Having represented those injured or who have lost loved ones for over 33 years, I am often asked: how important is it to hire a local personal injury lawyer?
My experience has shown that it is quite important to choose one who practices locally, and is experienced and well-respected within the local community.
In areas of the law such as tax or intellectual property, the location of one’s attorney is not particularly consequential. These areas of the law are governed by national rules and regulations.
But personal injury and wrongful death cases are different.
It is fair to state that knowledge of the locality brings value to both tangible and intangible aspects of your legal representation. Whether involved in a truck or car collision or injured by a defective product, one should hire a legal advocate for many reasons.
Here are some of the most important reasons to hire a local personal injury lawyer.
- Local resources. An attorney from a national firm won’t know the area, or have investigators who are familiar with the area and local law enforcement agencies.
- Expert witnesses. It can be crucial to find expert witnesses who are familiar with the local roadways, highways and areas.
- Established relationships with the local medical communities, health care providers and medical examiners.
- Court rules. Knowledge of local judges, courtrooms and opposing lawyers, including familiarity with the local civil and court rules, can help keep a case moving.
- Established relationships with claims adjusters and defense attorneys.
- Access to your lawyer. We think you should be able to easily meet with your lawyer or have your lawyer travel to your home or business without much cost or effort.
When you or your family member is involved in a truck or car crash, the focus needs to be on healing or dealing with the loss of a loved one rather than logistics. Insurance companies defending claims have teams of lawyers, adjusters, investigators and experts retained and ready to work on their behalf. An experienced local attorney can help level the playing field.
While online technology has made it easier to find information on attorneys and answers to basic legal questions, the Internet is no substitute for proper vetting. Due diligence is always advised, as are recommendations from trusted contacts and former clients about proven experience and successful results.
For a personal injury or wrongful death case, retaining a lawyer with considerable local knowledge, connections and resources will translate into good representation.