How to Choose a Houston Brain Injury Attorney
Brain injuries can range from mild to permanently life-altering. Unfortunately, severe brain injuries are all too common, with an average of 425,000 people sustaining traumatic brain injuries each year.
A severe brain injury can impact everything from day-to-day experiences to financial stability. Many brain injury victims face medical debt, a reduced capacity to work, and more.
If you believe that your brain injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, it may be in your best interest to file a personal injury claim.
Experience With Brain Injury Claims
Personal injury law is more of an umbrella term than a niche. You might find many personal injury attorneys in Houston, but only a few have the right experience for your claim. Let’s examine how to narrow down your options based on experience.
First and foremost, you want to work with an attorney who has previously represented brain injury victims. This will ensure they know the evidence and testimony needed to form a solid case. They can also advise you on how to conduct your day-to-day (i.e., returning to work or not) to avoid jeopardizing your claim.
Experience With Insurance Companies
A brain injury attorney will also bring experience with insurance companies to the table, which is crucial moving forward. This experience will protect you from any tactics insurance companies’ lawyers may try to use to lower your settlement. A lawyer with experience in an insurance company will also know how to set reasonable demands and when to accept the offer.
Experience With the Local Court System
Personal injury law is shaped by federal, state, and local laws. By hiring someone who works in Houston, you can rest assured that they are familiar with all three, including your local court system. While most personal injury claims are settled outside of court, working with a lawyer familiar with local judges and how they tend to respond to cases like yours is beneficial.
A Strong Reputation
Once you’ve narrowed your options based on attorney experience, it’s time to assess each attorney’s reputation. While no attorney can (or should) make guarantees, a strong reputation indicates trustworthiness, dedication, and an impressive track record. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can assess a brain injury attorney’s reputation.
Online reviews are a great place to start. You can often find online reviews on the attorney’s website, third-party review sites, and social media. Yelp and Google Reviews are two places where clients tend to leave reviews of their experience with an attorney.
Keep in mind two things: first, you’re looking to get an overall impression of an attorney, not just their success rate. Consider how previous clients describe their attorney’s work ethic, commitment, communication style, and more. The second is that the occasional one-star review may come from an opponent and that you don’t have anything to worry about if the five-star reviews strongly outweigh the one-star reviews.
If you’d like more feedback before making a choice, ask the attorney if they’re willing to offer any referrals. Many personal injury attorneys are willing to put you in touch with previous clients.
You can often find out everything you need to know from online reviews. If there are few reviews to be found or you are left with unanswered questions after reading reviews, ask for additional referrals.
A Clean Record
Few things matter more when picking an attorney than that attorney’s ethics. A lawyer should never make promises or guarantees because it isn’t ethical, given that they can’t guarantee a large settlement. More serious ethical breaches include lying or falsifying documents to strengthen your case.
One way to protect yourself from hiring an unethical attorney is by searching for disciplinary history through the Texas State Bar. Many attorneys have clean records, and you should never feel like you have no choice but to hire someone who doesn’t.
Additional Qualities to Consider
Most personal injury attorneys of any background will offer potential clients a free case consultation. This allows the attorney to gather the basic facts of your case to determine whether or not they believe that you have enough evidence to file a claim.
It also allows potential clients to ask questions and get a better sense of what they can expect if they move forward with the legal relationship. Let’s look at some of the different qualities and things to ask about during your free case consultation.
The Legal Team
If you’ve never hired a lawyer before, you may not realize that it isn’t a lawyer, alone, that takes on a case. Many lawyers work with legal teams that may consist of other lawyers, paralegals, and more. Don’t hesitate to ask an attorney about their legal team, how large it is, and how dynamic the team is in each case.
Why does the legal team matter? A lawyer with an experienced and dedicated legal team is better equipped to handle your case. There is much information and evidence to sift through in a brain injury claim, and the more hands on deck, the better.
Brain injury claims are tricky because the defendant can range from a medical professional to a property owner. Almost all defendants will have insurance company lawyers to back them up. A great brain injury attorney is often in high demand because navigating a brain injury claim requires great skill. Knowing how big of a caseload an attorney is working with is useful when making your decision is useful.
A large caseload could mean the attorney won’t have the time or energy needed for your case. However, a large caseload isn’t a hindrance if an attorney works with a great legal team. Ask about an attorney’s caseload and how they manage to balance all of their clients and ensure that each of them is getting the attention they deserve.
How you relate to your attorney isn’t the most important thing, but it does matter. Please pay attention to how an attorney speaks to you and how confident you feel about their communication style. You can also ask about preferred methods of communication and whether or not this is flexible.
For example, you may prefer to communicate with your lawyer via email to maintain a written record of all conversations. Alternatively, you may have important conversations over the phone or in person, where you can ask questions quickly and easily. A good lawyer will provide multiple options to serve your case and comfort best.
As we mentioned earlier, suffering from a brain injury can lead to serious financial issues. The last thing you need is a lawyer who will contribute to your economic issues rather than try to alleviate them.
If possible, look for an attorney that charges contingency fees. Contingency fees are a percentage of your settlement rather than a lump sum charged upfront or in installments. Ensure you verify that there are no additional fees or payments your attorney will expect before you receive a settlement.
How Long Do You Have to Choose a Brain Injury Attorney?
We always recommend hiring a brain injury attorney before you file your claim. That way, you can ensure a few things:
- that you have a solid case worth pursuing,
- that you include all relevant information in the lawsuit,
- and that you have legal representation when the defendant’s insurance company starts reaching out to you.
In the state of Texas, you have two years from the moment the injury-inducing accident occurs to file your claim. As soon as you recognize that your brain injury is severe and impacting your financial stability, start looking for a Houston brain injury attorney.
Know How to Choose a Houston Brain Injury Attorney for Best Results
Many victims of brain injuries don’t know how to choose a Houston brain injury attorney, much less how to pursue a brain injury claim alone. Use this guide to find the best attorney for your case. You deserve to work with the best.
Morgan Legal Group is proud to fight for brain injury victims in Houston, TX. Our legal team has decades of combined experience, and without a settlement, you won’t owe us a dime. Schedule your free case consultation today to get started with us.