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How to Choose a Portland Auto Accident Attorney
The aftermath of a car crash can be almost as unpleasant as the accident itself—dealing with injuries, repairing your car, finding a good Portland auto accident attorney. But when you’ve been injured in an Oregon accident that wasn’t your fault, these are all important steps to take.
When you’re searching for Portland auto accident attorneys, you're actually looking for personal injury lawyers. They’re the ones who handle cases of a Portland car crash involving injuries. If you need help figuring out how to find such a lawyer, this article will take you through the process step by step.
What Do You Want in a Portland Auto Accident Attorney?
When it comes to big or important purchases, you wouldn’t head to the store without first doing research or knowing exactly what you want to buy. The same applies to your search for a Portland auto accident attorney. You need to understand what you’re looking for so that you’ll know when you’ve found it.
One important consideration is location. If you live in Alameda, for instance, you probably won’t want to hire an attorney in the Tigard area. While you won’t have to meet in person to handle all of your communications, finding someone whose office is close to your home is always a plus.
Experience is another important factor. It won’t matter to you how long someone has been practicing law if he has no experience with Portland car crash cases. You want someone who can explore the details of your case and then know exactly how to proceed.
Finally, you want a lawyer who seems trustworthy to you, and that includes charging reasonable fees.
Add to this short list any criteria of your own. Every case is different, and that means your particular situation may have special requirements. The right Portland auto accident attorney for you is someone who meets every, or almost every, point on your wish list.
Finding the Right Portland Auto Accident Attorney
To begin your search for qualified Portland auto accident attorneys, start with those around you. Ask friends, family members, co-workers or anyone else whose opinion you value if they have firsthand experience with a personal injury attorney. Note, though, that every case is different; just because someone gives you a good report about a lawyer, that doesn’t mean he’s automatically the best lawyer for you. Ask your source specific questions about the lawyer’s fees, personality and general performance as background information, but know that you’ll have to ask additional questions of the lawyer yourself before you decide to hire him.
Attorneys.com is another excellent source for attorneys in your area. To take advantage of this service, fill out the form on this site or call 1-877-913-7222. After you answer a few questions, Attorneys.com will connect you with at least one personal injury lawyer in the Portland area. You can call the lawyer or lawyers at your convenience, or they will contact you within two business days.
Narrowing Your List
After you’ve successfully gathered at least a few names of attorneys, you can begin narrowing your choices. You’ll do this through meetings called initial consultations. These are basically two-way interviews, designed to help you learn important details about the attorneys and give them an understanding of your case. Lawyers typically do not charge for initial consultations, but be sure to ask about a fee when you make your appointments.
Before your initial consultations, you’ll want to gather any documents that are important to your case. These include the accident report, witness statements, doctors' reports and related medical bills. You’ll also want to write down a list of questions to ask the attorney. Doing this before the meeting ensures you won’t forget anything important. The questions should cover topics such as education, experience, proposed strategy for your case and the potential outcomes you should be prepared for. Take notes on the answers so you can refer to them after the meetings.
It’s Time to Make a Decision
When all of your questions have been answered, you’re ready to choose one Portland auto accident attorney to represent you. Your notes will come in handy as you try to remember which lawyer said what about each topic you covered. In addition to their answers, consider how you felt about each attorney you interviewed. Your comfort with the lawyer as a person is as important as your confidence in his skills and experience.
One final piece of input you may find valuable is references. Feel free to ask the lawyers to provide them if you think they’ll help you make your decision.
Once you’re able to make a confident choice, you’ll be ready to move ahead with your Portland car crash lawsuit.