Whether faced with a personal injury lawsuit or want help settling a personal injury claim, you need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. But with so many people practicing law, how do you know you have put your case in the hands of an experienced attorney?
With a personal injury case, you can’t turn to just any lawyer. You need someone who has experience handling your type of case and one you feel you can trust. Make sure that the lawyer you hire is licensed to practice law in your state and is the top attorney at the firm with years of experience in injury law. At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, the top lawyer works personally on our cases.
What’s In This Guide:
- Finding an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
- Choosing a Good Personal Injury Attorney
- Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
There are several ways you can find an excellent personal injury attorney, from referral to online research. But once you have a list of several names, put them on a comparison shop to end up with the most suitable for your case. Then, make sure you meet, interview, and discuss your case with each of these lawyers before deciding to hire.
Here are a few ways you can look for an excellent personal injury attorney.
Friends and Family
The best way to get a professional personal injury is by asking friends or family to refer you to an attorney who has represented them in the past. People centrally located in your community, such as pastors, are trusted with personal information. They have likely heard the good and the bad experiences people have had when going through legal challenges.
After you get several referrals, contact each of them and present your case. Of course, it’s possible to submit your request online nowadays. However, a simple phone call is better as it gives you a clear picture of how the law firm operates. For instance, you can tell if they have good customer service and whether they can answer all your questions or not.
There are numerous online directories that you can use to find an attorney. The directories are easy to use as you only need to input your geographical location and the practice area, such as personal injury. From these directories, you’ll get the contact information of most established lawyers and their comprehensive profiles. The profile includes their educational background, experience in personal injury law, and their service fee. You can then use this information to choose an attorney who matches your preference. Also, be sure to visit the firm’s website to learn about the attorney and their past successes.
There are several sites that gather reviews from past clients. These can be a valuable tool to evaluate how past clients were treated and whether they were satisfied with their legal representation. However, for better or worse, reviews don’t always tell the whole story, so be sure to look for other sources of information before making your final hiring decision.
Be careful when choosing a lawyer from a television or web advertisement. Anyone can purchase an ad, so there is no way to tell if they are a quality attorney based on an advertisement. An ad can be a good starting point but doing additional research before hiring the attorney is always recommended.
Once you have a list of capable attorneys, sit down with each of them to discuss your claim and possible ways of handling it. During the initial consultation stage, you can present the lawyer with all the reports, including medical records and bills, police reports, loss of wages due to the accident, and insurance company correspondence.
In addition to presenting your case, you need to screen the lawyer to ensure they can handle your case. Some of the most important things to consider include:
The number of years the lawyer has in handling personal injury cases, and their success rate determines how they will perform with yours. A lawyer with more years of experience has seen all obstacles faced in these cases and how to handle them. For instance, they can easily prove the damages of a highly complicated case and understand the manipulative tactics used by insurance companies.
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You can access a personal injury attorney level of experience by asking the following questions:
- How many years have they been handling such cases?
- What is their experience in trial cases?
- Who will primarily be handling the case?
- Will I be meeting personally with the attorney?
- Are personal injury cases their main area of specialization?
- What’s their level of experience in handling your specific type of case?
- Are they well recognized and respected in the personal injury law community?
Level of Customer Service
The lawyer-client relationship is very crucial. Therefore, you must observe how the attorney’s office treats and communicate with you when you first contact them. During your interaction session, be sure to watch the following:
- How willing they are to answer your questions
- If they are clearly explaining the legal processes or calling you promptly when necessary
- Whether they are showing genuine concern about your case
- If they are willing to travel to you
Always trust your judgment, depending on what you observe.
Their Track Record for Success
An attorney’s years of experience shouldn’t be the main reason you conclude that they are good at what they do. Some attorneys have been in the industry for a long time but have few success stories to show. Watch out for attorneys who mostly give in to low-ball settlements from insurance companies.
You can review the attorney’s case results by asking the following questions:
- Do they have a track record of winning cases involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death?
- Have they recovered multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of their clients?
- Have they ever won any awards for their verdicts and settlements?
If they have won some very tough and high-value cases, then they are worth working on your case.
Their Mode of Payment
Before hiring a personal injury attorney, make sure you read the firm’s fine print on their payment model. Understanding all the details ensures that you don’t get any surprises when the case is already too far gone. Some of the questions to help you avoid pitfalls include:
- Is there initial consultation free?
- Do they offer cash advance to cover costs before your case reaches a settlement or verdict?
- Do they work on a contingency-fee-basis? If this is the case, you only pay the law firm after they win the case. In addition, they deduct the fee from the settlement or are paid by the defendant, in which case you don’t have to pay any upfront.
Any Additional Services or Resources
When choosing a good personal injury lawyer, it’s essential to consider any additional services that they offer. For instance, some walk with you through various levels of your case, giving you a smooth experience. You can understand their additional services by asking the following questions:
- Do they offer additional services related to your cases, such as lien negotiation and valuation of property damage?
- Do they have contact with any medical professionals whom they can refer for any treatment you require?
- Can they help you find any good doctors who are willing to work on your lien basis and later take the payment from your settlement or verdict?
When injured involved in an accident due to another person’s negligence, there will be some opposing parties. These opponents can be the company that caused the injury or their insurance companies and will do anything to prove that you were at fault or give you the lowest settlement possible.
An excellent personal injury attorney investigates the case, proves the other party’s liability, and handles all negotiations on your behalf. That’s why you must do your research before choosing just any attorney.
At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we have 45 years of experience that help us build a case and win you the compensation you deserve for your personal injury case. If looking for a personal injury attorney, be sure to contact us for a free evaluation of your case.