Trying to select the right Fort Smith, Ark., attorney to handle your personal injury claim can be a daunting task. Lawyers in the state of Arkansas keep growing. In 2021 there were more than 6,800 attorneys licensed in the state, a jump from around 6,300 the year before.
These attorneys focus on a lot of different aspects, like corporate law, tax law, real estate law, contracts, estates, criminal defense, prosecution, and so much more. How do you find the right one?
Identify Your Legal Issue
It is critical you understand what your legal needs are in order to find an attorney in the Fort Smith area who will be able to successfully represent you. If you are facing a personal injury complaint because someone wrecked their vehicle into yours, the best corporate attorney in the state will not be a good fit for your particular case. You can talk to all the “super lawyers” you want, but what good is it if they don’t handle car wrecks?
Find a Fort Smith, Ark., Attorney Who Has the Experience You Need
Let’s revisit our example of getting injured in a car wreck. You need an experienced attorney who has handled these kinds of cases. So, you definitely want a personal injury attorney. It can also help if the lawyer is local and understands how the prosecutors and judges operate.
You Want an Attorney Who is Professional and Ethical
If you are dealing with the wrongful death of a loved one, you definitely want a professional attorney. But, professional doesn’t mean timid. The attorney needs to be a pro, but also be aggressive in order to protect you and your loved ones and make sure if you have suffered loss or you are the injured party, that you will be fairly compensated.
Your attorney needs to be professional, show up to meetings on time, return your phone calls, follow up when appropriate, help guide you through the process so you understand if it might be better to reach a settlement or take your case to trial.
No matter what law office you decide to work with, make sure they are ethical people. You want an aggressive advocate fighting for you and not letting anyone step all over you, however, they must maintain a sense of professionalism, dignity, and ethical standards.
At Votaw Law, we like to say, “We are car wreck lawyers, not ambulance chasers.” There’s a difference.
What Do Others Say About Your Attorney?
With services like Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Angi, and others, there is a lot of data out there to help consumers make wise decisions. This is true even when you are looking to hire an attorney in Northwest Arkansas or Eastern Oklahoma.
It’s always humbling when you see a review like this: “Very nice and considerate people work here. They are very sensitive to your needs as a customer and are very understanding.”
Look, we understand law firms cannot please everybody, but you want to pick one with a staff made up of real people who are looking to serve you and not looking to make a buck.
You Want a Lawyer Who is a Good Communicator
When you find yourself having to navigate the legal system through no fault of your own, it is overwhelming and challenging. Most citizens do not find themselves caught up in the court system on a routine basis, so the process and procedures are foreign to them.
You want to hire an attorney who has the legal experience necessary to resolve your case satisfactorily, but you also want this lawyer to be a good communicator who will help you understand where your case stands throughout the process.
Client communication is important to develop a trusting working relationship. You will want to be confident your car accident lawyer is working on behalf of your best interests. Trust us, you will feel much better when your attorney and staff keep you up-to-date on what is happening with your case.
You Need a Clear Understanding of Your Attorney’s Process
Related to good communications is having a clear understanding of what your attorney’s process is for evaluating potential cases.
For example, at Phil Votaw & Associates, we have a very straightforward process:
- Free Consultation:When you call us at (479) 434-6200, we are going to schedule a free consultation with you so we can understand your legal matters. It will cost you no money out-of-pocket to determine if you have a case.
- Evaluation of Your Case:Once we meet at your free, initial consultation, we will go over all aspects of your case so we can evaluate the best way to move forward.
- Negotiations:If we believe you have a case and you need to be compensated for your pain, suffering, and loss, we will discuss whether it is best to pursue a settlement. If so, we will initiate negotiations on your behalf so you are made whole, as best as possible, and receive what is due to you.
- To Sue or Not to Sue:If the other party is not willing to settle, then we need to make a decision about how to proceed. Do we have a strong enough case that will prevail if we go to court and sue? Together, we will reach a decision.
- Litigation and Trial:If we decide to sue, then you will see how aggressive we will be to protect your rights. We are not afraid to go to trial to serve your best interests.
Are You Ready to Hire Phil Votaw & Associates to Represent You?
The sooner you get Phil Votaw & Associates involved, the better off you will be. Our experienced lawyers will fight to get you the maximum compensation, but it will also be fair compensation.
When you are dealing with a traffic crash, a wrongful death, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injury, products liability, property damage, or any other personal injury claim, you better believe the other party will have a team of lawyers, so you want to make sure you have a qualified team of personal injury lawyers fighting for you in Fort Smith, Northwestern Arkansas, and Eastern Oklahoma.