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How to Find a Personal Injury Attorney in Texas

May 12, 2021 Catastrophic Personal Injury
  1. 1. Hint: Rely on Research, Not Flashy Billboards and Ads
  2. 2. It Pays to Be a Smart Legal Consumer
  3. 3. 1. Look for a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer
  4. 4. 2. Don’t Settle for a High-Volume Practice. Get the Attention You Deserve
  5. 5. 3. Not All “Awards” Are Created Equally
  6. 6. 4. Check Out a Law Firm’s Track Record
  7. 7. Crosley Law: Fighting for Injured People in San Antonio and Throughout Texas

Hint: Rely on Research, Not Flashy Billboards and Ads

You have a lot to deal with after a car accident or another catastrophic event. You’re trying to balance doctor’s appointments, manage your growing pile of bills, and dealing with your family’s pain, fear, and loss. It’s no surprise that most people don’t want to handle their own insurance claims and lawsuits, turning to a personal injury lawyer instead.

However, how do you find the right accident attorney—especially in a city like San Antonio where there seem to be so many vying for your attention?

Although many people have never met a lawyer in person, it can sometimes feel like lawyers are everywhere in San Antonio and Texas. They’re on TV, in the news, on billboards, and even on the side of city busses. But how much can you really learn about an attorney from an advertisement?

Not much.

Thanks to the internet, you can access a lot of information about Texas lawyers with the click of a button. You can see their clients’ reviews, watch testimonial videos, read their blogs, and check out their credentials and results.

Today, with just a little effort, you can find the personal injury lawyer that is right for you. However, it still can be hard to cut through all the noise. If you need a little guidance, here’s where to start.

RELATED: Have a Bad Feeling About a Lawyer? Here’s Some Important Advice

1. Look for a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer

Board certification isn’t required to practice law. Rather, it’s an optional certification that indicates an attorney’s commitment to excellence.

As the Texas Board of Legal Specialization explains, board certification is “a mark of excellence and distinguishing accomplishment” that shows a lawyer has “substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence.” To earn a board certification, a lawyer must:

  • Have practiced law for at least five years
  • Complete at least 60 hours of continuing legal education
  • Demonstrate their expertise by passing a difficult exam
  • Maintain their expertise their expertise through continued training and education
  • Reapply for their board certification every five years.

Only a select few lawyers are willing to invest in themselves and their practice to this degree.

In Texas, there are roughly 110,000 attorneys who are licensed to practice law. Right now, only 7,200 are board certified. In San Antonio, there are a mere 120 lawyers who are board certified in personal injury trial law. Tom Crosley has been board certified in personal injury trial law since 1999.

2. Don’t Settle for a High-Volume Practice. Get the Attention You Deserve

Preparing an injury victim’s case for trial may take 200 hours of attorney and paralegal time. Our personal injury firm has even had some cases take thousands of hours, especially if we need to go to trial. Taking a case to trial doesn’t just involve more time— it involves more risk as well. If a lawyer doesn’t put in the time, work, and research, they will be unprepared for trial and lose cases, resulting in even lower settlements for clients.

This might seem like an oversight, but the truth is that settling early is an intentional strategy. The easiest way to make the most money per hour as an injury lawyer is to get a lot of cases and settle all of them without going to trial—even if it means agreeing to amounts that are less than what clients deserve. It takes far less time and effort to reach a quick, small settlement than it does to maximize the case value through hard work and preparation.

We have had many clients who hired (and fired) lawyers they saw advertised on a billboard. In one recent case, our client’s original lawyer wanted to settle her freeway accident case for $15,000. Our client was not satisfied because almost all of her contact with the law firm was with a non-lawyer “case manager” who pressured her to accept the insurance company’s low dollar settlement offer.

Crosley Law had represented one of her friends, so she called us for a second opinion. After we took over the case, we put in the hard work necessary to prove the case and ended up negotiating a $400,000 settlement. That’s more than 26 times what the high-volume practice told her to settle for.

The simple truth is that the lawyers who get the best results are the ones who have a proven track record and actually take cases to trial. Those lawyers are the ones who are ready, willing, and able to put in the work, invest their time, and go to bat for their clients. Many attorneys, especially those who rely on a high volume of cases for their revenue, simply aren’t willing to do that.

The simple truth is that the lawyers who get the best results are the ones who have a proven track record and actually take cases to trial. Those lawyers are the ones who are ready, willing, and able to put in the work, invest their time, and go to bat for their clients. Many attorneys, especially those who rely on a high volume of cases for their revenue, simply aren’t willing to do that.

At Crosley Law, you will meet a lawyer and have a face-to-face conversation during your free consultation. Our talented paralegals, who have years of experience in personal injury law, will follow up with you and be an important point of contact for your case. However, you can always speak to your lawyer if you have questions, need advice, or just want to touch base.

We treat every client like their case is important—because it is.

RELATED: Andrew’s Story: Crosley Law More Than Quadruples a Settlement Offer

3. Not All “Awards” Are Created Equally

If you’ve been researching attorneys online, you may have noticed the collection of badges and awards adorning their sites. While some law firm awards carry a lot of weight, others are essentially paid vanity pieces.

For example, a couple of years ago billboards popped up proclaiming that Thomas J. Henry was named “One of the Top 10 Injury Attorneys in the Nation” by Newsweek. A San Antonio Express-News journalist, Brian Chasnoff, did a little digging and discovered that Newsweek’s “10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys of 2014” list was a sponsored “Legal Insight,” which Chasnoff explained as “a glorified ad paid for by glorified attorneys, most of whom wrote their own profiles.” Newsweek confirmed that the honor was really an “advertorial” or paid piece.

Notably, Mr. Henry’s website boasts that Newsweek Legal Insight called him a “legal superstar” in 2015. In 2016, the title changed to “premier law firm.” If you look carefully at the “articles” that dole out these compliments, they’re marked as “sponsor insight,” meaning that they were paid for.

Thomas J. Henry isn’t the only one paying for praise. Herrman & Herrman also has sponsored content on Newsweek’s website.

To avoid falling for ads disguised as awards, keep an eye out for these real honors and awards:

  • Martindale’s AV Preeminent rating: This honor is based on a peer review system. In interviews and surveys, other lawyers have reported an AV Preeminent lawyer has the highest degree of legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards. Tom Crosley has been an AV Preeminent attorney since 2012.
  • SuperLawyers: Combining peer reviews and independent research, SuperLawyers considers 12 qualifying criteria when considering a lawyer’s skill. This award is given to the top 5% of a state’s lawyers. Tom Crosley has been a Texas SuperLawyer since 2006.
  • Google and Avvo reviews: While not as formal as Martindale or SuperLawyers’ ranking system, peer and client reviews on Avvo and Google can help you assess their reputation. Crosley Law has a five-star rating on Google, and Tom Crosley has earned a 10 out of 10 rating on Avvo.

You can also check a lawyer’s public disciplinary record by searching the Texas State Bar’s database.

RELATED: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Injury Lawyer

4. Check Out a Law Firm’s Track Record

A single settlement or jury award won’t tell you much about a personal injury lawyer’s skill. However, their overall track record can give you a lot of insight. When you’re looking at a lawyer’s results or client stories pages, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have they successfully litigated cases like yours?
  • Are they willing to take cases to trial when the insurance companies are being unreasonable?
  • Do they go the extra mile to prepare their clients’ cases for trial?
  • Do their clients’ testimonials and stories reflect the kind of experience you want?

Another good way to assess a personal injury law firm’s reputation is to look at their lawyer’s credentials. Are they active in their local bar associations? Have they served as leaders in these organization or other groups, like the Texas Trial Lawyers Association or the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association? Do they speak at conferences and other continuing legal education events?

Another good way to assess a personal injury law firm’s reputation is to look at their lawyer’s credentials. Are they active in their local bar associations? Have they served as leaders in these organization or other groups, like the Texas Trial Lawyers Association or the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association? Do they speak at conferences and other continuing legal education events?

A good lawyer is committed to their clients, the legal community, and their craft.

Crosley Law: Fighting for Injured People in San Antonio and Throughout Texas

When you’re struggling after a car crash, truck wreck, or another catastrophic event, you need an injury lawyer who is willing to stand by your side and guide you through your claims. Our team prides itself on our cutting-edge legal strategies, compassionate client experience, and proven track record.

If you’re ready to schedule your free consultation, simply complete our online form or call Crosley Law at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000. Our team will listen to your story, offer practical advice, and give you the time and respect that you deserve.

References:

Chasnoff, B. (2015, January 16). Henry paid for Newsweek ranking. San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved from http://www.expressnews.com/news/news_columnists/brian_chasnoff/article/Henry-paid-for-Newsweek-ranking-6021776.php

Martindale-Hubbell Attorney Peer Ratings and Client Reviews. Martindale. Retrieved from https://www.martindale.com/ratings-and-reviews/

Thompson Reuters. (2015). Selection process. Super Lawyers. Retrieved from http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html

Why Choose a Board-Certified Lawyer. (2021). Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Retrieved from https://www.tbls.org/findlawyer

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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