Whether you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, your car has been damaged (or you’ve sustained injury) as a result of a vehicular collision involving a car, motorcycle, or tractor trailer, you or a family member has suffered due to medical malpractice, or any other personal injury matters, you may find yourself looking to hire a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina.
Trying to decide how to get started on hiring an attorney to represent you in a court of law can be intimidating. We’d like to help make it easier by giving you a few tips on what to do when you’re preparing to meet with a personal injury attorney for the first time.
Research the Attorney — and the Firm They Work For
Whether you prefer to hire a lawyer with their own private practice or you’re looking at a law firm with several attorneys who may be able to represent you in your personal injury case, it’s essential to do your research before you ever make the first phone call or fill out an online contact form. We suggest the following steps:
- Use search terms that are specific for your particular issue. For example: “lawyer columbia sc” is a bit vague, while “personal injury lawyer dog bite columbia sc” will definitely get you more specific examples that will include attorneys who have previously represented clients bitten by dogs.
- Found a lawyer or law firm that looks promising? Look for information, either on their website or elsewhere, on whether or not they’ve been rated by peers or reviewed by previous clients. This helps you get a good idea of what sort of work the lawyer or firm have done in the past and whether other clients or peers have had positive experiences with that lawyer or law firm.
- Always check out the State Bar information for the lawyer or law firm. We can’t emphasize this enough. You want to ensure that the lawyer you choose is in good standing with the South Carolina Bar.
- Don’t accept a recommendation from a friend without doing the work to research the suggested lawyer or law firm yourself. If your friend’s case was very different from yours, you may call only to discover the attorney or attorneys doesn’t practice in the specific area of law you need.
Request a Consultation — And Ask Questions
Once you’ve done your initial research and found the attorney you’re interested in working with, request a consultation either by phone or by filling out the online contact form. If you’re interested in a specific attorney at the firm, be sure to mention this in your initial contact.
Prior to your consultation, sit down for a half-hour to an hour and think of every question related to your potential case that you can imagine. Don’t worry about “stupid questions” — in your initial consultation, there is no such thing. The law around personal injury cases in South Carolina can be complex, and no attorney will expect you to know and ins and outs of your case at your first meeting! Don’t shy away from tough questions, either.
Along with your list of questions to ask, gather together every single piece of documentation you have to support your case. Bringing all the paperwork and information you have (medical bill copies, damage reports in the case of home or vehicle damage, any admission of wrongdoing by the party at fault you may have on hand, etc) will make sure you start off a step ahead.
It’s fair to ask about the attorney’s previous cases in the area of personal injury that you need representation for, but please understand that client confidentiality may mean they can’t share a lot of details with you. They should nonetheless be able to help you out by explaining in general terms how the litigation process will work on claims such as yours. Also give some thought as to what your expectations for resolution of the case and discuss with the attorney.
Searching for a Personal Injury Attorney in SC?
At BNTD Law, we’ve worked with many personal injury clients out of our offices in Columbia, South Carolina. Dog bites, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, and more — our team is happy to help! We’d be happy to sit down with you to discuss your unique situation and help you decide the next step to take. Request your free consultation by phone at (803) 779-7599 or contact us online at any time!