Choosing personal injury lawyer for out-of-state accident?
May 24, 2018 8:52 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out to whom we should say YAML. Mom was injured by DUI driver in neighboring state.

My retired parents live near St. Louis, Missouri. They visited my sister's family who live in Kansas, near Kansas City. They were driving through an intersection on a green light when a drunk driver ran the red light and T-boned the car they were in. The car (a rental) was totaled. The other driver was arrested. My dad was just shaken up, but my mom went to the emergency room, was discharged, then readmitted a day later for headaches & nausea. Several days later, they're still doing neurological tests. Dad's been staying with my sister.

We're pretty sure they'll need a personal injury attorney. We've contacted two. #1 is a firm in their Missouri hometown run by a guy with whom I went to high school, and whose practice handles cases in both Missouri & Kansas. I've never been a client of his, but he seems very successful & aggressive, and the associate I talked to was extremely thoughtful and informative. #2 is a Kansas attorney my sister knows. No client relationship there either, but friends of hers have used him and been very happy with him.

I know there are many variables here to consider, but I'd be glad for any general advice on just the location issue. Since the crash happened in KS, the #2 KS lawyer might be an advantage, but communication and documentation with him could be a hurdle. Neither parent is very tech adept at stuff like email, scans, video chat, etc., and my dad's hearing isn't great on the phone. With lawyer #1 being local to them, many of those issues are easier, but that firm would be dealing with the venue of the incident/case from a distance (in my layperson's view).

If anyone has navigated a similar situation, either on the client or attorney side, I'd sure like to hear suggestions or questions you might have. Thanks.
posted by NumberSix to Law & Government (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The hometown attorney is licensed and thus can handle the case, but the question is whether he should. If he is capable and aggressive, that is a plus. It would be smart for him to hire co-counsel in the county where the accident occurred.

That is in general. Asking other lawyers in the home town about whether the familiar attorney is capable is a very good idea. Their perceptions will be better-informed than yours.
posted by megatherium at 6:50 AM on May 25, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks, megatherium. Good idea about asking about reputation. The associate I spoke to did mention the co-counsel angle as an option to be covered at a more detailed meeting, so I'll keep that on my list of things to remember, too.
posted by NumberSix at 9:38 AM on May 25, 2018

All else being about equal, go with the attorney who is physically closer to the court. Distance makes it more expensive. Travelling to court, depositions, filing, etc can eat up fees.
posted by Sophont at 8:05 PM on May 25, 2018

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