If you perform a simple Google search for personal injury lawyers in Alberta, you’ll find over 20 pages of results! There are several qualified, honest injury lawyers in our area, but others are deliberately misleading and have questionable legal skills, at best. It can be hard to tell who is trustworthy and who is not based on a website alone, though, especially when there are hundreds of them. It’s overwhelming, irritating, and frustrating at a time when all you want is straightforward answers and some honest help.
So, when you’ve been injured, and your family just needs to know where to turn, how do you cut through all the noise and find an Alberta injury lawyer that is going to take good care of you and get the job done right?
You just need to know how to look and what to look for. Here, we’ve outlined simple steps and tips to help you sift through the clutter and find the right Alberta injury lawyer to handle your personal injury case.
Where to Start
Start with your employer. Many employers today offer free or low-cost legal services as part of a benefits package. Often, the program includes simple services like a 30-minute consultation with an attorney to ask questions about a legal matter. That free consultation could help you determine if you have a case worth pursuing and may even include a referral to an attorney who can help long-term. Ask your employer about what they offer.
Family, friends, colleagues, co-workers and social media networks can be a great resource, as well. Personal injuries are not uncommon, so chances are you know someone who has needed to use an attorney’s services before. Ask those closest to you if they can recommend a personal injury attorney.
The Law Society of Alberta offers lawyer referrals and directories on their comprehensive website. You can narrow your search for an attorney using criteria such as legal specialty, location, gender, fee types, and more. You can also use this site to find details about a specific attorney, like reports of unethical behavior.
Google is obviously a useful resource you just need to know how to sort through the results. The top-ranking results are typically ads, which are indicated by a green box that says ‘ad’. Most of those results will be local, well-established firms with paid advertisements that match your search. If you scroll past the ads, you’ll find results with a green check mark next to them. The check mark indicates that Google recognizes that website as an organic match based on your keyword search.
From there, browse a few of the top websites, both paid and organic. Don’t just click on one and be done. Look through the first 3-5 websites on the list.
What to Look For
- Does the site have helpful information and tips? Is there a blog, FAQ section, or resource page that can help answer some of your most general questions or clarify the legal process for you? Beware of overly simple sites that just tell you to ‘call’.
- Is there information about the attorney’s themselves, or just generic information about the firm? Some firms rely on heavy marketing and then refer most of their work out to unknown attorney’s. Look for biographies, awards, news, and PR, etc. so you know it’s an actual firm and not just a referral agency. Find a firm that is open about their team and who their people are.
- Are they local? Look for a local, physical address listed on the site. If there’s not one, the firm might not actually be in Alberta.
Once you’ve identified a few firms, it’s time to schedule consultations. We highly recommend meeting with 2 or 3 personal injury attorneys in the area so you can compare and find the right fit.
Questions to ask:
- Who will I be working with? – Make sure you’re going to be working directly with the attorney you’re meeting with instead of being passed off to someone else after the initial consultation.
- Do you have experience in cases like mine? – You need an attorney who has extensive experience with personal injuries in Alberta. Personal injury law is complex, so you should find a knowledgeable professional who understands your situation and has dealt with cases like yours before.
- What is your fee structure? – Many lawyers are beginning to offer more straightforward fee structures, as opposed to the standard hourly rates and high added fees of the past. You should leave the consultation with a clear understanding of how you’ll be billed and what you’ll be paying. If the fee structure is confusing, it’s not a good sign.
Two Important Tips
Don’t ignore your instincts. You will be working with your personal injury lawyer for months, if not years to come. Make sure you feel respected and comfortable with the attorney and staff. Do not settle for a firm that makes you uneasy, is intimidating, or doesn’t take the time to listen.
Finally, be cautious of any attorney who tries to push you into signing a retainer or paying some initial fee on the spot. A consultation should be about getting to know you and understanding your issues. A good attorney will respect your need to consider all your options before making a decision.
We’ll meet you where you are. We offer initial consultations over the phone, in person, or in the hospital, and we’re always willing to meet outside of normal business hours, including evenings and weekends. If you haven’t yet seen a doctor at the time of your consultation, we’ll help you find one and set up an appointment for you.
We’ll recreate your accident. The moment you decide to work with us, we begin working closely with our accident reconstruction experts to understand your accident, injuries, and circumstances so we can build a solid case.
We’ll cover the costs up front. As a well-established and reputable firm, we have the resources to cover the costs of medical, engineering, and other experts up front. This gives us the edge when dealing with insurance companies because they know we’ve done our homework. We’ll get you the most compensation possible and won’t stop until we do.
We keep things simple by working on a sliding scale or percentage-based fee structure. For example, if your case settles in one year, you’ll pay a flat dollar amount. If your case takes two years, the flat fee goes up slightly, and there’s a flat fee for cases that go to trial. For very large cases, we charge a small percentage.
Our flat fees and percentages are discussed in detail at your consultation and you’ll never be charged a hidden fee or cost. It’s as simple as that.
Give Yourself an Advantage
If you need a personal injury attorney in Alberta, give yourself an advantage by doing your homework and finding the right fit.