What Makes a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you are injured in an accident, the situation may be overwhelming. In addition to the emotional and physical pain and suffering, you also must deal with medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If another party caused the accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

However, pursuing a personal injury claim can be time-consuming, costly, and stressful. The insurance company for the at-fault party has a team of professionals to protect it from liability. You may find yourself fighting a battle without the resources to win.

A personal injury lawyer can help you pursue a claim to recover the compensation you need and deserve after an accident or injury. However, how do you find a good personal injury lawyer to take on your case?

Characteristics of a Good Personal Injury Lawyer in Oregon

Determining whether a personal injury lawyer is “good” depends on the criteria you use. Knowing what characteristics to look for can help you locate a personal injury lawyer that is right for your case.

Characteristics of a good personal injury lawyer include:

Good Standing and Clean Disciplinary Record

You need an attorney in good standing with the Oregon State Bar. Only attorneys in good standing admitted to the bar can practice law in Oregon. You can check an attorney’s disciplinary history online through the Member Director of the Oregon State Bar.

Legal Experience

A stellar legal education is the foundation for becoming a good personal injury lawyer. However, nothing compares to real-world experience.

It helps to find a personal injury attorney with substantial experience handling cases like yours. For instance, if your injury involves medical malpractice, you should find a medical malpractice lawyer.

Remember that some personal injury lawyers focus their practice on a few areas of personal injury law while other law firms represent clients in all types of cases. Further, larger law firms may have attorneys focusing on specific types of personal injury cases.

Proven Track Record

When you meet with a personal injury lawyer, ask about how often they win compensation for their clients. Then, ask how many cases they have settled versus how many cases they have won at trial. A winning track record is a good way to measure an attorney’s legal knowledge, skills, diligence, and resources.

However, you also want to ask about specific amounts the lawyer has recovered for their clients. Winning thousands of cases by negotiating low settlement amounts does not indicate a good personal injury lawyer.

Excellent Communication Skills

Good communication with your attorney is key to the success of your personal injury case. You need to feel comfortable discussing all issues related to your case with your attorney, who should be a good listener and a good communicator.

You also want an attorney with effective communication skills to negotiate a fair settlement agreement. An attorney must also have exceptional communication skills to succeed in a jury trial. Good communication skills allow attorneys to be persuasive when arguing a case in court or at the negotiating table.

Reasonable Fees

Most personal injury lawyers take cases for a contingency fee. Instead of requiring clients to pay a retainer fee to bill by the hour, the attorney agrees to be paid from the proceeds they recover for the client. With this framework, the attorney only gets paid when you get paid.

The average contingency fee for a personal injury case is 33% if the case settles. However, the contingency fee may increase if the case goes to trial or involves complex areas of law.


Aaron Tillmann, a personal injury attorney in Portland, OR, states that regardless of the size of the law firm, an attorney needs to have adequate resources to handle personal injury cases. Resources include paralegals, associates, office personnel, and other staff members to assist with cases. 

This also includes the funds to hire expert witnesses and pay the costs of the case as they arise. Resources also include a network of specialists and experts the attorney works with when it is necessary to build a stronger case.

Interview Several Personal Injury Lawyers Before Choosing the Best Attorney for Your Case

Personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. Therefore, you can meet with several attorneys before deciding which lawyer is right for you. Prepare a list of questions to ask each attorney and make notes about their answers. Also, make notes about your impressions of the attorney after your meeting.

The key is choosing a Portland personal injury lawyer with experience and resources that make you feel comfortable and confident. If you have doubts, meet with another lawyer. Hiring a good personal injury lawyer gives you a better chance of receiving fair compensation for your claim.

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