Hiring a personal injury attorney makes it easy for you to tackle the complicated work of pursuing your claim, including investigations, filing papers, court processes and maintaining communication with the defendant’s insurance company. If you have never worked with a personal injury lawyer before, hiring one can be a bit overwhelming when you don’t know what to look for. Here is your guide for hiring the right personal injury attorney to help you pursue your claim.
Seek referrals from trusted friends or contacts
If you know a friend who has worked with a personal injury attorney to handle their claim before, you can seek their advice. Try to find contacts or friends who have suffered the same fate before to refer you to the reliable attorneys they worked with. Someone who has been through the difficult process has learned a great deal about it and can guide you to the qualities they found valuable in a personal injury attorney. Plus they give you an honest opinion about their experience working with them.
Take advantage of public review sites.
Even after getting referrals to some of the personal injury lawyers you can trust, do your homework. Take advantage of public review sites and check the lawyer’s reviews carefully. It is also a better idea to speak to former clients of the attorney and check their testimonials. Even if you are working with personal injury attorneys in your area, ensure you read their reviews to to get a feel for their reputation.
Is the lawyer you meet the one handling your case?
Note that some law firms send a specific lawyer to meet you and persuade you to work with them then your case is delegated to a different team of lawyers and clerks. This is not a good practice because the first meeting should be to build a rapport with the lawyer who will represent you, which also helps you determine if you are ready to work with them. It is hard to make an informed choice if the first lawyer you meet with is not the one to handle your case. Therefore, ensure the lawyer you meet with initially is the one to handle your case.
Assess the law firm’s retainer agreement
When you see a personal injury attorney, the first thing they do is show you their retainer agreement. If they work on a contingency basis, you want to ensure that the contingency fees percentage is reasonable and fair depending on the ultimate expected settlement. A favorable retainer agreement clarifies that you are not responsible for any lawyer’s fees if the claim is not successful. Ensure you review and understand the retainer agreement beforehand.
Ask the lawyer about their previous arbitration experience.
Your injury claim doesn’t have to go to trial, but you must work with a lawyer who is prepared to take your claim to trial if need be. Some law firms do not have the resources to bring claims to trial and will back off or seek a co-counsel when arbitration or trial is the only option. Look for a lawyer with greater resources and a more extended history of handling arbitrations. That assures you they are familiar with current court processes.
the final words
Beware of personal injury attorneys who provide guarantees or projections because it is difficult to predict how an injury claim unfolds.