If you have sustained injuries in a car accident or other mishap, there’s a good chance you will need a personal injury lawyer. A good personal injury attorney can help you recover damages related to the cost of your medical care and other issues. If you ever need a personal injury attorney, it’s a good idea to find one in your area sooner rather than later.
Here are a few things to consider when picking a personal injury lawyer:
It is essential that you find a lawyer who is qualified to handle personal injury cases. Find a list of attorneys with the proper credentials and licenses through your local bar association. They will be happy to help you locate professionals in your area.
You can also ask attorneys who they might recommend for practicing personal injury law. If you have worked with a family law attorney in the past, for instance, that person should be able to suggest a good lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases.
Once you have compiled a list, schedule an initial consultation — which is typically free — to talk with the attorney about your case. Tell him about the basics of your case and get their first impressions about it.
Have several consultations with different attorneys before making a decision. Each lawyer might have a different strategy for how to best represent you. Listen closely to find out about their plans, how they typically resolve cases, and whether you can trust them.
It is ideal to find an attorney who will handle your case on a contingency basis, meaning the lawyer will not be paid unless you receive money. When a lawyer agrees to these terms, it means he has a lot of confidence in your case.
Learn as much as you can about the lawyer’s track record in negotiating settlements, including pre-trial settlements and arguing in the courtroom.
Each attorney will undoubtedly tell you about big awards they’ve won on behalf of clients, but always consider how that relates to your specific situation. Every case is different, so don’t assume that big settlements for other clients will translate into the same results for you.
It is much more important to find out how the attorney would handle your case. Have they successfully settled similar cases in the past? How long did the process take? What steps are necessary in the process? How would the lawyer fees and related court costs be handled?
You should be satisfied with the answers to these questions before proceeding. By getting as much background information about the attorney as you can, you’ll be better armed to make the right decision.
Finally, you must consider something intangible: the ability to trust, understand and work closely with your lawyer. Rapport is a vital part of the equation. It’s about developing a professional relationship based on mutual respect. You don’t have to be buddies with your attorney; you only have to trust them.
A good attorney will be available when you need him, and he should talk about complex legal processes in language you can understand. Communication is a big part of his job.
When you find all of these qualities – the right background, experience and communication – you’ll have a better chance at getting a positive outcome for your case.