How to choose the right personal injury attorney
Hiring an attorney can be one of the most important decisions you ever make. If you or someone close to you was hurt due to the negligence of another, it’s time to look into your legal options, including filing a personal injury lawsuit and going to trial. These cases can be complicated and emotionally trying, so it’s important to hire someone with experience who has a proven track record of success in these kinds of cases and stands up for their clients in every sense of the word.
How do you choose the right attorney? It all starts with asking the right questions during your initial consultation.
Finding The Right Personal Injury Attorney For You
While you can find good attorneys by referrals from friends and family, you can also check out directories. The Internet is a great resource for getting referrals; simply use your favorite search engine and search for personal injury attorneys followed by your city or zip code.
You may have several names pop up as results, but that doesn’t mean they are all reputable. Read through their websites and make a list of a few of them who seem like they are capable of handling your case. Look for an attorney who specializes in cases similar to yours; it helps if he or she has experience with other cases involving those particular injuries.
Most importantly, be sure to ask around regarding the rates and fees associated with hiring any given lawyer. In addition to asking people you know, do some research online. Check into each attorney’s reputation online and read reviews left by previous clients on sites such as Yelp or Avvo.
If possible, try to contact current clients directly to get more information about how satisfied they were with their experience working with that specific lawyer. After choosing a few lawyers based on these criteria, it’s time to meet face-to-face for an initial consultation so you can decide which one seems best suited for your needs.
This meeting should include an initial assessment of your case and a discussion about how much money could potentially be awarded (if anything) at trial or via settlement negotiation before costs are factored in.
Things to ask your Lawyer when Hiring Them
Most personal injury attorneys will ask for a retainer before taking your case, but that’s about it. But don’t let that fool you into thinking there aren’t other important factors to consider when hiring a lawyer for your lawsuit. Here are some questions you may want to ask.
Don’t be afraid to speak up any good lawyer should have no problem answering these questions and keeping you informed along every step of their representation. What is your experience with cases like mine? How many years have you been practicing law?
What percentage of your practice is devoted to personal injury cases? What do you think my chances are in court? Do I need an expert witness on my side? If so, who do you recommend? What do I need to bring with me to our first meeting. Is there anything else I should know before we meet again.
When can we meet again if needed? How much will all of this cost? You might also want to inquire as to whether or not they work on contingency. Are you available 24/7 in case something happens while I am out at night or away from home. Can I call you directly if something comes up after hours.
Can we discuss how much money it would take for me to settle out of court versus how much it would take for me to win at trial? Should I talk with anyone else about my case before deciding whether or not to hire you as my lawyer? Make sure they are lawyers. What’s your fee schedule look like and what does each part cover?
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