If you want to maximize your chances of winning a personal injury case, the key is finding the right attorney. Working with a reliable personal injury attorney will provide you with the representation you need to secure a better outcome. However, with so many attorneys out there to choose from, it can be a challenge to find the attorney who’s most compatible with both you and your case.
Here are some steps to take when trying to find a personal injury lawyer.
Find an Attorney with the Right Practice Area Focus
When looking for a professional in any industry, you will often choose someone with a specific specialty within that industry, which is also important to consider when searching for an attorney.
Different attorneys have specific practice areas in which they’re experts, so depending on the type of personal injury case you may have, you will want to find the right attorney to handle it. For example, a personal injury lawyer could have more experience with a specific type of injury or accident, such as car accidents or medical malpractice.
Make sure the attorney has worked with your specific type of case before scheduling a consultation, which will help reassure you that you’ve chosen an attorney who’s familiar with the challenges you face.
Don’t Settle on One Attorney
Even if an attorney you find looks appealing, do as much research as possible and look at other attorneys before making your decision. You can begin by asking any people you know, including other attorneys, for recommendations based on their experiences or connections. From there, look for any potential issues and unfavorable outcomes that past clients may have experienced.
You’ll find that a majority of people who have worked with attorneys will be open about their experience, with positive or negative reviews that help determine if an attorney is trustworthy. If an attorney looks like the best option, it’s still a good idea to continue your search and look for other attorneys who may be more compatible with you.
Look for Information About Past Qualifications and Successes
Prior to hiring an attorney, you should also make sure that they’re both qualified and experienced enough to handle your case. First, search for any credentials and make sure that the attorney is qualified to handle your case. A personal injury attorney should be licensed to practice in your specific state and zip code, so check to see if they can represent you where your case is taking place.
Look for details about successes, which will help better gauge your chances at a successful outcome. A lack of advertised successes and judgments could be a red flag.
If an attorney has achieved success with previous clients and is qualified to represent you, it may be worth continuing the hiring process.
Request More Case-Related Information
When meeting with the attorney in an initial consultation, ask the attorney about your case, including what he or she thinks it’s worth and if it’s viable in the first place. You can also ask about how the attorney would handle the case and the kind of outcome you may be able to achieve. For instance, you may find that an attorney is used to settling cases out of court and may not be willing to represent you in a courtroom setting.
Also, feel free to ask about how the attorney would communicate with you throughout your case and the specific process. You may receive a call once every few weeks for an update in some cases, or you may be able to call your attorney to request more information.
Most importantly, ask about the outcome the attorney anticipates. If the attorney gives you a specific sum within your first consultation, this is cause for alarm. Settlements can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances around a case, so your attorney should only give you a rough estimate or range without any narrow promises.
Check for Contingency Fees
Most personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee in the event they win a case. Put simply, if the attorney doesn’t reach a settlement, you won’t need to pay the settlement fee. Unfortunately, many people don’t look closely at the payment agreements, which can result in an unpleasant surprise as clients wind up paying more than they expected.
Ask about the specific percentage that the attorney will charge and any extraneous fees that may apply to your case. For example, you may find that an attorney charges a specific hourly rate for certain tasks, while another attorney charges different percentages depending on the type of case. If you’re uncomfortable with the amount you may wind up paying, you may want to look elsewhere for a better payment structure.
Look Closely at All Paperwork
In addition to payment agreements, it’s a good idea to thoroughly review any and all paperwork you come across when working with an attorney. Otherwise, you could wind up with more unpleasant surprises after entering into a contract.
If you have any questions about the language in any paperwork, including agreements, don’t be afraid to ask them. If anything, the responses that attorneys provide could be good indicators of how reliable they are. For instance, an attorney might attempt to dodge the question or fail to provide a clear answer that helps you understand, in which case you might be better off continuing your search.
Once you’ve taken all of these steps, you may have an easier time deciding which personal injury attorney near you is worth handling your case. Working with the right attorney can give you a chance to secure a better outcome with minimal hassles during the claims process.