As evidenced by my blog last month, I am a proponent for Board Certified attorneys. If you'll recall out of the 70,000 practicing attorneys in Texas only 7,000 (10 %) are Board Certified by the State Bar of Texas in their respective areas of specialty. So my first answer to "What should I look for"; would be look for a Board Certified attorney who is recognized by the State Bar of Texas. To aid you in your search, visit the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) website for all specifics in all areas of law at www.tbls.org.
Next, you should NEVER expect lawyers to seek you out or contact you directly. This type of contact should be closely scrutinized due to the unethical implications that such conduct depicts. Direct contact before you have contacted the attorney is frowned upon by reputable lawyers.
You should NEVER be charged for initial consultations. You SHOULD expect the attorney to handle the case on a contingent fee basis. This means that you won't be charged a dime unless your attorney completes your case successfully and is then paid an agreed percentage of the proceeds. Also, you SHOULD NOT expect to pay case expenses, unless your attorney has successfully resolved your case. If the case is successfully resolved you SHOULD expect the expenses to be taken out of the proceeds as well. If and this is a BIG if your case is not successful, you should expect to pay NOTHING to your attorney for their time or expenses.
MAKE SURE THESE DETAILS ARE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BEFORE HIRING AN ATTORNEY
Remember, most people are no match for a well seasoned and experienced insurance company representative. You need someone on your side in this situation.
If you hire a Board Certified attorney, these details will be explained and any questions you might have should be answered to your satisfaction. If you don't understand any of these details, ask questions... it costs you nothing and that is why we are here.
Article Written by George LeGrand. partner in LeGrand and Bernstein
State bar of Texas since 1978, American Board of Trial Advocates
Board Certified Personal Injury Trial law by Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1984
2511 N St Marys Street, San Antonio, Texas