Most people don’t expect to be in a situation requiring a personal injury lawyer. However, injuries happen every day, and when they do, you want the right person on your side.
A quality personal injury attorney will investigate your claim, prove liability by the at-fault party, and negotiate a fair settlement for you. They will also file a lawsuit if necessary.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a personal injury attorney is their reputation. This can be challenging to gauge, but starting your search with recommendations from family, friends, or colleagues is a good idea. Ask them what lawyer they used in their personal injury case and how they felt about the experience.
Once you’ve gathered some names, schedule an initial consultation. This is usually free and will allow you to meet with several attorneys to discuss your case and determine whether they fit you.
During the consultation, ask each potential lawyer how often they go to court and their jury trial experience. You should also find out their policy on expense reimbursement in cases where they don’t win.
Ask friends, family, and colleagues who have previously worked with personal injury lawyers if they would recommend them. Also, check review sites for attorney ratings and reviews.
When you meet with potential lawyers like Clare, MI personal injury lawyer, ensure they know all the relevant details of your accident. This includes any documentation you have gathered, such as medical bills, police reports, and correspondence with insurance companies.
It would help if you also learned how long the lawyer has handled personal injury cases. Avoid hiring someone who has primarily represented defendants or insurance companies, as this could color their approach to your lawsuit. They might have difficulty seeing how your injuries and losses impact your life and might not fight for you as aggressively as they should. Also, are they members of any legal organizations specializing in representing injured people? These organizations sponsor legal publications and provide legal education seminars.
A personal injury case can become costly, especially if it goes to trial. During your consultation, ensure the lawyer gives you a breakdown of all fees.
Generally, an attorney will collect their fee percentage on the gross recovery of your claim before deducting costs and liens. The “gross recovery” includes the money the insurance company pays to settle your claim or pay a judgment awarded after trial. “Costs” include medical record copy costs, court filing fees, and hiring expert witnesses.
Some attorneys will ask you to front a retainer before they begin work on your claim, which could be several thousand dollars or more. This will be deducted from your gross recovery after they finish their work. However, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis and will only charge you something if they win your case. This is a great way to protect yourself from astronomical legal expenses.
The lawyer you choose to represent you in your injury case will be one of the most important decisions you make in the weeks and months that follow an accident or injury. Your lawyer will represent your interests and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your claim.
When you meet with potential personal injury lawyers, pay attention to how they communicate with you. Do they answer your questions thoroughly? Do they listen to you or talk over you? Do they have the resources to handle your case quickly and competently?
Hiring an injury lawyer with experience representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases is essential. Insurance companies know which injury lawyers try their cases in court and will be willing to offer a higher settlement when those attorneys are on your side. Lawyers who frequently lecture at legal education seminars or write articles about personal injury litigation have also earned the respect of their colleagues.