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How to Find an Accident Lawyer in the Katy, TX Area
When you or a loved one suffered life-changing injuries in a car accident or after being mauled by a vicious dog, the idea of hiring a lawyer can feel daunting. How do you begin to choose someone to represent your best interests that you've never met? Will they truly understand the level of devastation you and your family have experienced?
It's true that selecting the right accident lawyer in Katy, TX, isn't a simple task, but it's necessary. Insurers will have a team of lawyers to fight your claim, and so why don't you have legal representation looking out for your own well-being? This is the primary purpose of a skilled personal injury attorney. They will not only guide you through the claim process but also ensure that the at-fault parties compensate you for the harm caused by their negligence.
If you or a loved one have been injured in Katy, TC, you can fill out our brief case evaluation form to find out more about your options.
Read on to learn how to find an accident lawyer in Katy and what qualities make a law practice qualified to represent your injury claim.
The First Steps You Should Take When Finding an Accident Lawyer in Katy, TX
If you've never had to hire a lawyer before, knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. Especially when you're injured and trying to prioritize your healing, juggle mounting expenses, and deal with the emotional trauma of your experience. So before you pick up the phone and start calling the first listing you see, make a list of prospects by getting advice and recommendations from the following sources:
Friends and Family Might Know Best
Creating a list of prospective lawyers can be simplified with a simple phone call to your relatives or friends who have had their own personal injury experience. It's undeniable that firsthand information is often some of the most reliable you can find.
When calling members of your support system, don't forget to consider some of these individuals below, as well:
- Church members
- Hobby friends
- Online social media group members you trust
- Exercise partners from the gym or your morning walking group
- Your primary care doctor
These may seem like surprising suggestions, but your friends and families all personally know at least one person who has had to sue for accident injuries at the end of the day. Another bonus is that you will also get inside information on the pros and cons of hiring a specific lawyer they recommend. This can ensure you find the right level of experience and compatible personality type for your working relationship with an attorney.
Consult Your Professional Connections for Recommendations
Don't forget to speak with professional connections you trust when searching for an accident lawyer in Katy, TX. This could be your local accountant or nail tech at the salon you like; these individuals can provide helpful insights into their own experiences searching out legal counsel after being hurt in an accident.
Review Online Recommendation Sites
With phone books becoming a thing of the past and finding addresses and phone numbers through a quick Google search, online law practice review sites have become popular. Not only do these websites offer comprehensive listings of personal injury attorneys in your area, but you can get a wealth of information about these firms, including:
- Date of admission to the Bar
- Jurisdictions they practice
- Areas of law they represent
- Case track record
Numerous companies are offering these virtual databases of information, but below are the most widely used:
- The American Bar Association
- Super Lawyers
- Find Law
- And more!
It's important to remember that online reviews should still never be used in place of consultation and doing your own research. Always take the time to get to know your attorney personally before deciding whether they can take your case or not.
Avoid Firms That Use a Lot of Ads
There are places not to go looking for an accident attorney in Katy, TX: advertisements. From TV to radio jingles and humongous billboards plastered across every major highway, firms that pump a lot of money into advertising lack reputation. But, like those at Morgan & Morgan, reputable attorneys work hard to provide valuable services to their clients so that excessive advertising isn't necessary nor a priority.
Skilled legal professionals know that firsthand referrals are the only way to build a successful firm in their community. Below are other red flags to avoid when searching for an accident attorney in Katy, TX:
- They won't go to trial but would settle for less
- Little to no reviews from clients
- Not well-known in your area
- Fails to create a case strategy
- Gives dollar values on cases and timelines
- States your case can get wrapped up quickly
- Doesn't have fees or expenses in writing
Questions to Ask at Your Initial Consultation
At your first consultation, you must avoid only sitting and listening. Instead, come prepared with questions for your prospective accident lawyer, and don't be afraid to ask for an explanation of things you don't understand. This decision is crucial to your case and to be sure you hire the right legal talent. It would be best if you were vocal about any concerns or questions you have about your case.
While experience is a significant quality to ask about when interviewing an attorney, you should also ask about the successes they've had during their years of practice. For example, at Morgan and Morgan, we have over 30 years of experience and have won or settled for over $9 billion. Other factors you should discuss during your first meeting include:
Costs of Service
When you ask about legal fees, your accident lawyer should be able to provide you with a written copy of their fee schedule. But, again, transparency in your relationship is crucial, including honesty about any charges and payment terms they expect you to honor.
While many personal injury firms won't expect any payment until they win (contingency fee system), make sure you have a clear understanding of how they will get paid. A percentage of a settlement or verdict award will go to them, but make sure this covers all their costs, including filing fees and postage. Some firms charge for that on top of the contingency fee they receive.
Ask About Their Training
Another prominent topic is their education. Your attorney may have a law degree, but did they receive any additional training for representing car accident cases or dog bite suits? There are many educational opportunities for accident lawyers in Katy, TX, to obtain additional schooling for these cases. Find out if the legal professional you're considering has completed any other courses.
Other questions you should ask regarding their training include:
- How many years have they practiced personal injury law related to your circumstances? (dog bite, slip-and-fall, car accident, etc.)
- How often do they represent your type of case?
- What is their success rate?
- Do they have any published books or journals regarding this area of law?
Will Your Attorney Personally Represent Your Case?
Surprisingly, the attorney you spoke to on the phone may not be the person assigned to your case! Therefore, it's essential to determine who is actually representing you and arrange a consultation with that individual. Some larger practices will have a single accident lawyer represent the entire firm and then delegate your case to an available associate.
If you find yourself in this situation and can't get a face-to-face meeting with the attorney, it may be time to go elsewhere. You are establishing a working relationship with someone tasked with looking out for your best interests and pursuing compensation on your behalf. If they don't have time to meet you, imagine how poorly they will represent you!
Trust Your Instincts
One of the hardest things you might have to do is ask difficult questions during your first consultation. You need to do it, though, and most attorneys prefer you do so. At Morgan & Morgan, we are eager to explain the personal injury process in terms you can understand. We want you to be fully informed about your case, the risks, the challenges, and the outlook for your claim.
If you are interviewing a prospective accident lawyer in Katy, TX, and they are trying to push you to sign a fee agreement or won't answer questions in a way you understand, go elsewhere. You deserve legal representation that cares about your case as much as you do. If their only concern is how much they can settle for, they probably won't keep you up-to-date on case happenings and possibly negotiate for less.
While verdicts and settlement numbers are important, they don't reflect the type of care or outcome you will receive. This is why you should always choose representation that makes you feel cared about and a priority.