How Do I Select a Personal Injury Lawyer?
After being injured in an accident that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, you should select a personal injury lawyer to represent your best interests as soon as you possibly can. Don’t rely on your own insurance company or an opposing insurance company to treat you fairly.
Insurance is a business, and if an insurance company is going to voluntarily compensate you for your injuries and damages, its intention will be to pay you as little as possible. It will quickly try to paint you into a corner. That helps to maintain its bottom line and keep it profitable.
What Type of Accident Case Do You Have?
Expect lawyers to contact you who want to represent you. If a law firm or lawyer doesn’t contact you, that doesn’t mean anything about their level of competency or the merits of your case. So then, how do you find the right lawyer to represent you? First, you might want to look for lawyers who have represented victims in similar accidents.
For example, if you were injured in a truck crash, you’ll want to look for an attorney who focuses their practice on truck crashes. If you were injured on an amusement park ride, there are attorneys who focus their personal injury practice on amusement park injuries. Whatever the type of accident that you had, there are lawyers that practice in that area.
Check an Attorney’s Background and Experience
You’re likely to learn about a particular lawyer’s background and experience from the law firm’s website. You might also try googling the attorney’s name for any case results that might come up. Any lawyer you are considering should have strong experience in personal injury claims and litigation. You don’t want to hire your nephew who just passed the bar exam and is working for a divorce or bankruptcy firm.
Your Meeting with the Attorney
The lawyer with who you have your initial consultation with has never met you before and probably knows little or nothing about how you got hurt. Expect them to be in control of your meeting. Questions will be asked of you. Answer everything as accurately and truthfully as possible. That lawyer will make a determination of whether they will represent you. Remember that you might be interviewing an attorney, but that attorney is interviewing you too.
What’s it Worth?
Never ask a personal injury lawyer how much your case is worth in an initial consultation. If they put a price tag on it that early, that lawyer is either inexperienced or not being honest with you. There will be liability, medical and insurance issues surrounding your case that the lawyer isn’t aware of yet. They would merely be speculating.
Select a Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s highly likely that you’ll be retaining the lawyer who represents you on a contingency fee basis. He or she will be paid a percentage of any sums that are derived on your behalf. The law is clear on contingency fee agreements. Any such agreement must be in writing and state the percent amount of legal fees along with how any costs of your claim or lawsuit will be handled. Upon hiring that lawyer or law firm, don’t leave the attorney’s office without a copy of that agreement.
When it becomes time to make a decision, select a personal injury lawyer who you are most comfortable with in the type of case that you were injured in. Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel that you have the right fit before you enter into a retainer agreement, move on.