Selecting a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered an injury through the fault of another, you may be out of work, overwhelmed with piles of medical bills, or in constant pain and agony. Under any of these circumstances, researching, locating, and retaining a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim can seem like yet another insurmountable obstacle. There are, however, some guidelines that can help you to select a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. With a personal injury lawyer from our firm on your side, you can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on your recovery while we carry at least part of your burden.
An important factor to consider when selecting a personal injury lawyer is whether he or she has experience in and concentrates his or her legal practice on personal injury law. An attorney whose primary focus is personal injury law is often at an advantage in that he or she understands the complexities of personal injury lawsuits, can more easily keep abreast of the latest developments and ever-evolving laws, and is more likely to know the habits and tactics of opposing counsel.
Additionally, a lawyer who has demonstrated experience in personal injury litigation may have also gained credibility with insurance companies and their lawyers and thus have “less to prove” in order to achieve a favorable settlement on his or her client’s behalf.
Record of Past Successes
Another factor worth considering is whether a particular personal injury lawyer has experience trying cases, winning favorable verdicts, and negotiating favorable settlements. Knowing that an attorney is a skilled litigator and negotiator can add to your overall sense of security.
Billing and Fee Structure
Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingent-fee basis under which the client is responsible for costs but pays attorney’s fees only if he or she obtains a favorable settlement or verdict. In a typical contingent fee arrangement, attorney’s fees, sometimes called legal fees, are calculated as a percentage of the recovery. Although it may be tempting to choose a lawyer based on who will take the lowest percentage, fees alone should not be the determining factor.
Because many lawyers provide initial consultations free of charge in personal injury cases, you may be able to interview multiple lawyers before selecting one to handle your case. Care should be taken, however, to make your selection in a relatively short period of time to avoid the loss of key evidence and to ensure that your claim is not barred by the passing of time.
Once hired, your attorney should be responsive to your needs. He or she should answer your questions satisfactorily, return your phone calls promptly, and, most importantly, represent your interests zealously. If at any time you become dissatisfied with your attorney’s legal representation, you may be able to change attorneys without penalty; however, because changing attorneys while your case is pending can result in substantial delays and additional expenses, taking the time to select the appropriate attorney in the beginning can save time and money in the future. To find out if a personal injury attorney at our firm is right for you, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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