MANY CALL THEMSELVES PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
In New York State an attorney is not permitted to say that they “SPECIALIZE” in any particular area of law, “Personal Injury Lawyers” included. Nevertheless, very large numbers of attorneys do, indeed, limit their practices exclusively to a particular area of law such as “Personal Injury”. So why the prohibition? The thinking is that, since no tests or common standards exist to establish qualifications to be a “SPECIALIST” that, therefore, the use of the term by attorneys of widely varying qualifications could end up misleading the public.
The result, while shielding the public from succumbing to mislabeling, does place a burden on those seeking legal advice to exert a serious effort in identifying a fully qualified attorney to represent them in their legal matter, whether a “Personal Injury” matter or other.
While using the term “SPECIALIST” is impermissible, it is permitted to, for example, hold yourself out as a “Personal Injury Attorney in New York“. This can lead to misleading a potential client unless that client is fully aware that there are vast differences in the lawyers that present themselves as “Personal Injury Lawyers” to the public.
ADVICE ON HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN NEW YORK
Word of advice: spend a little time beforehand finding out about attorneys you might want to hire, and you might save yourself much aggravation down the line. The Internet is a source like no other we have ever had. In short order, it can provide information about the background of an attorney: her years of practice, her education, his community activities, positions she has held, opinions of past clients and a wealth of other information that can inform you whether that person would represent you in a way that you want.
BE CAREFUL OF THOSE “THE BEST” ATTORNEYS IN NEW YORK
One other point: Some very large Personal Injury Law Firms have one or two “star” lawyers, held out to the public because of their fame. This will most likely NOT be the attorney handling your matter. That firm may be so big and so busy that the “star” may not even be available for ready consultations. Know what you are getting ! The competence of every lawyer in the firm is important to you.