Finding a Personal Injury Attorney in New York City
Painless tips to incorporate into your search
on August 5, 2016
Updated on February 22, 2022
Accidents happen. But how do you know if you have an under New York law for collecting damages?
“If you’ve been injured in a car collision or by tripping on a bad sidewalk or as a result of medical treatment, that will probably start you thinking,” says David B. Golomb, of the Law Offices of David B. Golomb in NYC. “‘Was that injury caused by someone being negligent?’ If the answer is yes, that is enough to start looking around.”
How to find a good personal injury lawyer
When looking for a New York personal injury attorney, say the husband-and-wife team of Robert S. Kelner and Gail S. Kelner of Kelner & Kelner in Manhattan, don’t be fooled by advertising for legal services.
“Many [clients] depend on poster advertisements or radio or TV ads,” says Robert Kelner. “They end up in a mill that is content to handle cases in great volume, but do not do an artistic job on the cases.”
What is an artistic lawyer? “Someone who will make novel and successful legal arguments,” says Kelner. “That is an art. Will this attorney be able to paint the picture of what has occurred in that person’s life?”
Seymour Boyers of Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz adds, “Go to the New York State Bar Association or local bar associations and examine their websites. They give very good background."
Personal testimonials from your friends or loved one can help as well. "Ask someone you know who’s had representation and is satisfied they were properly compensated.”
Law firm results in personal injury law
When interviewing potential legal representation, Robert Kelner advises asking for the personal injury law firm’s results. “Have they consistently obtained good settlements in cases?” he asks. “I would also want to know if the firm is at the edge of the art academically—do they publish in the field, do they lecture at bar associations or law schools?”
“See if the lawyer has achieved verdicts,” Golomb adds. “Trying cases means they go to the wall for the client, and that person will ultimately get better settlements.”
“Whoever you interview should answer your questions, and not just say ‘We will take care of it,’” says Gail Kelner. “If the client has a question, it’s important to give an answer.”
Hey, who’s handling my personal injury case anyway?
Those questions should include asking if the attorney you meet is actually handling the personal injury claim themselves.
“Many large firms are just referring sites, and you may not know who is assigned your case,” says Golomb. “You want to know if they are handling the case from soup to nuts. Will it be a senior partner or a bunch of greenhorns? Will I be able to get my attorney on the phone? Ask how many cases the lawyer is handling at a given time. If it’s anything more than 20 to 30, you know you won’t be able to get the time you deserve.”
An experienced New York City personal injury lawyer can help you through the process of a personal injury lawsuit.
For more information on this area of law, see our personal injury overview, as well as overviews on specific practice areas including motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, trucking accidents, premises liability and wrongful death.