When seeking an attorney to handle your personal injury or wrongful death case you want to be aware of a few key factors that separate the experience levels and reputation of attorneys. The first and in my opinion the most important thing to look for is an attorney that is board certified in personal injury law. It may also be helpful that the attorney you choose has adequate trial experience in personal injury or wrongful death.

Most of this information can be found either on the individual website of the attorney or by visiting the state bar website in your jurisdiction.

The second way that an attorney can distinguish themselves from other attorneys is to obtain an AV rating. An AV rating is a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. In order to obtain an AV rating an attorney must be a member of the bar for at least 10 years. Having an attorney with an AV rating can be helpful in placing the opposing side on notice that they are dealing with an attorney that is highly skilled and will take the case to trial if necessary. Sometimes this fact alone will result in an insurance company offering more money to avoid the expenses associated with litigation.

The last important thing is that you find an attorney that you feel comfortable with. It is a common misconception that an attorney must be rude and crude to do his or her job good. From my experience if over 20 years in the legal field you are better off being nice until the opposing side gives you a reason to resort to other tactics. Not only does this outlook tend to result in higher offers from insurance companies, but it also goes a long way with a judge or jury, which in turn results in a better verdict for the client.