If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, the first thing you need to do is find a good personal injury law firm that can help you move forward with your case. You may be entitled to damages. These damages can range from compensatory to punitive, depending on the details of the case. A good attorney can help you navigate your options and will represent you in a court case. Don't just call the first attorney in the phone book, however. Take the time to do some research beforehand.
One of the most important aspects of finding a good personal injury law firm is to find one that is experienced. But experience in and of itself is not enough. You want an attorney that has experience in the courtroom, taking things to trial, and one that has a record of getting excellent settlements for his clients. Furthermore, you want one that has experience in your particular type of case. It's difficult to find things like this out simply by looking in a directory, so your best bet is to rely on referrals. Friends and others you know are a good place to start when it comes to referrals. Even if they aren't able to directly refer you to the type of attorney you need, they may be able to put you in touch with a lawyer who can then refer you on to a specialist in your area.
Don't be afraid to set up multiple consultations. Most reputable personal injury law firms offer free initial consultations. Take advantage of this and meet with several. Observe how they treat you and take note of how enthusiastic they are about your case. If they seem too busy to give you their full attention, this is likely going to be indicative of how you will be represented.
Many cities have referral services that are set up to send clients to their list of attorneys. Unless you have no other choice, this is generally not the best way to go about finding a personal injury law firm. These services have specific deals set up, so you don't really know if you're getting the best possible representation. Many of these are also set up to refer you to a chiropractor or some other form of medical help, so you may wish to avoid the trap.
When it comes to choosing any attorney, the ultimate choice is up to you and it can be a highly personal one. If you're strapped for cash, look for ones that work on a contingency basis, i.e., they get paid from the settlement, not out of pocket. Then you have the added peace of mind that they will be working hard to win your case, as their payment depends on it.