According to the most recent data, there were over 1.32 million active attorneys in the U.S. in 2022. Of those active lawyers, 19,714 practiced in the State of Louisiana.
Like most other states, many Louisiana attorneys specialize in personal injury law.
Personal injury law, or tort law, protects victims of injury or harm caused by another. These include road crashes, medical malpractice, and defective products, to name some.
So if someone else injures or harms you, it’s your right to seek compensation. However, you should hire a Louisiana attorney specializing in personal injury law. Their knowledge and expertise can be paramount to your case’s success.
But how exactly do you choose a personal injury attorney, though?
We’ll share our top tips and tricks in this guide, so keep reading.
Limit Prospects to Nearby Attorneys
While Louisiana is only about half of Colorado’s size, it still measures 52,378 square miles. Thus, you don’t want to choose an attorney who lives on the other end of where you are in the Pelican State.
Instead, you should hire a personal injury lawyer with an office close to your home or office. Doing so makes meeting with them in person easier, which is vital as they will act on your behalf. You don’t want someone you’ve never met to represent you and fight for your rights, do you?
Also, as a personal injury victim, you likely need to rest and recover for days or weeks. So, hiring a lawyer who’s too far from you can make it more difficult to see them. Traveling too far can also cause your injuries to worsen.
You can locate nearby lawyers by enabling your computer’s or smartphone’s location services. Once you’ve done that, search for “personal injury attorneys near me” online. Your online query should then provide location-specific results.
Confirm They Handle Cases Like Yours
Once you have a list of personal injury lawyers near you, check each of their websites. This should give you an idea of the types of cases they handle.
Don’t skip this step. It can help you learn about an attorney’s experience handling situations like yours. You should also check if this personal injury lawyer has taken similar cases to court.
Just as crucial is to confirm the success rate of each attorney’s court cases. They can boast all they want about how experienced they are in litigation. But if they haven’t won any, they may not be of any real help to you.
Another vital consideration is the side the lawyer has represented. Some attorneys have acted on behalf of plaintiffs (victims) and defendants (perpetrators). Ideally, you should consider hiring a lawyer who has only represented victims.
Verify Their Standing With the Bar
Most U.S. attorneys must be members of their State Bar Associations to practice law. This applies to personal injury lawyers practicing in the Pelican State. The law requires them to be members of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA).
The LSBA regulates its members and penalizes those that deserve disciplining. For instance, it processes and investigates lawyers who received complaints for malpractice. They then reprimand, suspend, or even disbar members they find guilty.
Fortunately, the LSBA also gives credit to lawyers who deserve them. This means you can check if your prospective attorney is in good standing with them. If so, the State Bar Association should tell you they are.
Read Independent Reviews About Them
Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, FindLaw, and Justia are lawyer directories. They’re specifically for attorneys practicing throughout the United States. You can use them to locate personal injury attorneys practicing in Louisiana.
Those websites also act as independent review platforms. They provide previous and existing clients with a way to rate and review their attorneys. They also allow colleague testimonials (or complaints) for the lawyers they work with.
Those sites also let you check lawyers’ and law firms’ disciplinary records. So if you can’t get ahold of the LSBA, you can use these sites as a backup.
Read as many reviews on these sites about your prospective lawyers as possible. They can tell you how responsive and communicative your prospects are. They can also help you gauge each attorney’s value for money and quality of service.
Take Advantage of Free Lawyer Consultations
At this point, you likely have already trimmed your prospect list to 2 or 3 lawyers. The final step you can take to help determine which one to hire is to book a free consultation.
Most Louisiana personal injury attorneys offer free 30- to 45-minute consultations. Lawyers use these initial appointments to:
- Learn all the vital information about the incident
- Allow potential clients to ask them questions
- Review the available evidence
- Verify what medical treatments the clients have undergone
- Ask plaintiffs if they require future medical treatments
- Take note of all damages the plaintiff has already incurred
- Compute potential damages the victims may recover
Using those details, the most reliable Louisiana lawyers can determine your case’s merits. They’ll let you know upfront if it has none. However, they’ll also educate you on other options (e.g., filing an insurance claim).
If your case has merits, experienced attorneys will let you know immediately. They’ll also tell you the potential worth of your case. They’ll then inform you how much they’d charge if you hired them to represent you.
So, use these free consultations to confirm your case’s likelihood of winning. You should also use them to gauge how comfortable you are with each prospect. Then, hire the one who made you feel most comfortable and listened to you attentively.
Hire the Right Louisiana Attorney
Remember: The first step to choosing a Louisiana attorney is to ensure they’re near you. Then, verify they handle cases like yours and are in good standing with the LSBA. You should also check their positive reviews and see how they act in person.
Provided you follow those tips, you’ll likely be able to hire the best lawyer for your case.
If you’re looking for more guides like this, we got you covered. Check out our guide on how to tell if you need to hire a personal injury attorney!