Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
What you Need to Know Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
If you don’t hire the right personal injury lawyer, you may lose out on a good settlement that covers the full cost of your injuries. A good personal injury attorney won’t settle for what the insurance company wants to offer. If the settlement offer isn’t fair, a good lawyer will take the case to court. The best personal injury attorneys engage in thorough discovery to build the best possible case.
Because of the nature of personal injury cases, you need an attorney who ruthlessly negotiates with insurance companies. Your attorney should not settle for an amount that is too small to cover all your medical expenses, whether they are in the past, current, or ongoing. Your attorney should also be well-versed in workers’ compensation law if your injury was due to a workplace accident. Before you retain any lawyer, you should evaluate the lawyer and the firm, because the outcome of the case could determine the quality of your life in the future.
Types of Damages in Civil Lawsuits
If you go to trial, the court may award monetary amounts corresponding to the injuries you suffered if proven that the defendant is guilty of wrongful misconduct. Here are some of the significant damages which can be awarded by the courts:
– These awards are small monetary amounts given to you if you suffered no substantial losses or injuries but experienced an invasion of rights.
– The court will award you a fair amount to cover your expenses and other losses due to the wrongful actions of the defendant.
– These damages aim to punish the defendant due to grievous and unreasonable conducts rather than to compensate for your injuries and losses.
Questions You Need To Ask Before Hiring An Injury Lawyer
When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you can expect to face many difficult decisions in the days, weeks, and months following your injury. Finding the right personal injury lawyer to represent you after an accident can help you secure proper compensation to cover the costs associated with your incident, including medical treatment, lost wages, property damages, etc. It’s important to avoid hiring an inexperienced personal injury attorney by asking the right questions.
So what questions should you ask a personal injury lawyer? Here are the top 5 questions to ask before hiring a personal injury attorney.
What Is Your Experience With My Specific Legal Problem?
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, you should first find out how much experience the attorney has handling your specific type of case.
There are many law firms with a wide array of legal cases, while others have specific specialties. If you have a serious personal injury case, you may prefer to work with a law firm that has cases like yours on a daily basis, because their experience can speed up your case as they are up-to-date on the latest developments in your specific type of case.
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, you should first find out how much experience the attorney has handling your specific type of case. You should ask if you will win your case, and what kind of compensation you can expect — keeping in mind that this is an estimate, as personal injury cases are unpredictable.
How Are Your Fees Structured?
Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive an acceptable settlement or win a judgment in court. The percentage your attorney will take is typically between 25% – 40%, with 33% being standard. This is something you should not be afraid to ask prior to hiring your attorney, and continue to ask for clarification when needed, as changes in cases can bring higher or lower fees.
Have You Tried Any Personal Injury Cases Like Mine In Court To A Jury Before? What Is Your Track Record Of Success?
While most people believe that personal injury attorneys try cases in court on a regular basis, there is actually a significant percentage of lawyers claiming to be personal injury trial lawyers who, in actuality, have little to no jury trial experience.
This is important, because you’ll need an experienced attorney who is prepared to present a compelling case in front of a judge and a jury.
Do You Have Any Peer Reviews?
There are several organizations and sources that rate attorneys based on what their peers say about them. This can provide you with valuable insight into what a lawyer’s reputation is among his or her peers. The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory has peer-review ratings of lawyers, where potential clients can identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for their legal issue. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. These resources can help take the guesswork out of choosing an experienced lawyer to handle your case.
Who Will Actually Handle My Case?
Who at the firm will handle the different aspects of your case? This is an important question to ask because some law firms tend to advertise their senior partners as the ones who will represent the potential clients, and then the clients never see or meet with the partners again once the agreement is signed. Determining who will be your contact and who you can expect to speak with when you have questions about your case will help you understand what to expect.
Things You Need To Know When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding a personal injury lawyer can seem like a daunting task. You have experienced a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you’re hurt and suffering, and you don’t know which direction to turn for legal assistance with your case. With so many possible attorneys available to you, how will you know which is the right fit to handle your case? When considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, take the following advice into consideration.
People who experience a personal injury may be reluctant to hire a personal injury attorney because they are unsure of the cost. A good lawyer will always meet for an initial consultation free of charge to discuss basic facts with you and give a general opinion of your case. Most personal injury cases are handled for a contingency fee, which means that you don’t pay the attorney anything upfront, and a fee is determined to be paid once your case is settled. This allows you to hire a qualified attorney without having to pay in advance. It is important that you understand the fee before you hire your attorney. Make sure you ask about expenses as well.
You may be responsible for any expenses incurred on behalf of your case that are not related to your lawyer’s work.
Personal injury law is complex with many specialized rules. If you have experienced a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you will want a lawyer who has experience in dealing with cases similar to yours. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Austin will know how to investigate your case. He or she knows what to look for, where to look and how it affects your case. The lawyer also knows the laws pertaining to personal injury in your state and how they are relevant to your situation. Knowing how to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement is critical to your case since 95% of personal injury cases are settled. However, it is important to hire an attorney who is comfortable going to trial and has trial experience. If your attorney is afraid of the courtroom, the insurance company may use that as an advantage to make a lowball settlement offer that your inexperienced attorney may pressure you to take. Ask your lawyer about similar cases and how they handled them. And understand there are no guarantees. If your attorney promises a win, find another lawyer.
Most lawyers specialize in one or two kinds of law. It is imperative to your case that you hire a lawyer that specializes in personal injury law. A lawyer that practices many fields of law may have a wide range of knowledge, but he or she will be an expert at nothing. You will put yourself and your case at risk without an expert personal injury lawyer. For example, if you have been injured by a slip and fall, look for an attorney that specializes in slip and fall cases.
An attorney who has a strong reputation with insurance companies, lawyers and the court systems can benefit your case. A good reputation puts everyone involved at ease, giving you a better chance to get a quick and fair outcome. During your initial consultation with a lawyer, ask how many cases similar to yours have they won or settled successfully. This will give you an idea on the attorney’s confidence on the outcome of your personal injury claim. Look at the attorney’s discipline record to see if there have been any complaints filed against them. You can do this by searching the attorney’s name under your local state bar association’s website.
Initial consultations are usually free.
Many people don’t call a lawyer because they believe it will cost too much. A good lawyer will be willing to discuss the basic facts of your case and tell you whether he believes you have a case, for free.
Beware of Ambulance Chasers
Ambulance chasing is illegal in most States for good reason. If you were in an accident and get a call, letter or mailing from a lawyer right afterward, beware. Check with friends and family about a lawyer before you hire any lawyer.
You may have to pay back your insurance companies.
The number one misunderstanding clients have in personal injury cases is insurance. If you have health insurance, you may have to pay them back for bills the health insurance company paid. Good lawyers will work with you and your insurance companies to make sure you get the most possible from your settlement.