What does this award mean? Not much. I’m going to get a plaque to put on the wall. I have to pay for it. We don’t know how this organization vets lawyers, if at all. In fact, this award is bogus. It’s a scam. But it brings me to an important point: how do you choose the best personal injury lawyer for you?
The trick for choosing the best personal injury lawyer for you.
There’s a funny thing about picking a lawyer. It’s really very hard to know who is a good lawyer, and even then, what lawyer is best for your particular situation and personality? At the end of this blog post, I’m going to tell you a magic trick to find the right injury lawyer for you. And it won’t cost you a cent.
Once I had a roofer come to put a new roof on my house. I don’t know anything about roofing or roof installation companies, but I looked at websites to see who seemed professional, and then I talked to a couple of people who answered the phones at roofing companies. I wrote off any that didn’t call me back. I chose one, and I was glad that the truck had the name of the roofing company on it – that seemed professional. While the workers were on the roof for about a week, I’d look up at the new shingles when I got home from work in the evening and wonder if they were doing a good job. Here’s the thing: I have no idea if they did a good job or not. The roof is supposed to last for 25 years. It’s been 5. The roof is still good, as far as I can tell.
Choosing a lawyer is a little like that. It’s a big decision, and a lot is riding on it. When you choose a personal injury lawyer, you want someone who knows what they are doing, and who returns your phone calls. You want someone who is personable and relatable and pleasant to work with, but who can be tenacious and go to war for you if you need to. And when you first sign a retainer agreement with the law firm, how are you going to know these things?
The best way to know if you’re getting a good personal injury lawyer is to get a recommendation from another personal injury lawyer. But this is a hard thing to get because any personal injury lawyer you call wants your business, and will recommend themselves. I’ll tell you the trick for getting that recommendation at the end of this article.
Bad Reasons to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer
Here are some terrible reasons to choose a lawyer:
The lawyer has a “Best of the Best Personal Injury Lawyer” award.
That’s right. That “award” I told you about at the beginning of this article is a bust. Now, some awards are more prestigious than other awards. But lawyers can still buy the award (yes, that’s true) or nominate each other for the award. Nobody who’s giving out an award for “best lawyer” that I know of is actually checking to see if the lawyer getting the award knows anything at all about personal injury law. That’s right, it doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s an ego-boost for lawyers and doesn’t mean a thing to customers and clients.
The law school the lawyer went to.
This is a hard one for me to tell you because I’m really proud that I went to Harvard Law School. But do you know that law school doesn’t teach you how to be a lawyer? Especially how to be a personal injury lawyer. There is NO CLASS at Harvard about how to be a plaintiff’s lawyer in the personal injury field. Maybe there are classes like that at other law schools, but as far as I know, all law schools teach you how to represent the corporation, the government, and the insurance company. None of it is about representing injured people. So at the end of the day, my diploma on the wall from Harvard means something to me – but it shouldn’t mean anything at all to you.
The car the lawyer drives
Yeah, it doesn’t matter if your lawyer drives a fancy sports car or a beat-up old Prius. You know people who drive expensive cars they can’t afford, don’t you? Lawyers do that too. Other lawyers are too busy lawyering to care what they drive. In fact, there’s a famous judge in Vermont who commuted to New York City for years in a rusty old pickup truck with no heat and marginal brakes. You’d think he was broke and out of a job, and he was – and is – one of the most powerful legal minds and successful lawyers in the state of Vermont.
The lawyer’s website
Yeah, great lawyers have crappy websites and bad lawyers have expensive websites all the time. The same with billboards and television ads and all the rest – the amount a lawyer spends on advertising tells you nothing at all about whether that lawyer is any good at personal injury law.
Recommendations from friends and family
So, recommendations are a better way of choosing a lawyer than any other way we’ve discussed so far. If someone you know had a good experience with a personal injury lawyer, great! Or if you know a lawyer who doesn’t do personal injury law, that lawyer’s recommendation is really helpful. It’s like asking a plumber for a recommendation about who to fix the roof. The plumber is around job sites where the roof was put on well, and probably knows who can do it.
A referral from a personal injury lawyer
This is the gold standard for finding the best personal injury lawyer, period. If you talk to a lawyer who would like to have your business and ask for a recommendation for someone else, that’s the best recommendation you could get. Speaking of which, check out our recommendations on justia.com [link: https://lawyers.justia.com/lawyer/christopher-larson-1013451/lawyer-reviews] – Tristan has more recommendations from other lawyers in Vermont than any other lawyer I’m aware of.
The Trick for Finding the Best Personal Injury Lawyer – and an offer from me
I’m really proud of the work we do at Larson & Gallivan Law for personal injury cases, and chances are I’d like to have your business and represent you in your case. But call me and tell me you read this article and want me to recommend someone else to do exactly the work I’d like to be doing for you, and I will. I’m serious – I won’t try to convince you to hire me at all. I’ll listen to your story and recommend one of the lawyers I know – and there are only four or five of them – who you should hire. No questions asked. Even if you have a million-dollar case. Armed with that knowledge, you can be totally confident in your choice.
Contact a Rutland Vermont Personal Injury today!