Any accident can be emotionally and physically traumatic, leaving the victim and his or her family worried, confused and vulnerable. After a vehicle crash, a workplace injury or a medical mishap you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. But how does one go about finding the right attorney for the situation? Here are some things to look for when hiring a personal injury attorney.
When choosing a personal injury lawyer, ensure that he or she has experience helping accident victims and is well regarded in the community. Not only should the person representing your interests be able to handle the required paperwork — they should be a good communicator, able to negotiate a fair settlement from an insurer or achieve a favorable verdict from a jury. Ask your acquaintances for recommendations. Then ask the lawyer himself how many cases they have handled and what kind of track record they have with personal injury cases. Moreover, you can also ask for a list of previous clients they have worked with who can tell you about their experience with the firm.
Area of specialization
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the negligence of another, you will want to seek the services of a personal injury attorney who is well versed in the laws governing personal injury. Don’t entrust your case to a tax lawyer, say, or an attorney who focuses primarily on wills and estates. It’s a good idea to fine-tune your search to personal injury lawyers who have handled cases similar to yours. Catastrophic injuries such as brain and spine injury, for instance, require specialized knowledge of their long-term consequences and the need for a life-care plan. If your injury occurred on the job, look for a lawyer who has knowledge of OSHA regulations and disability applications. By narrowing your search, you will find the legal professional who will be most likely to achieve an excellent result for you.
A good lawyer should dedicate their time to understanding each and every detail about your case. This requires a willingness to spend time with you, but it also involves the skills of being a good listener. Look for someone who is approachable and reachable, someone who personally returns your calls and patiently answers your questions. Steer away from a lawyer whose caseload is so heavy that they can’t give your case the attention it deserves. And find out whether the attorney you select will be personally handling your case or whether you will be dealing with an associate and have little face-time with the counselor you have chosen.
For personal injury cases, most law firms work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that they receive payment only after they have recovered financial compensation for you. It is wise to come to an early understanding of how this will work in your case. What percentage of your recovery will they get? Will there be some fees you have to pay up front? What about the costs of experts? Having a clear explanation at the beginning will help avoid future disagreements.
The realities of life can at times put you through tormenting situations. When you or your loved one is forced to deal with pain and financial loss due to someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer to see how they can help get your life back on the right track. It could be the best call you ever make.