Hiring a personal injury attorney is imperative if someone else's negligence caused your injury and you need representation. An experienced attorney can make the process less stressful. But how to do it? (You really can't sue if you are injured).
Research potential candidates
Find someone with the necessary experience in personal injury.
They may have experiences with cases similar to yours.
They may have experience handling claims with many insurance companies and experience litigating your type of case and the injuries for which you seek compensation.
Know what to look for in a law firm
Years of experience
See testimonials and read opinions
Testimonials and testimonial videos can give you an insight from real clients
Feedback can help you anticipate what your experience with the firm will be like
Analyze your candidates
Have they had clients like you before?
Do they think you could have a successful case?
What are the fees for a case like this?
Understand the costs
Finding someone with a fee structure that suits you is imperative.
A contingent fee may be better for those on a budget.
Hire the best team of lawyers for you
If you are not 100% sure, continue with signatures in a reduced list and get answers for unanswered questions
You may not have a perfect phone conversation and that is normal.
Continuing can give you more clarity.
Trust your research and your instincts, go ahead with the representation.
Sign the contract
The contract should determine the representation clauses and the fee structure that you initially agreed to.
Please read carefully and ask any questions you may have.
Never sign a contract that you do not fully understand or are not comfortable with.
A personal injury attorney is someone who specializes in cases where someone is injured, and where they can help the injured party explore their rights to just compensation for those injuries.
If you've suffered a serious injury due to someone else's negligence, it is natural for you to feel that someone else should pay for it - the problem is, you don't know where to start to hold that person accountable. You need to hire a personal injury attorney who will know your options and handle the legal process for you. But who to hire?
The United States is full of personal injury law firms competing for the business of injured accident victims. Some firms promote themselves a lot, while others quietly rely on word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations to attract customers. An internet search will bring up hundreds of thousands of results at the very least. So how do you choose the best personal injury law firm available for your case? Here are three general parts of how to search, all with their own individual steps: Research potential candidates, screen your candidates, and lastly, hire the best attorney for you.
Part 1 - INVESTIGATION OF POTENTIAL CANDIDATES
Step 1: Understand What Your Case Involves
To find out if an attorney is right for you, first understand the basics of why you need an attorney. Different attorneys focus on different areas of law, and if you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, your claim is in the area of personal injury. You would not hire a business attorney to defend you in a criminal case. Likewise, you don't want to simply hire any family member or friend with a licensed attorney unless that person has the necessary personal injury experience. Many people make the mistake of hiring someone they know, or someone who has a friend or family member who might know, even if they are not the right attorney for the job.
The type of accident is a significant variable in personal injury cases. You don't want to hire an attorney who only handles car accident cases if you were injured in a slip and fall at Walmart. Handling an auto insurance claim is VERY different from dealing with corporate giants like Walmart and its insurers.
It is also important to consider the attorney's experience with the type and severity of the injury. Some personal injury firms prefer to take hundreds of cases that involve relatively minor injuries because they do not have the knowledge of medical diagnoses and treatments that involve serious or catastrophic injuries. If you suffered a serious or catastrophic injury, be sure to consult with your attorney if they have had experience with cases like yours.
Even if someone practices personal injury law, they may not have the experience and resources to handle a wide variety of personal injury claims, from a typical car accident to a catastrophic semi-trailer truck case, or a claim for slip and fall from serious injuries. Some larger personal injury law firms have both the capacity and the skills to handle a wide variety of these types of cases, but you should be sure to research that firm before hiring them. The advantage of hiring a large firm is that you have more resources and potential behind your claim. However, be careful to make sure that this company does not have a reputation for treating its customers "like a number." Sometimes, the best option is to hire a law firm that is large, but offers high levels of individual service. This way, you get the best of both worlds — increased resources behind your case and personalized attention from the team.
Finally, understand that there are different ways to seek compensation in personal injury cases. Insurance companies may offer to pay some claims, while others may require going to court. You need an attorney with experience handling claims with many different insurance companies, as well as litigation experience in your type of case and the injuries you need to sue - one who is not shy when it comes to facing corporate adversaries. and large insurance companies, and one that knows all the negotiation tactics necessary to successfully resolve a claim.
Step 2: Know what to look for in an attorney
Endless law firms handle personal injury cases, so you should consider the following factors that separate the best personal injury attorneys from the rest of the pack:
- Years of Experience - It 's just a fact that newer attorneys are not as experienced and may not know as many "insider secrets" as attorneys who have practiced personal injury law for decades. However, a newer attorney working for a company that provides the support and training of experienced attorneys should be fine.
- Reputation - attorneys who are respected in the community and have a positive reputation will often be better than attorneys who have garnered a less stellar reputation. A positive reputation will often mean a reliable attorney who will commit to your case. In today's "internet age," there is no reason not to investigate!
- Disciplinary record — Attorneys who do not meet deadlines, do not keep clients informed, or act ethically may find ethics complaints filed against them with their bar association or licensing agency. Using the state bar association or the licensing agency's website, look for any complaints, suspension, or disqualification of the attorneys you are investigating.
- Availability — if your injuries prevent you from going to an attorney's office, see if the attorney will visit you at home or in the hospital. Look for a firm that has team members available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These are sure signs of dedication on the part of the firm to its clients, as well as a good “infrastructure” of operations.
- Winning results — it doesn't matter how many cases an attorney has handled if the attorney does not consistently achieve good results for clients. Pay attention to previous client reviews regarding past case results — while not a guarantee, it can provide a good indication of what a particular attorney might accomplish for you.
Step 3: View testimonials, read comments
What better way to find out about an attorney's services than from clients' words? Clients are not required to write testimonials for their attorneys and often choose to do so because they appreciate the help they received. Reading testimonials or even watching testimonial videos can also give you a better idea of the experience you may have with that attorney or law firm.
Do you want a lawyer who is from all areas? Testimonials can indicate that they were focused and efficient.
Do you want personalized and dedicated attention? Many clients write about how an attorney made them feel throughout the entire process.
Taking the time to read testimonials from former clients of an attorney can give you a good or bad feeling about how they can help you.
Likewise, be sure to read reviews online. Reading past customer reviews can sometimes be one of the best ways to anticipate what their experience will be like.
Don't let a few bad reviews keep you from a good lawyer. Look at the review content: Did the rater seem like someone with personal interests, unreasonable expectations, or even a disgruntled employee or competitor posting a false review? (This happens more than you think) Be sure to see if the law firm responds to opinions as they are published. If you answer, what do you think of the answer? Do they seem to care about the opinions of their customers?
Part 2 - Examine YOUR CANDIDATES
Step 1 - Questions to ask
After speaking with friends and family for recommendations, do a Google search and use web legal directories to find different attorneys in your area, carefully research each option, and narrow your list down to a few top candidates. Get in touch with these attorneys and discuss your situation with your team, making sure to ask any questions you have about the attorney, their team, and your particular case.
You should prepare the questions you want to ask in advance, as you don't want to lose your way and forget about them during the conversation. You will want to discuss what happened to you and how the law firm is prepared to help you. Some common questions for this meeting may include:
- Have you handled a case like mine before? If so, was it successful?
- Do you focus on one area of law or do you handle many types of cases?
- How long do I have to initiate legal action?
- How long does it take to resolve a case like mine? Is there a range?
- How will my case be assigned and who will I be working with?
- How quickly does your office return calls or emails to keep me up to date on the status of my case?
- What is the fee arrangement for handling these types of cases?
- Do you think I have a good chance for a successful case?
To provide the best possible answer to your questions, please provide the attorney team with as much information as possible about your case. It helps if you can gather information and documentation prior to the consultation so that you can provide details about your accident and injuries. If possible, you should have important documents and information available. Documents and information such as medical records, accident witness information, photos you took of the accident scene, police reports, and other important information can be helpful in making your consultation as productive as possible.
Taking the time to discuss your case and your concerns with a law firm can give you an idea of whether or not they are going to partner with you. During the conversation, if the law firm representative is quick to talk, skips over important issues, or tries to rush you out of intervention, that may indicate what to expect throughout your case. On the other hand, a representative who takes the time to make sure you understand what is happening, carefully explains your rights and options, shows empathy and patience, and treats you like a person can leave you more confident that you will receive responsive, personalized representation. during your case.
Selecting the right attorney is a personal decision — and also a very important one. Make sure your initial consultations are completely free and that you are not required to hire the attorney or the firm. Make sure the legal team has taken the time to answer your questions and evaluate your potential claim. Don't let anyone waste your time simply telling you what you want to hear — seek an honest assessment of your case.
Step 2: Understand the cost
One of the biggest hesitations that accident victims can have about hiring an attorney is the potential cost. After all, you've heard that law firms charge hundreds of dollars an hour or even $ 100 for a short phone call! You don't have to worry about money every time you pick up the phone with a consultation for your attorney. Instead, you need to find an attorney who meets your needs with a fee structure that you are comfortable with.
Some attorneys charge for settlements that can be confusing, and you should always feel free to continue inquiring until you fully understand what the attorney expects of you financially. You need an attorney whose fees match your financial situation following an injury — not make things more stressful!
If you are short on money and are looking for the most cost effective way to hire an attorney, look for a company that accepts cases that are based on contingent fees. A contingent fee agreement means that you pay nothing unless the business is successful in obtaining compensation for you. Under a contingent fee agreement, all the work attorneys do to prepare and process your insurance claim is free. Chasing a lawsuit is free. You will pay absolutely nothing unless you have a successful resolution.
When you receive compensation, part of your payment will cover your attorney's fees and costs. Your contingent fee agreement should detail in writing how much of your payment will go to your attorney, and you should always feel comfortable with that amount. At no time should you pay anything out of pocket or pay money up front.
Contingent fee arrangements benefit everyone in the situation. You don't have to worry about paying a lawyer. You can file an injury claim even if you don't have the money to pay it. Also, your attorney is only paid if you do, so your interests align with those of your attorney. This also marks a sign of your attorney's confidence in your case - attorneys are unlikely to take bad cases in a contingency because there is nothing for them.
Part 3 - HIRE THE BEST LAWYER FOR YOU
Step 1: Follow-up, if necessary
Imagine that you really enjoy your conversation with the first law firm and are comfortable with their credentials, experience, and the general demeanor of their staff. If you are comfortable and confident that they are the right fit for you, and they have answered all of your questions and addressed all of your concerns, feel free to confidently go ahead and hire them. On the other hand, you may have constant questions or concerns. In such a situation, it may be best to ask to speak to a supervisor or directly to one of the team attorneys. If you don't make progress in hiring the law firm after that first conversation, you should have a notebook handy and jot down any questions or concerns that arise so you can have a productive conversation when you follow up later.
Even if you don't have a perfect first conversation experience, remember that conversations can drift, and legal professionals, like anyone else, may not give you all the details or answer every question. That is not to say that they do not care, or that they are not well informed, it may have simply been an oversight. Ultimately, if you feel a strong connection to a law firm, whether after your first consultation or the second - trust your research and your instincts, and move on with representation.
Step 2: Sign the contract and sigh in relief
By following the steps above, you should narrow down your options to the personal injury attorney who you think is the best option for you and your case.
When you select a law firm that agrees to take your case, you will need to sign a contract. The contract must establish the clauses of the representation, as well as the fee structure that was initially discussed. Please read this agreement carefully and feel free to ask questions about the terms of the contract. As any attorney will tell you: never sign a contract that you are not comfortable with or do not fully understand! Once you sign the contract, your new personal injury attorney and his team can start working to get you the compensation you deserve.
Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney to Learn More Today
When you don't know where to go to discuss your rights, call a personal injury attorney. That is the first step in obtaining the compensation you need after being injured by accident.
Find the personal injury attorney that is right for you. Each person is different and people will have different preferences when it comes to their legal representation and experience. No matter your values or attitudes, never take choosing a personal injury attorney lightly.
Perhaps nothing is as helpful as talking to the legal team and getting a real idea of who they are and how they will treat you. Find a legal team that carefully reviews the details of your accident, injuries, and losses, and can provide information on your rights and options. Find someone who makes you feel as comfortable as possible and who will protect your interests at every step of the legal process.
Don't take chances. Let us help you!