Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Have you been the victim of an accident that was not your fault? Maybe you were in a car accident, or slipped and fell on slippery pavement, or experienced injuries due to a faulty product? Are the injuries that you sustained keeping you from work, causing you pain and resulting in massive medical and hospital bills? If your answer is “yes,” you should consider hiring an injury attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Why hire an attorney? In almost all injury cases, the injured victim is responsible for proving the fault or negligence of the guilty party. In an auto accident, did the other driver hit your vehicle because he/she was speeding, texting or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs? If you fell, did the property owner know about the slippery conditions and fail to correct them?
Personal injury lawyers typically have:
- Familiarity with the courtroom, the judges, and the laws, procedures, and rules related to personal injuries;
- Experience representing and communicating on behalf of clients, including potentially contentious conversations with guilty parties and their insurance companies;
- An understanding of the process that translates into sound legal advice for you;
- Experience in collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses and preparing for a trial; and
- Superb negotiating skills in dealing with insurance companies. The mere presence of legal counsel often leads to better insurance settlements for the victim.
How can you find the right injury lawyer for you? Consider asking these questions:
What experience do you have in trying this kind of case? There are many kinds of personal injury suits. Make sure your attorney has experience in your type of injury.
What kind of courtroom experience do you have? Many cases are settled outside of court. Make sure your attorney has extensive trial experience.
Can I win, and if so, how much will I receive? You likely won’t get a specific answer because these cases can be very unpredictable. Beware of those who will promise that you’ll win large awards. If you ask this question of 3-4 attorneys, you should have a good feel for what is possible.
What is your fee? Most personal injury attorneys work on contingency and charge about 1/3 of whatever you recover. This means that they won’t collect fees unless you get some kind of settlement. Keep in mind that you may incur other expenses, like court costs, expert witness fees, administrative expenses and investigative charges on top of the attorney’s fees.