If you have suffered an injury due to an accident that was not your fault, you are within your rights to sue for medical expenses and lost wages. It is, therefore, imperative that you give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding in your lawsuit. Hiring a competent personal injury lawyer who thoroughly investigates and protects both your rights and your claim is critical in winning the compensation you deserve. Here are a few personal injury lawyer hiring tips that can help you in this process:
Research and shop around
A lot of personal injury lawyers give free consultations to prospective customers at the initial stage. Consequently, it is advisable to meet as many as possible before you settle on one.
If you have no idea where to begin when looking for a lawyer, contact the local lawyer’s association in your area. Many reputable lawyers often join such professional groups. Such lawyers are most likely to be ethical and passionate about their work. These associations will also maintain records about their academic and professional qualifications.
You can also talk your family members, friends, and co-workers and find out whether they have previous experience in working with a personal injury lawyer. They may refer you to a lawyer who helped them deal with a similar situation. In addition, you can also check online for ratings and reviews about people’s experiences with the best lawyers and worst lawyers. This will enable you to find a lawyer who best fits your case.
You will need to ensure that the lawyer you hire will do their best to win the fairest reward for you. It is, therefore, important that you are able to get along with your lawyer. The lawyer should be there to answer your questions, provide a status about your case and return your calls within a reasonable time. They should also provide an honest assessment of the likely settlement terms of your case. At the same time, you should also do some basic research so that you can have an idea of what constitutes a fair settlement in a case such as yours. This will ensure that the lawyer you choose will not lure you with false promises of exaggerated sums of money.
Experience and skill
The personal injury lawyer you choose must have a lot of relevant experience. The law relating to the personal injury can be tricky. It, therefore, calls for a certain level of proficiency and expertise. For instance product, liability injuries are different from injuries due to medical malpractices or vehicle accident injuries. Consequently, the lawyer you hire must know the best way of proving the specific injury you suffered. The lawyer must who know where to look, what to look for and what it means for your case.
Hiring an inexperienced personal injury lawyer is like rolling the dice with your case. Therefore, before hiring the lawyer, inquire about similar cases they have dealt with, their success rates in those cases and their preparedness to take the case to trial if it comes to that. Note that a high percentage of personal injury lawsuits are settled before trial. For that reason,the lawyer you choose must have the skill and experience to negotiate a reasonable and fair settlement.
When thinking about hiring any lawyer, you must have a budget. When you go for the initial consultation, ensure that you ask for the charges and compare these with those of other lawyers. Some lawyers may also offer to levy the requisite charges only if they win your case. This is called working on a contingent fee basis- and they will typically subtract one-third of the money you get as a settlement. Such an offer may come in handy if you are operating on a tight budget and you require help with your case.
You should also ensure that you understand the court costs that you will be required to pay. Many times you will be responsible for court fees and actual lawsuit costs when you lose the case, even if your lawyer is on a contingent fee basis.
Ensure you have all the paperwork
Many people who have been injured in accidents and are seeking treatment often forget to keep all the documentation. If you intend to sue for compensation, you must keep all records and documents relating to the care and treatment of the injury. These include emails, receipts, doctor instructions relating to the management of the injury and any photographic evidence. Ensure you carry these with you for the initial meeting with the personal injury lawyer. This will give them a better idea of how to evaluate your claim.