* Not actually the best.**
** No, really. And we can’t even say that we are.
The unthinkable has just happened. You or your loved one has suffered a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, be it from a car accident, medical malpractice, a slip-and-fall, or some other incident. You need a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the traumatic experience and help secure your future.
But how do you go about finding a personal injury lawyer? In our experience, there are three primary ways in which a client may find a personal injury lawyer:
1. Referrals. Some people find their personal injury lawyer through a referral from a friend, family member, colleague, or lawyer.
A referral can be a useful way to find a personal injury lawyer because the client will have an opportunity to ask the referring person about the lawyer and why that lawyer might be a good fit for them. Also, if the client already trusts the person making the referral then they are likely to trust that person’s recommendation. For example, if Kim tells Anu: “You should call X Lawyer. She was excellent when my father got injured and she took really good care of him”, then Anu will already know a little bit about that lawyer based on Kim’s referral. While this does not guarantee that the lawyer will be a good fit for Anu, it will at least give her a starting point. Also, a personal referral based on someone’s actual experience with a lawyer is often far more telling than a “sales pitch” by the lawyer during an initial meeting.
2. Advertisements. Some people find their personal injury lawyer based on TV commercials, bus ads, billboards, and so forth.
Advertisements may or may not be a useful way to find a personal injury lawyer. A commercial or other form of advertisement may give the client insight into the firm and its services. They should, however, be approached with caution. Advertisements may give clients a false impression of the firm, their lawyers, and their degree of competence. For instance, some firms have used paid actors in their commercials, while other firms have featured lawyers in their commercials that do not actively practice law.
3. The Internet. Some people find their personal lawyer through the Internet, such as Google searches.
The Internet is an incredibly useful tool for discovering new information. It is no surprise, then, that many people turn to the Internet in order to find a personal injury lawyer. The challenge with Internet searches is that, unless the person has a specific lawyer or law firm in mind, they may not not know what to look for. For instance, a person who has suffered injuries in a car accident and is looking for a personal injury lawyer might search for the following terms:
- “Best personal injury lawyer in Canada”
- “Best personal injury lawyer in Toronto”
- “Best personal injury law firm”
- “Best car accident lawyer”
- “Top personal injury lawyer”
- “Top personal injury law firm”
- “Top car accident lawyer”
While these search terms may seem sensible on their face, the results will not guarantee that you find the “best lawyer” or the “top lawyer”. They will not even guarantee that you even find a good lawyer. The Law Society of Ontario’s Rules of Professional Conduct specifically prohibits lawyers from marketing themselves as the “best”, “super”, “#1”, and “an expert”, and so forth. So if you ever come across a lawyer’s website which suggests they are the “best”, you should approach the statement with caution and know that they are not even allowed to say it.
At the end of the day, it is not about finding the “best lawyer”. There is no such thing. It is about finding the best lawyer for you.
When choosing a personal injury lawyer you may wish to ask the lawyer following questions so that you may make an informed decision:
- How long have you been practicing in this area of law?
- Have you handled any cases like mine before? If so, how many?
- How many cases do you currently have? Does the number of files necessitate a large team of employees or does the lawyer manage the files personally?
- Will you be responsible for my file? If not, who will be?
- If there will be a large team handling my file, who is on the team?
- Who will handle the day-to-day dealings on my file?
- How do I get in touch if I have questions?
- What is your approach to client service?
- Can I speak with any current or former clients for a reference?
When choosing a personal injury lawyer you may also wish to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this person inspire confidence?
- Is this person someone I can trust to help me over the next several years?
If you do not trust your lawyer, or are not confident in their recommendations or advice, then your relationship is likely to be challenging.
At Beyond Law, our personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling serious cases including car accidents, statutory accident benefits (SABS) claims, medical malpractice, long-term disability claims (LTD claims), and slip-and-fall claims in Toronto and throughout Ontario. If you or a loved one has suffered serious personal injuries please contact us and we would be pleased to assist you. If, after speaking with us, you do not feel we are the best lawyer for you, then we will help you find someone who is.