When you’ve suffered an injury that wasn’t your fault, hiring the first lawyer who advertises in local newspapers or on television can be tempting. However, this isn’t necessarily the best strategy.
A personal injury attorney is not just someone who will take up your case and make things right. They are a partner in your quest for justice. If you know what questions to ask when hiring a lawyer, you’ll be able to find one with whom you’re comfortable working closely on your case for months or even years.
You can ask your friends, family, and co-workers for suggestions. If you have a healthcare professional that you trust, they may be able to provide some recommendations. Your employer might also know of a lawyer who’s good at what they do.
When looking for a lawyer referral service in your area, check out the American Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS). The LRS provides free one-hour consultations with lawyers who meet their high standards of experience and expertise, and they won’t charge you anything unless you hire them.
Ask Specific Questions
When interviewing a lawyer, you should be prepared to ask specific questions. It would help if you asked about their experience with similar cases and how they would handle your case.
For example, suppose you developed cancer due to firefighting foam that left you unable to work for several months. In that case, it might be beneficial for the lawyer to have experience in a firefighting foam lawsuit.
A firefighting foam lawsuit is a complex one due to two sets of plaintiffs – those who live in a contaminated area but don’t necessarily have cancer and those who developed cancer due to direct exposure. The settlement and compensation will depend on the type of plaintiff you are, and an experienced lawyer should be able to get you the best compensation depending on your condition.
You also should get an idea of what kind of attorney is best suited for your injury case by asking about their background, education, and training. You may want someone with more than just a law degree. An attorney with psychology or medical training could be helpful in certain situations.
Another critical question is how they approach cases such as yours. Do they believe that mediation is always preferable over trial? Or do they prefer going straight into court? You’ll want someone who can help guide you through this process without wasting too much time or money (or both).
Interview Several Lawyers
When you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer, it can be helpful to interview several lawyers. There are over 60,670 personal injury lawyers and attorneys in the US in 2022. The first thing we recommend is shortlisting a few and then asking each lawyer for references from past clients that you can contact. It will give you a better idea of the service quality and how well they’ll represent your interests in court.
Next, ask about their experience with similar cases. What were the injuries involved? Was there a police report? What was their success rate? You’ll also want to know how much they charge. Do they take contingency fees (meaning any money they make comes from the defendant)? Are they available when needed? Finally, consider whether this firm’s approach matches yours, like whether it is aggressive or more passive, does it want to settle out of court or go through with litigation if necessary, etc.
Do Not Choose a Lawyer Based on the Location of Their Office
The location of the office is not essential. The truth is, you can work with a lawyer who has an office near your home or even in your neighborhood. You can also work with a lawyer who has an office near your workplace.
Being close to the other party and their witnesses is beneficial when representing clients in a personal injury lawsuit because it gives them more access to these people during discovery and trial prep, but this should not be the only reason you choose a particular attorney over another one that may be closer geographically.
Check Out the Lawyer’s Reputation
According to a survey, 80% of individuals check out an attorney’s online reviews before hiring them. The first thing you should do when checking out a lawyer is to ask for recommendations from friends, family members, and co-workers. If someone has gone through the same thing you are going through. They will be able to tell you if their experience with the attorney was positive or negative.
You can also check out online reviews of lawyers by researching them using Google or reading online forums dedicated to personal injury lawsuits. The more reviews a lawyer has from real people who have used their services, the better their reputation and credibility as an attorney will be.
When checking out potential attorneys’ websites, look into whether they list past cases they have won against insurance companies so that you know what kind of results they can get for your case before choosing one over another (but keep in mind that this isn’t always accurate).
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask About Fees
It is a question that you can easily avoid. Don’t let the lawyer go on and on about how great they are or how much experience they have. You want to know what kind of deal you are getting into, so ask them immediately. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a lawyer charges $61.54 per hour or $127,990 per year on average.
It would help if you also asked about their hourly rates and any other costs involved with working with them. There are three main types of fees, hourly rate, flat fee, or contingency fee. Hourly rates tend to be higher than flat fees, while contingency fees tend to be lower than both. If you’re unsure which type of lawyer would work best for your case, it might help to consider which method is more affordable for you in the long run.
When you find a lawyer you trust, personally and professionally, you will have an advocate in your corner who you can count on to stand up for your rights and work tirelessly to get you the best possible result. Good lawyers should be able to explain the legal process clearly and comprehensively. They should also be responsive when communicating with their clients; being able to clarify any questions or concerns about your case will make all the difference in helping you feel confident about your decision to hire them.
There are many lawyers out there who can help you with your injury case, but you must choose the right one. The lawyer you choose should be someone who will work hard to get you the best possible result, even if that means going above and beyond what is expected of them by law. Once you find a lawyer like this, they will become your advocate in court, someone who will be able to stand up for your rights and fight tirelessly on behalf of their client.