Question: How should I go about choosing a personal injury attorney? I mean, I can open up the Yellow Pages and just throw a dart in there and find one, you know? But is that really the most effective way to hire the best attorney I can?
Stephen Counts: The best thing to do is to speak to the attorney directly. You can tell a lot about an attorney, as well as any individual, by speaking with them directly. And their answers to your questions, their ability and willingness to be responsive, to give you answers to the questions, to provide assistance and things of that nature, is key. If you call an attorney’s office and you feel on that first call that you’re being shrugged off as less than a priority, then in my experience that is more than likely going to be the first of many times that your calls are going to be sloughed off, as it were, as being less than important.
So you only get one chance to make a personal impression. And if that first impression is less than stellar, you should probably consider a second consultation with another attorney.
Question: So how do you find most of your clients, or how do your clients find you?
Stephen Counts: Well, the firm that I’m a part of — Russell and Lazarus — relies on a combination of internet advertising as well as Yellow Page advertising. I personally rely on personal referrals as well, as do the other attorneys in the firm. The website that I personally maintain is http://www.orangecountyinjury.com/ and that website will provide any potential client with a wealth of resources, provide them with a case submission form that they can fill out, and provide the information to me so I can immediately contact them back and already have a good idea of what type of a case that I’m looking at. And that way my advice can be on-point, it can be prompt, and it can be — above all else — helpful to the person who needs the help at that point, which is the injured party.
Question: So you do not slough anybody off?
Stephen Counts: Absolutely not!