Suffering a personal injury is tough. You will need to get treatment and, in some cases, physical therapy. Getting this treatment can be disorienting and difficult especially if you got to that point during an accident or someone was negligent.
This is why you need to hire the best lawyer possible. The lawyer will be in charge of making sure that you receive compensation for the traumatic experience.
In your search for a personal injuries lawyer, look out for these red signs.
- Poor reviews from clients
- Lawyers who do not answer your questions with certainty
- Lawyers who promise you success before you can give details of your case
- Lawyers who have not handled personal injury cases
- Lawyers who do not want to have the fee agreement in writing
Here is how you can make sure you have the best lawyer for the job.
1. Ask for Referrals
Maybe you know someone successful in suing a company for personal injuries, ask him/her. If you do not, ask around. Ask your family members, friends, or your relatives. They have at some point heard or known someone who sued. Ask them to find out the lawyer the person used. If you receive many referrals, look for the one who handled a case that was like yours. Personal injury ranges from car accidents to medical malpractice to wrongful death.
2. Look at Experience
You have already suffered through one ordeal, do not add another one by going for a lawyer with no experience. In claims like yours, a lot of money is usually at stake. When looking for personal injury lawyers near you, it is paramount that you look for one that is experienced. An experienced lawyer will guarantee that you do not end up with zero, as they know what to expect from the insurance company or the jury if you go to court.
When you meet your lawyer for consultation, remember to ask;
- How many cases the lawyer has handled similar to yours?
- What was the lawyer’s most recent case?
- How many cases like yours has the lawyer won?
- How long has the lawyer been practicing?
- If the lawyer will work on the case himself or will he delegate?
Take notes or record your sessions so you can compare the different lawyers before you make the final decision.
3. A Good Reputation
A lawyer’s professional reputation will help you know the kind of quality to expect from him/her. Lawyers who have good reputations have a history of success, extensive experience, and the respect of their colleagues.
How do you know if a lawyer has a good reputation?
- They hold positions of leadership
- They are in trial attorney associations
- They have been nominated for awards
- They have been awarded for their work
You can also look at reviews that have been left by their previous clients. From this, you will know how customer relations are handled by the lawyer or the firm they work for and customer satisfaction and experience.
4. Legal Fees
After you have been injured, you may not have a lot of money to spend on the lawyer. You are probably still spending money on medicine and therapy. The questions you can ask here are;
- Do you charge a flat rate or per hour?
- Do you need to pay upfront?
- Can you pay installments?
- Do they have payment plans?
Some firms have a policy that states if they do not win a case, they will not ask for payment. You must have this discussion. Be clear about what you are looking for and what your budget is. Once you have agreed, get it in writing.
5. Professional Networks
What professional networks does this lawyer have? Personal injury cases involve a lot of testimony from expert witnesses. You may be suing because a surgical tool was left in your body. Your lawyer will have to look for experts in the field. These experts will talk about the consequences of foreign objects inside the human body. If you have a lawyer with a lot of resources, your case may turn out better than you expected.
6. What are the Benefits?
If the lawyer is offering you some benefits, you will know that they are not after your money. Some just want to help and care about the welfare of their clients. The benefits could be free consultation when you are determining if they are the best fit for your case. Maybe you will not be paying for their services if they do not get your compensation for you. For a lawyer to tell you this, it means they are committed to winning the case.
7. The Work Style of the Lawyer
Meeting your lawyer’s options face to face will help you to determine if you can work with them. Go for a lawyer who listens to you speak about your life before and after your injury, your concerns, and how your family has been affected. Be attentive to how he/she answers your questions and the explanation on how the case will progress. If you are not confident in their explanation, let them go. You need someone who will understand what you need and how to help you get it. When your lawyer ticks all these boxes, you are on the right track to winning your claim.
8. Narrow Down the List
After you have looked at all the lawyers on the list, narrow it down to a manageable number like three. After you have done this, schedule meetings with all of them. Ask them questions on areas that are important to you or you feel need to be addressed in your case. Compare their answers and then go with the one you feel has your best interests at heart. One who is clear about the weaknesses that your case may present and how he/she will go about that area. Trust your gut with your selection.
Finding a good personal injury lawyer can be a daunting task. Align yourself with someone willing to fight for you every step of the way. Remember, this person will take care of all court sessions and paperwork while you recuperate. Choose wisely.