There are lots of very fine attorneys in the state of West Virginia – very caring attorneys. You should hire an attorney the same way you would hire a doctor or dentist or someone who’s going to do any important job for you.
First, you should research them on the internet. Look up their webpage. Google them. See what kind of cases they have handled, what awards, if any, they’ve been given and then Google and research that.
One of the things I’m very careful about is that I don’t boast about or advertise awards that attorneys can buy. It’s a very dangerous procedure and misleading to people. It’s important when you walk in to a lawyers’ office and you see things on the wall, ask the lawyer. “Did you win that or did you pay for that?”
If someone sees something in my office and it catches their eye, they should know that I won or earned the distinction. My certificate to the Inner Circle of Advocates is a good example. They should be perfectly comfortable saying, “Hey, did you pay to get in that organization?” And “what is their criteria? Because I’d like to know that.” And that’s an absolutely legitimate question to ask and should be asked of any attorney.
You have to ask questions about a lawyer’s experience in the community as well as the courtroom. In my office, you’re going to see recognition for charitable work for helping our police dogs, children – all kinds of things that I’ve been given an award for.
When I give money, it is for a good cause like saving a police dog who had cancer or helping a child get through school and not to get a piece of paper to hang on the wall. You should feel free to ask about that and get to the bottom of who is your lawyer as a person and as a professional before you make the step of saying you are the guy or gal I want to handle my lawsuit.
I think it’s also important that you talk to friends who have used a lawyer before in a case like yours. Even if you have to call around a little. A lot of the union safety people, safety stewards, business managers have experience with personal injury lawyers who have 30 years of experience like me and who have worked on industrial and mining injury cases.
If your case has to go to trial, you want to be sure the lawyer you are hiring is an experienced lawyer. And I think all of those steps will help you become comfortable that you are hiring a reputable, hard working, dedicated, lone ranger, a knight in shining armor, because that’s what your lawyer should be.
Some research now will save a lot of headaches down the line. If you have any questions, you can ask at the Segal Law Firm at (855) 344-9100.