Selecting a personal injury lawyer can be a confusing and stressful process – especially considering the fact that you’ve sustained injuries and now need to find someone to help you receive the settlement you deserve. There are many things to consider when selecting a personal injury lawyer, but here are 5 tips that you can use to ensure that you come out a winner on the other end of the judicial process.
1) Always Make Sure Your Lawyer is Experienced for Your Particular Injury.
Were you hurt in a car accident? Boating accident? Basically, however you have been injured, you need to ensure that your lawyer has experience representing clients who have had the same type of injuries. If you were sick with a disease, you wouldn’t seek out a doctor with absolutely no experience with your illness – and it should be the same for a lawyer. Why would you use a lawyer who isn’t familiar with representing clients like you?
2) Make an Appointment and Meet With a Lawyer.
As is often the case, you need to make sure to educate yourself before you make a decision on a lawyer. And how do you do this? By scheduling an appointment with a lawyer so that you can sit down and ask the lawyer specific questions (are you experienced with my type of personal injury claims? Do you have a history of winning cases for my type of injury? How long have you been practicing for?). Don’t just interview one lawyer – interview several! You need to find the best representation for your case, don’t let television commercials or the lawyer bombard you with information. Take the time and find a lawyer who is most likely to gain a ruling in your favor.
3) Ask to See Their Record – You Want a Successful, Winning Lawyer.
Another important area to consider: is this lawyer successful? Do they represent clients like you, or are they more likely to have represented big, corporate clients (such as insurance agencies) in the past. You are going to want to pick a lawyer who has a lot of experience (as previously stated), but you need to make sure that experience is with clients like you. If the lawyer is most known for representing big companies, then they probably aren’t the best pick for a personal injury lawyer (as they are most experienced in gaining rulings in favor of the corporations that you might be taking to court). Find someone who knows how to win – and knows how to win with your type of case.
4) Ask Around – Find Referrals From Friends, Family, and Coworkers.
Haven’t needed a lawyer before? That’s okay – ask around! There are many people who are more than willing to refer you to their lawyer (specifically if they’ve won cases for them), so why not interview a lawyer for someone you already know? If you trust the person, it’s worth it to check out their lawyer. Obviously, you still need to ensure that the lawyer is familiar with your type of case (and has a winning track record), but if you can find a lawyer who can satisfy your requirements by simply asking a friend, then your job just got easier. There are also many other ways to find recommended lawyers (online, the Bar Association), so even if your friends’ recommendations don’t pan out, keep looking and keep interviewing.
5) Picked a Lawyer? How Much Will it Cost? Get it in Writing!
So you’ve decided you like a lawyer, but how much is it going to cost? A reputable lawyer will have no problem specifically outlining the fees and requirements (both of the client and the lawyer), but if a lawyer isn’t reputable, they might be hesitant to put anything in writing – so they can throw hidden fees at you later.
Specifically, you’re going to want to make sure that you sign a retainer agreement (the DMV.org website outlines what that should look like – though that particular site has motor vehicle accidents in mind, the information is pertinent when selecting a personal injury lawyer as well). Know what you’re going to pay, when you’re going to pay – and what you will get in return if the ruling is in your favor – and make sure to have it all in writing.
All in all, selecting a personal injury lawyer can be a bit of a nightmare, but with the right advice and a little time, you will be able to select a lawyer that will work for you – and with your specific injury in mind. Don’t give up and certainly don’t rush – you have a lot to gain by being patient and, in the end, a lawyer that knows your case and knows how to professionally and knowledgeably represent you will be one that is most likely to win your case – and get you what you’re asking for!