Personal injury lawyer are the best people to help you if you have been injured and want to file a lawsuit against someone. They can guide you through filing for compensation for your injuries. However, if you do not know how to hire an exemplary personal injury lawyer, finding one that will represent your case well in court can be challenging. Here are some things that you should consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer:
What Kind of Cases Does the Lawyer Specialize In?
There are many types of personal injury attorneys; each specializes in a particular area of law. There are around 1.33 million lawyers in the US, according to data in 2022. Some lawyers handle car accidents only, while others only handle slip and fall cases. First, you must figure out whether you want to work with a lawyer having experience with your type of case or, even better, someone who’s already handled similar cases successfully.
For example, in St. Louis, you may be dealing with the aftermath of an accident that wasn’t your fault. In this case, St. Louis personal injury lawyer can help you get compensation for the pain and suffering you have gone through.
St. Louis has become the most accident-prone county in Missouri, with over 100 deaths recorded since 2002 due to road accidents. Reportedly 55% or 84 people accounted for fatal car crash deaths, while 22 pedestrian deaths were also recorded due to traffic violations. The stats clearly state that St. Louis is not the safest county regarding traffic crashes. That is why a professional attorney is required to file a case if you or your known person meets with an accident in the area.
If you have an idea of what type of case you need help with, you can save time by looking for these specialized lawyers instead of wasting time on finding someone who is perfect for your needs.
Make a List of 3-4 Potential Personal Injury Lawyers
Likely, you don’t have a personal injury lawyer on speed dial, so it is necessary to do some research before making that first call. Ask your family and friends for recommendations, search online or review the website of the lawyer you are considering hiring. According to sources, about 67% of personal injury consumers contact only one lawyer, which is not a professional approach to contest a personal injury lawsuit. Contact three or four firms based on your needs. If possible, arrange for an in-person consultation with the attorney before deciding whether or not to retain him/her as counsel in your case. When meeting with the lawyers on your list:
- Make sure they can answer all of your questions thoroughly and completely.
- Ask about their experience working with people similar to you.
- Be sure that everyone involved in the case has access to any related documents.
Does the Lawyer Have Trial Experience?
Next, you should ask about their trial experience. If a lawyer is confident in their abilities, they will be able to provide you with information regarding their win/loss record. The best personal injury lawyers have many wins and know how to handle any situation that may arise during your case. They can also help reduce the stress associated with such cases by providing clear guidance on what needs to be done next and when it needs to happen.
An attorney who has experience dealing with similar injuries or accidents will be more familiar with how best to handle your situation. As a result, he can give you the best advice on proceeding through all aspects of your case from start to finish.
Ask About Contingency Fees
A contingency fee is a fee-sharing arrangement between an attorney and their client. The attorney will not get any fees unless the case succeeds and wins money for the client. For example, in the US, auto injury lawyers usually charge their clients’ fees on a contingency basis. The fees can vary from 25% to 40% of the compensation received by the victim. If your lawyer agrees to contest your case on a contingency fee basis, he will get his fee when the insurance company pays you your compensation.
What’s so great about contingency fees? First, it is an excellent option if you don’t have the money to spend on legal representation in the first place. It allows attorneys to help people who cannot afford legal support because they need to focus on getting well or taking care of their families instead of fighting with an insurance company over money.
Ask for References
When hiring a personal injury lawyer, you must ask for references. It should be a red flag if a lawyer refuses or hesitates to provide. It is crucial because you need to know if the person you are dealing with is reputable and reliable. You also want to ensure they have enough experience needed to help you out with your case.
You can use these references to ask about their success rates of winning claims against insurance companies. You can also enquire how much they charge clients per hour/monthly retainer fee and how easy/difficult they are when making decisions regarding your case.
Don’t Hire an Attorney Based on a Billboard or TV Commercial
It has become easy in today’s world to get information and hire attorneys. You can find billboards, TV commercials, social media pages, and ads on radio stations all over the place. All of these could be misleading and may not provide you with accurate information.
Your decision to hire a personal injury lawyer must not be based on billboards or TV commercials. It is best to meet the attorney in person so that you can have an idea about whether this person is suitable for your case or not. Also, ensure they are experienced in dealing with your specific type of case because if they don’t have any experience, then there’s no point in hiring them in the first place.
Do You Feel Comfortable With This Person?
You may not always be comfortable with your lawyer. Your lawyer is not a friend and should never be treated as such. You have hired him or her to help you win your case, not to play cards with you or share stories about their day. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t feel comfortable asking your lawyer a question, it’s okay for them not to answer it because they’ll want to protect their client’s interests first and foremost.
A lawyer that seems disinterested in what they’re doing will likely lead you toward the wrong path. Keeping the relationship professional will help ensure that all communication is clear and concise while helping both parties get what they want out of this legal situation.
When Looking to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer, Do Your Research
Make sure that the personal injury lawyer has a solid background in the law area you seek help with. If they have offices in different cities or states, this could indicate that they may not have as much experience as someone located locally.
It’s also necessary to check out their website to see what services they offer and get an idea of how long they have been practicing law. Also, check whether any complaints have been filed against them by clients or other attorneys.
These steps will help you decide which personal injury lawyer to hire. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do thorough background checks. The last thing you want is to hire the wrong attorney and then have your case dragged out for years because they aren’t experienced enough or don’t have the necessary skills.