Have you or a loved one recently been injured? Thinking of filing a personal injury claim?
With timelines that can stretch long periods of time, handling a personal injury claim can be scary and stressful. It’s also confusing knowing how much money you should seek in a settlement.
In need of the best personal injury lawyer? Unsure where to start? Keep reading below for seven great tips to find the perfect lawyer for you.
1. Seek Out a Focused Practice
Many attorneys will advertise themselves as someone who can help with everything. Wills, nasty divorces, personal injuries, bankruptcies, etc.
While legally, they can work in these areas, but someone who handles everything often never becomes an expert in anything.
As a personal injury claim outcome can impact you for the rest of your life, find someone who solely focuses on these types of cases. Firms like Farris Riley & Pitt handle a wide variety of personal injury claims.
You especially want to be wary of any firms that have attorneys that represent both victims and insurance companies or businesses.
2. Choose a Lawyer Experienced with Trials
While it’s statistically unlikely that your personal injury claim will actually go to trial, it’s important to find a lawyer that would be ready should that occur.
You’d be surprised how many personal injury lawyers have no trial experience. Insurance companies will be aggressive and relentless in pushing for a settlement.
If they find out that your representation may not be able to handle a trial, they will capitalize on that. This will ultimately hurt your chances at a favorable outcome.
Ask how many cases they have taken to trial and how they turned out. Get as much information as you can. Ask them what strategies they will use to ensure if you go to trial, you will get a favorable outcome.
If they get defensive or angry when you ask these questions, that is a major red flag. You should definitely consider seeking out another option.
3. Ask Friends and Family for the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal recommendations are one of the best ways to find qualified professionals. If someone in your social circle has had experience with lawyers, specifically personal injury lawyers, ask to chat with them
Don’t leave any question unasked. Ask if they were satisfied with the outcome and what it was like working with their lawyer.
Pick their brain to see how the communication was between them. Lawyers are busy, but you should be able to contact them and get a response within one to two days.
If your friends or family are comfortable, ask them to share information on payment. The more you know, the better prepared you are to make a good decision.
4. Do You Online Research
In addition to speaking with friends and family members for recommendations, always do online research.
Before doing anything else, check if they are licensed and in good standing in the state where the accident happened.
Each state has a bar association that has information of all lawyers. Using this database, you can make sure your potential lawyer has never been in trouble or investigated.
While researching online, also check for reviews. Seek out testimonials from prior clients that will help inform your decision. Red flags to pay attention to include any mention of non-professional behaviors or rude communication.
5. Look for a Good Case Record
It seems obvious, but it’s important to choose representation that has proven a success. Historical performance is a strong indicator of future outcomes.
While seeking out a personal injury lawyer, ask potential candidates about their history. Be direct and ask how many large settlements they have fought for.
You want someone who has shown they will fight for you to be fully compensated.
6. Find Out if They Will Be Handling the Case
As mentioned above, lawyers are really busy. They often are handling many cases at the same time. While there is nothing wrong with this, it’s important to feel out if they will be dedicating enough time to you and your case.
Having initial consults with the lawyer that will be dealing with your case is important. Be cautious of any firm that has you meet with secretaries or paralegals only before signing on.
If a lawyer can’t take time out for initial meetings, it may be a sign they will not have enough time to give you the personal attention that you need.
A handy tip is to create a checklist ahead of your initial consult with questions you want answers to.
Ask who all will be involved with the case and if they have experience with cases similar to yours. Try to get an estimate of an expected timeline and what they expect of you as the client.
Get clear guidelines on communication expectations and how they handle disagreements between them and clients.
7. Clearly Discuss Fees Before Signing Contracts
While the lawyer will be fighting for you to be compensated for your injury and associated costs, remember you will also have to pay them for their services.
It is best to work with lawyers who operate on a contingency fee. This essentially means that you only pay them if you receive a settlement. Different lawyers will do it in their own ways.
Many will take a percentage of the final settlement award.
Take a Deep Breathe and Remember You Aren’t Alone
Being injured can be a traumatizing experience. But with the best personal injury lawyer, you will have helpful guidance throughout the process.
Paying attention to the concepts mentioned above will help you be confident in navigating this complex process.
Feel better about your ability to find a good lawyer, but concerned about the financial strings attached? Check out this guide on finding and paying for legal aid on any budget.