Whether you get into a car accident or get hurt on the job, personal injuries can be a costly experience. Between the time off work and the medical bills, these situations can ruin someone’s life.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you recoup your finances after an accident. Here are some tips to help you find a skilled personal injury lawyer to get you through a troubling time.
Look at Reviews and Testimonials
The first thing to do when looking for a personal injury lawyer is to conduct an internet search. Take a look at the websites of attorneys in your region, keeping an eye out for client testimonials. Skilled lawyers know the value in sharing client experiences, as it builds trust and aids their reputation in the form of social proof. On attorneybrianwhite.com, for example, a client review is one of the first things you see.
It’s also worth looking at Google reviews and asking for recommendations from your social network. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask your network for more details about their experience.
Ask About Trial Experience
Choosing an experienced attorney is essential when pursuing a personal injury case. Look at their accreditations, how long they’ve been in the industry, and their overall reputation.
When it comes to personal injury cases, it’s also vital to consider trial experience. While negotiation skills are valuable in securing a settlement, not all personal injury cases can be settled out of court. Having a lawyer who is prepared to take the case to trial, and has experience doing so, is a must. If your lawyer has a reputation for lack of trial experience or willingness to try a case, those considerations could be used against you when negotiating a settlement.
Choose Someone Who Specializes in Personal Injury
When choosing a lawyer, it’s important to choose one who specializes in personal injury rather than taking a broad approach. Laws are complex and nuanced, with subtle variations between different facets.
Keep in mind that a law firm might have a variety of lawyers specializing in nuanced areas of practice. Don’t be deterred by a firm that also has specialists in family, real estate, or business law— just be sure to choose the lawyer within the firm who specializes in your type of case.
Opt for a Free Initial Consultation
Skilled personal injury lawyers will offer a free initial consultation to review your case. This offering is as much for them as it is for you, as it provides an opportunity to evaluate if your case is worth pursuing.
If you talk to a lawyer who is ready to jump in and start charging you without sitting down to look at the details, keep searching. Every case is different, and understanding the details is crucial for planning the road ahead. If possible, use this consultation as an opportunity to view the attorney’s office. If it looks tired and rundown with seemingly unhappy employees, this may not be the practice for you.
Pay Attention to the Fee Structure
The last thing you want when dealing with the expenses associated with a personal injury is outrageous legal fees. Take a close look at the payment structure of the personal injury lawyers you’re considering. Skilled personal injury attorneys will often have a payment structure based on you winning the case— which is a powerful source of motivation for their success.
Take some time to ask about the payment structure, as well as what expenses you can expect to pay. If there are fees associated with your case before the trial, discuss what payment plans are available so that you can plan accordingly.
Look at the Whole Team
Many attorneys employ a legal team to help them balance numerous clients and cases, while others work mostly alone. There are pros and cons to each approach.
When you hire an attorney from a larger firm, they’ll be able to delegate and work through your case more effectively. However, this means that while you hire a specific individual, you might be interacting with someone else. Some individuals feel overwhelmed by this idea, or like they’re just another case on the roster rather than a human with specific needs.
There are also cost-saving benefits to consider, depending on the payment structure in place. If your primary attorney is able to delegate to a subordinate with a smaller fee, it can save you money. Of course, if you work with an attorney that takes a flat percentage of your earnings, that won’t be applicable.
On the other side of the equation, working with a smaller team means more one-on-one interaction and a better rapport throughout the process. However, it also means fewer hands on deck and more extended timelines.
It ultimately depends on the functionality of the practice when it comes to choosing a broader legal team or single attorney. That’s why it’s important to ask questions and get a feel for each candidate.
Essential Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
In addition to asking about the trial experience and payment structures, there are plenty of other questions you’ll want to ask a personal injury lawyer.
Here are a few examples to keep in mind when vetting potential attorneys:
- In your experience, what compensation could I expect to receive based on my case?
- Who will be working on my case?
- What is my role throughout the course of the case?
- How do you communicate with clients, and how accessible are you for answering questions?
- Based on your experience with similar cases, what can I expect in terms of timelines?
- What is the likelihood that my case will go to trial?
- What potential challenges or barriers to success should I prepare for?
As mentioned previously, this process isn’t just about answering pertinent questions – it’s about finding the right feel and match for your needs so you can move forward with confidence.
It’s important to act fast when dealing with a personal injury case. However, it’s worth taking a bit of time to find the right attorney for your needs.