Choosing a personal injury law firm is a critical decision. This article provides our honest advice on the most important things you should know before you hire an Austin personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
Published on June 19, 2017
by The Sutliff & Stout Staff
If you’re looking for a personal injury law firm in Austin to represent your interests after an auto accident or other personal injury, you’ve likely found that there are no shortage of takers.
Austin, like most large cities, is chock-full of accident and injury law firms. Choosing the best firm for your case can be a daunting task.
Below we’ve provided you with our honest advice on what to know, what to consider, and what questions to ask before hiring an injury attorney in Austin. By giving this candid advice, we hope to earn the chance to speak with you and provide a free review of your case.
But even if you decide not to call us, we hope this information will help you make an informed choice and, ultimately, hire an Austin personal injury firm that is reputable and will give your case the attention it deserves.
What to Know About Hiring an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer
Below are 9 critical things that you should know before you hire an Austin personal injury lawyer:
1. Make sure you’re not dealing with a fly-by-night law firm.
Many of the personal injury law firms who advertise in Austin don’t actually have a law office and staff in the city. We call these “fly-by-night” attorneys.
These firms often use manipulative tactics to look like a local law firm, when in reality they do not truly have an office in the area.
Our personal injury law office is in the West Lake Hills neighborhood of Austin, Texas. Our office is staffed with legal professionals who serve the needs of our Austin-based clients. We invite you to take a virtual tour of our Austin office by clicking the image here.
2. Just because they’re on TV, doesn’t mean they’re good lawyers.
Personal injury lawyers are notorious for spending big money on copious amounts of TV, radio, and billboard advertising. While it’s true that not all personal injury firms who advertise on TV are low quality firms, the simple fact that you’ve seen a law firm all over your TV or heard them all over your radio doesn’t mean they are the right choice for your case.
There are several personal injury law firms in Austin who we’re sure you’ve seen on TV or on billboards or heard on the radio. Before hiring one of these firms, ask yourself if the firm is right for you? Did you actually get to speak to a lawyer? Does the firm have good reviews from other clients?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured, we invite you to browse the articles below. These are some of our most popular articles that will help you understand the personal injury process:
Important Personal Injury Information
3. Personality matters. Make sure you like working with the lawyer you hire.
Your relationship with your lawyer is a critical one. If your case involves serious injuries and complex circumstances, you will need to work closely with your lawyers throughout your case in order to secure the best, most fair outcome.
We suggest that you take the time to speak with the lawyer who will be responsible for your case to make sure that you’re comfortable with him or her.
Our attorneys pride themselves on being approachable and straight-forward. While we have a specialized knowledge of the law, we’re normal people, just like you. The client testimonial below attests to what it’s like to work with our attorneys:
I felt like I was talking to old friends…
When I met Hank and Graham of Sutliff & Stout, I felt like I was talking to old friends. We met, discussed my case and they were off and running. After promptly filing a lawsuit on my behalf, they even helped find a good doctor for me. Sutliff & Stout were very interested in getting the justice I deserved. They were also very attentive to any questions or theories I had. – Danny H.
4. Most injury firms give free consultations. Don’t let that alone sway you.
Almost every personal injury lawyer in Austin advertises that they offer free consultations (yours truly included). Don’t let us fool you.
Most Austin personal injury law firms will offer you a free case review, because almost all personal injury law firms work on a contingency basis, which means that they get a percentage of the recovery rather than charging you money up-front.
While you should absolutely take advantage and get a free case review from a qualified injury lawyer, don’t be fooled into thinking that only one law firm will give you this option. Most reputable accident lawyers in Austin will offer you a free consultation.
5. The best personal injury lawyers tend to have great online reviews.
When you’re thinking about where to eat dinner or what movie to see, you probably go online and look at reviews. While the stakes are far greater, when you’re making a decision on what personal injury firm to hire, you should consider the law firm’s online reviews.
Look for a few things:
- Substance of the reviews: Look for reviews that speak to the actual skill of the attorneys at the firm.
- Number of reviews: A firm with just one or two reviews should signal a red flag.
- Recency of reviews: If the firm hasn’t received a new review in the six months to a year, this should be cause for concern.
At Sutliff & Stout, we’re proud to have over 55 Google reviews, all 5-star ratings, between our Houston and Austin offices.
6. The best injury lawyers have experience with a variety case types.
When you’re evaluating personal injury law firms, we suggest that you look for evidence that the firm has experience handling cases like yours. There are a lot of personal injury law firms in Austin that only want to handle the simple, straight-forward car accident cases.
While this type of firm is fine if you have a simple, straight-forward case, such firm is not a good fit if your case is more complex.
At Sutliff & Stout, we have substantial experience handling a variety of injury cases, including serious injury cases (paralysis, lost limbs, etc.) and wrongful death cases.
Below you’ll find links to complete guides on the most common types of personal injury and accident cases that we handle:
Free Personal Injury Guides
7. Lawyers who go above and beyond will come meet with you at the hospital or at home.
The best personal injury lawyers know that it’s a privilege to be entrusted with representing your interests after a serious accident. Great lawyers will go above and beyond to make it as easy as possible for you to secure legal representation.
If you’re injured and recovering in the hospital or at home, the last thing you should have to worry about is getting to a law office in order to speak with your attorneys.
We routinely visit our Austin clients at their homes or in the hospital as they recover. Whether you’re at Seton Medical Center, St. David’s Medical Center, Arise Austin Medical Center, Austin Lakes Hospital, Austin Oaks Hospital, or any other medical facility in or around Austin, we are more than happy to come to you in order to provide a free case review and legal counsel.
8. The best injury lawyers believe in something
When you’re researching Austin injury lawyers we recommend that you check out each firm’s mission statement and community involvement.
At Sutliff & Stout we believe that if you’re going to do personal injury law, and you’re going to do it well, you have to care about the people in the communities that you serve. You have to make it your mission to create safer communities, and you have to support organization’s who do vital work.
We are proud to support the Austin community by offering free, sober rides on all of the major holidays. In fact, over the past two years we have spent thousands of dollars on cab and ride-sharing rides to ensure that people in Austin can get a safe ride home if they’ve been drinking.
We are also proud to support the following Austin non-profits who work to improve the lives of people in our community:
9. Don’t be fooled by “awards”. The best lawyers have a history of great results.
It’s likely that many of the Austin personal injury lawyers you’re considering make a big deal of their awards; things like Super Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates, Avvo Ratings. While we have those awards, we suggest that you dig deeper to understand the true abilities of the lawyers that you’re considering.
Great law firms will have a history of impressive case results. If any of the firms that you’re considering cannot show you examples of their previous case results, you may want to take this as a red flag.
At Sutliff & Stout we are proud of the results that we’ve achieved for our Texas clients over our 10+ years in business. We invite you to browse some of our most impressive case results here.
Our Austin injury attorneys are ready to help you
We hope that you’ve found this information useful. If you’re ready to discuss your case, we’re ready to help. We invite you to contact us via email, text, or phone (512-616-2222) for a free case review.