How Do People Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you intend to hire a lawyer to help you pursue compensation for personal injuries, you may be wondering how to choose the right one. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can give you an upper hand in the case as they’re well-versed with the applicable laws. Entrusting the case to them also eases the emotional burden off of you, allowing you to concentrate on recovery. Since not all lawyers are equal, you should learn how to choose the right one for your case.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A personal injury lawyer provides legal services to people who have suffered physical or psychological injuries caused by another party’s negligence. Hiring a personal injury attorney is optional but an important step in the compensation process. They can help protect your rights, as well as anticipate and intervene in any legal issues that may arise.
Among other duties, a personal injury attorney can:
- Inform you about your legal rights and provide advice
- Conduct a professional investigation
- Gather evidence (track down and interview witnesses, obtain scene photos, videos, and police reports)
- Assess and calculate fair damages
Send a demand letter and negotiate with the insurance company
- (If necessary) file a lawsuit and work through the legal processes, including representing you in court
Defending Your Case
The first step in choosing a lawyer is verifying that the firm specializes in personal injury cases. A criminal defense or family law attorney may not have the expertise a personal injury attorney can offer. You’ll also want to consider the lawyer’s:
There are multiple personal injury practice areas, but most attorneys focus on a select few. Check that the lawyer you work with is experienced in your type of case. You can find the information on their website since most indicate the cases they handle. If they have published attorney bios on the website, read through the profiles to learn more about their experience.
The attorney should have a strong track record. They should have demonstrated experience in handling complex, high-value cases and winning fair settlements or judgments for clients. You can find the information on the firm’s website (published results and client testimonials), as well as public review pages. Learning how previous clients have felt about the process can tell you a lot about the lawyer.
Since the legal process can be a long and sensitive journey, you should hire an attorney you can get along with. Trust your judgment from your first interaction. A good attorney should be supportive throughout your recovery journey.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay them if they win. Ask whether this arrangement is available and seek to understand the fine print of their payment terms. The contingency fees may vary depending on several factors, but it should be a percentage agreed on beforehand.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer
While any lawyer can offer to represent you, hiring one experienced in personal injury cases gives you an upper hand. Their legal knowledge and experience negotiating similar claims can work to your advantage. Find a local personal injury agency to learn more about how they can defend your case.