancock for example has an “AV-preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the organization’s highest peer-rating standard, and was named as a 2021 Best Lawyer by U.S. News and World Report.
Do they have good communication skills?
Are you playing phone tag with this lawyer? Is it difficult to get in contact with them? Pursuing a legal claim can be a lengthy process; you want a lawyer who is easily accessible and who puts their clients first. Remember, your lawyer works for you. If a lawyer doesn’t make time for you as their client, then it is best that you go look for another lawyer.
Do I get along with this lawyer?
Pursuing a legal claim with the help of an attorney may be a long process where you’ll often have to meet with them in person and share personal details about your life. If you can tell that you don’t like a lawyer after your initial consultation with them; you should consider taking your legal claim to another law firm. How good a lawyer may be at their job doesn’t matter if you don’t feel comfortable around them.
If you believe you have a personal injury case…
Don’t let your rights slip away. The law sets time limits in which you can pursue a claim for your injuries, and once that time passes, your right to recover compensation for your injuries will be lost. If you’ve suffered injuries, through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to recover money from the person or company that caused your injuries.
Our team at Hancock Injury Attorneys can help not only estimate the costs of your particular injury, but we can also make sure you are adequately compensated for your lost wages, pain and suffering, and future losses related to the accident. Contact our attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys or call us at (813) 915-1110 for a free case consultation today.