Even though it seems like injuries don’t happen often, they can still happen to you. Reports show that 57.5 million patients visit doctors every year due to injury. The question is, will that injury result from the negligence of another person?
Unfortunately, that’s sometimes the case. Even worse, you won’t always get the help you need if the other party or insurance won’t play ball. You’ll need help from a lawyer in this situation.
It can get stressful when trying to find someone to help with your injury case. Use the guide below to make the process easier and find a great personal injury attorney that can help you get your settlement.
Look for Law Field Experience
Not every lawyer will be able to represent you in your personal injury case. There are numerous fields of law, and each of those fields requires specific experience that applies to those cases.
If a lawyer doesn’t have industry experience with what you need, it’s hard for them to meet your demands. All you’ll do is hire a lawyer that needs to spend too much time getting up to speed on the specifics. That’s time you can’t afford to waste.
Ask your attorney what their track record is with cases similar to yours. Take car accident lawyers, for instance. You want to hire a car accident lawyer that has handled many car accident cases before and gets wins for their clients.
Check the Rates
There are many cases where working with an hourly lawyer makes sense. If all you need is quick advice and a form filed, you don’t need to draw up a complicated agreement to get work done.
The problem is that accident cases aren’t that simple. Some cases might be open and shut, but others may go on for months.
You don’t want to work with an attorney that charges hourly in that case. You’ll waste all your money before you see a successful settlement.
Most attorneys offer services based on contingency in this situation. You won’t pay any money upfront.
Instead, an attorney takes their fee from a percentage of your settlement amount. You won’t pay anything if your lawyer doesn’t win.
You’ll need to check the contingency rate in this case. The higher percentage a lawyer takes, the less money you’ll receive from your settlement.
Examine Communication Skills
Recovering from an injury can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. You have to go to the doctor, go through physical therapy, and deal with medical costs. That’s enough to cause severe stress for the most laid-back person.
Then you have the situation when your insurance doesn’t pay out.
You’re already dealing with a stressful situation. You don’t need to amplify that stress by hiring a lawyer that doesn’t communicate well.
Examine a lawyer’s communication style when talking with them. Do they answer questions in a straightforward way? Are you getting answers that are simple and not filled with legal jargon?
It also pays to learn how often to expect communication from your lawyer. You don’t want to get radio silence for weeks in an injury case. Ideally, you’ll get regular updates that let you know about your case’s progress.
Another thing to check is the response time. You don’t want to wait days or weeks to get an answer to a question. A reasonable response time is under 24 hours.
Speak With Your Primary Attorney
Are you planning to hire a law firm for your needs? If so, the person you interview at the company may not be the one representing you in your case.
Larger firms pass cases to associates on occasion. The primary lawyers have a lot of work, so they need to delegate cases to lawyers with less experience.
This is important to know if you’re in this situation. You need to speak directly to the person who will handle your case. Ask the attorney you talk with if they will be the primary lawyer working or if there is someone else you need to speak with.
If you don’t, you can’t vet the person that will handle the work.
Ask About the Caseload
When you hire a lawyer, you want to hire someone that will give your case the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, some lawyers will take on many cases at once to increase billable hours.
The question is, will a lawyer that goes this route have the time to pay attention to the little details of your case?
Knowing the caseload of your attorney is critical to avoiding this situation. You want to work with someone that works with a reduced caseload to offer every case enough attention. If not, a lawyer may miss a critical detail and derail your whole case.
Check the Attorney’s Reputation
Reputation means a lot in the law world. People need to trust that their attorneys have their best interests in mind when representing them. If someone is known for bad behavior, why should you trust them with your injury case?
Check for previous client testimonials before you sign with an attorney or personal injury law firm. You want to ensure there aren’t complaints about a lawyer that make them a poor choice to work with.
It also pays to see if a lawyer has any disciplinary actions on their record. You can check your state bar association’s website to look for this information. All of this information gets tracked, so use the resource to weed out bad lawyers.
A minor infraction here and there may not be a big issue, but you need to consider it.
Not Every Personal Injury Attorney Will Meet Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you hire a personal injury attorney, so you can’t just pick the first option you come across. Many lawyers out there won’t specialize in injury law and can’t meet your needs. Use the guide above to find a personal injury lawyer that can offer you the service you deserve.
Are you interested in more life tips that will help with other everyday situations? Learn more by reading the latest articles on the blog.