What should I look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer?
When choosing a personal injury lawyer experience matters. Many attorneys promote themselves as personal injury lawyers, yet the practice of personal injury law may make up only a small portion of their experience. It takes years of consistent practice in the area of personal injury to become fully knowledgeable in this area of law. Personal injury law is often complicated and requires a strategic method to effectively handle all of the issues. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to best handle your case and make the process as uncomplicated and non-intimidating as possible. It’s important that your personal injury lawyer answers questions regarding your case and how to best present it to the insurance company and/or court.
You should look for an experienced law firm, make sure that the accident lawyer answers questions you have regarding your case, who have practiced in the area of personal injury, and with some background in the area of insurance defense. A firm with a strong team of lawyers, with paralegals and staff that serve to further build a strong team. You should look for a law firm that stresses client relations, with an emphasis on communication so that you can have easy access directly to the personal injury lawyer representing you. Finally, you should look for a personal injury law firm that has a long history of service to their clients and the community.
How much does hiring a personal injury lawyer cost?
A personal injury lawyer should only work on a contingency fee basis. This means no attorney’s fees are paid up front by the client and no attorney’s fees are paid at all unless a settlement or successful trial verdict is reached. If there is no recovery of money, no attorney’s fees are paid. Costs that are necessary to the case are usually paid up front by the law firm. If money is recovered, the costs are paid at the time of settlement or payment of a trial verdict. It is important to choose a law firm that has the financial ability to bare all of the upfront costs and spare no expense that is needed to clearly prove your case in negotiations or trial, as well as to maximize the financial recovery in your case.
Who is going to pay for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages?
Medical expenses, lost wages, and other “non-economic” damages, such as “pain and suffering” and “mental anguish” are legal damages that may be part of a personal injury claim. Typically, personal injury claims are paid under the bodily injury liability insurance coverage for the person or company that caused the accident. In addition to bodily injury liability insurance there are other forms of insurance coverage that may be responsible for damages caused by an accident. These can include a person’s own personal injury protection insurance (PIP) and uninsured motorist insurance coverage. At times a company responsible for causing an accident may be self-insured and the claims will be paid directly by the company responsible.
What should I expect from my personal injury attorney?
A client should expect professionalism, knowledge, experience, compassion and understanding. The client should expect their lawyer to have the financial resources necessary to handle the case for as long as it takes. The client should expect their lawyer to have the ability to negotiate a fair settlement, but also the ability, demeanor and skills necessary to litigate the case and go to trial if necessary. The client should expect consistent, easy, and direct communication with their lawyer. The client should expect their lawyer to have the time and ability to sit down and discuss any aspect of the case so that all questions and concerns are addressed.
How much is my case worth?
Asking how much your case is worth is a fair question, but it’s not one that can always be answered with exact certainty. Your lawyer should have the skills necessary to easily communicate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and to advise you of the issues an insurance company, or jury, may have to address before deciding the monetary value of a case. There are many variables that influence the monetary value of a personal injury case and your lawyer should have the ability to sit down and discuss each one with you in a clear and concise manner. Your lawyer should be able give you ranges of value based on their experience in the field of personal injury law. Ultimately, it’s your lawyer’s job to maximize the value of your case and he or she should always give you their honest advice when considering a potential settlement. Both you and your lawyer have a financial interest in the outcome of your case, but as the client you have the final word on settlement versus going to trial. Your attorney should be able to give you a reasonable frame of reference and a helpful perspective so that you can comfortably decide on your best course of action when it comes time to deciding a resolution to your case.
Are we going to court right away?
Typically a personal injury case does not go to court right away. If there is a reasonable chance to negotiate a settlement without having to file a lawsuit then that is often the preferred choice of clients. The time frame is much less and the fees and costs are much less. Avoiding the potential stress and time involved in a lawsuit is worth trying and most people would prefer a fair resolution of their personal injury claim without having to live through a lawsuit. Your lawyer should never direct you to a lawsuit simply to earn more attorney’s fees. However, your lawyer should also have the experience and strength to recommend a lawsuit when that is the necessary course of action and your lawyer should have the skills and demeanor needed to represent you through trial. You should have confidence in your lawyer and feel comfortable having your lawyer by your side if a lawsuit is necessary.
Is there a difference between a car accident lawyer, motorcycle accident lawyer, trucking accident lawyer, slip and fall lawyer and wrongful death lawyer?
A truly experienced lawyer in the field of personal injury law should have the knowledge, skills, demeanor and strength to handle any type of personal injury case involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, or pedestrians. Not all lawyers prefer to handle slip and fall cases, but a dedicated personal injury lawyer should have the resources to take on these cases and fight against the property owners responsible for the slip and fall injury. Wrongful death cases are traumatic, serious cases and a truly experienced personal injury law lawyer should have not only have the legal skills to handle the case from start to finish, but also the experience, trust, and demeanor necessary to communicate with and guide family members and survivors who are suffering through such a horrible loss. Lawyers that are truly dedicated to the practice of personal injury law have the experience to handle any of these cases in a professional manner.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligent act of another, you should hire an attorney. The initial meeting with your personal injury lawyer is free. We work on a contingency fee which means we only collect a percentage of what we recover for you.