Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer: What to Know
Originally posted on http://www.konalawyer.com/blog/hiring-a-personal-injury-lawyer-what-to-know/
There are a ton of attorneys, but not all of them are cut out for the job. Here’s how to make sure you get the best personal injury lawyer for your case.
Have you recently experienced an injury due to someone else’s negligence? If so, you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer, but there are important items to consider first. After an injury, there’s a lot that you need to contemplate: whether or not you need to take time off of work, if the injury was actually someone else’s fault, if you deserve compensation for your injury, and more.
In other words, there’s a lot to keep in mind after being injured, which is why you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer can help answer all the questions above. And, if it turns out that you do deserve compensation for your injury, a lawyer can help you navigate the legal system to ensure you’re appropriately compensated for your injury.
Because a lawyer plays such an important role in the personal injury process, it’s very important to choose the right one. But, with dozens of lawyers to choose from in your area, how do you make sure you choose the right one?
Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about hiring a personal injury lawyer.
How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
First things first, here’s what you need to keep in mind in order to find the best personal injury lawyer:
COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR INJURY LAWYER
You’re going to be spending a lot of time speaking with your lawyer in-person, over the phone, and via email.
Therefore, it’s very important that you choose someone who is a good communicator. If they’re a good communicator, then they should be willing to spend time with you to learn your case inside and out.
Also, how well a lawyer communicates with you will also give you an idea of how well they communicate with judges and juries. While it’s unlikely that your case will go to trial (96 percent of personal injury cases are settled pre-trial), you still want to hire someone who can effectively present your case in the event that it does go to trial.
CONSIDER EACH INJURY LAWYER’S SPECIALIZATION
While personal injury is a specialization in and of itself, many lawyers specialize even further than this. For example, some lawyers specialize in car accidents, some in medical malpractice, and others in dog bites. When hiring a personal injury lawyer, you want to make sure you choose someone who has experience with your type of injury.
ASK FOR REFERENCES
While a quick Google search will yield plenty of options for personal injury lawyers, it’s best to ask those you trust for recommendations. Chances are, you have a family member, friend, or co-worker who has recently hired a personal injury lawyer. But even then, be sure to shop around.
UNDERSTAND THE COST
When hiring a personal injury lawyer, it’s also very important to consider the cost. If a lawyer isn’t transparent about how they charge, then that’s a red flag. You should have a clear understanding of how they charge before signing any contracts. Depending on your case, you may even qualify to be represented on contingency. In these scenarios, the lawyer will represent you with no money out of your pocket — they are paid only if you win your case, and commonly receive a third of the compensation awarded.
If your case does not warrant contingency payment, just be sure you have a clear understanding of how your attorney bills.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS WITH EXPERIENCE
Experience matters a great deal when hiring an injury lawyer. In general, you’ll want to hire a personal injury lawyer with at least a few years of experience under their belt. And, as we mentioned before, you also want to make sure they have experience with your type of injury. Lastly, you should make sure your lawyer has experience settling cases both in and out of court.
VERDICT AND SETTLEMENT HISTORY
Looking at the lawyer’s verdict and settlement history is especially important if you’re dealing with a serious injury and a large case. If there are millions of dollars on the line, you want to make sure you hire a lawyer who can deliver a settlement that matches your needs. The best way to make sure a lawyer can deliver is to ask about their verdict and settlement history.
CONDUCT INTERVIEWS WITH INJURY LAWYERS
You should never hire a lawyer without first meeting them in person. Luckily, most lawyers offer free consultations, so you should take advantage of these. When meeting with a lawyer, be sure to take advantage of the time by asking plenty of questions about their trial history, experience, and specialties. You can also ask them for a list of references.
UNDERSTAND THE LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
It’s also very important to understand what your relationship will be like with your lawyer throughout the process. So, when interviewing attorneys, be sure to ask them about this. Above all else, you want to make sure that the lawyer you’re speaking with will be the person who will be primarily handling your case and communicating with you.
KNOW HOW TO BE A GOOD CLIENT
Hiring a good lawyer is a two-way street. In other words, a good lawyer can only do so much if you’re a bad client.
Here’s what it takes to be a good client for your lawyer:
- Show up to all your medical appointments, otherwise, the insurance adjuster is going to try and argue that you’re not as injured as badly as you claim to be
- Respond to your lawyer in a prompt manner (within 24 hours on weekdays)
- Cooperate in the discovery process
- Show up to court on time and dress appropriately for your trial
Are You Ready to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
As you can see, there’s a lot to keep in mind when hiring a personal injury lawyer. But, by following these tips, you’ll be much more likely to find a lawyer who can win you your case.
If you have any questions about hiring a personal injury lawyer, comment below. And, if you need to hire a lawyer in Kona, Hawaii, please get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.