How To Find The Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you want to hire a lawyer to handle all aspects of your personal injury claim, or you just want professional guidance on settling your personal injury case yourself (or preparing it for small claims court or arbitration) you don’t want to hire just any lawyer. You want an experienced personal injury lawyer. And you want one with whom you are comfortable.
Finding an Experienced Lawyer
The practice of law has become highly specialized, and many lawyers know less about personal injury law than you will after some reading through this site. So, your first task is to find a lawyer who has experience representing claimants (known as “plaintiffs”) in personal injury cases. You do not want to be represented by someone who has primarily been a lawyer for insurance companies, even if they’re experienced. Such a lawyer may be too accustomed to taking the insurance company’s side and might not fight hard enough for your claim.
A Lawyer Might Not Want Your Case
Finding a lawyer you want to hire is one thing. But that lawyer also has to want your case. And a lawyer could have several reasons for rejecting you as a client.
Friends and Acquaintances
Contact friends or coworkers who have been represented by a lawyer in their own personal injury claims. If the friend or coworker says good things about the experience, put that lawyer on your list of people with whom to have an initial consultation. But do not make any decision about a lawyer solely on the basis of someone else’s recommendation. Different people will have different responses to a lawyer’s style and personality. Also, at any particular time a lawyer may have more or less energy or interest to devote to a new case. So do not make up your mind about hiring someone until you have met with the lawyer, discussed your case, and decided that you are comfortable entering a working relationship.
Lawyers You Already Know
You may already know a lawyer, either personally or because the lawyer has represented you before in some legal matter. And that lawyer may be very good at the job. So, when you consider hiring a lawyer to work on your personal injury claim, it may seem obvious to hire this person you already know.
How to Choose the Best Personal Injury Attorney
A personal injury attorney is someone who specializes in cases where someone is injured, and where they can assist the injured party in navigating their rights to fair compensation for those injuries.
If you have suffered a serious injury due to another’s negligence,it is natural that you feel that someone else should pay for it—the problem is, you don’t know where to start in order to hold that person responsible. You want to hire a personal injury attorney who will know your options and handle the legal process for you. But who do you hire?
Understand What Your Case Entails
To know if a lawyer is right for you, understand the basics of why you need a lawyer in the first place. Different lawyers focus on different areas of law, and if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence your claim is in the personal injury arena. You wouldn’t hire a business attorney to defend you in a criminal case. Similarly, you don’t want to simply hire any family member or friend with a law license unless that person has the necessary personal injury experience. Many people make the mistake of hiring someone that they know, or someone that a friend or family member might know, even if they aren’t the right attorney for the job.
Years of experience – It’s just a fact that newer lawyers do not have as much experience and may not know as many “insider secrets” as lawyers who have practiced personal injury law for decades. A newer lawyer who works at a firm that provides the support and training of highly experienced attorneys should, however, be okay.
Reputation – Lawyers who are respected in the community and who have a positive reputation will often prove better than attorneys who have garnered less-than-stellar reputations. A positive reputation will often mean a dependable lawyer who will commit to your case. In today’s “age of the internet,” there is no reason not to do your research!
tips for choosing a personal injury lawyer
Finding a personal injury lawyer may not always be easy, but these tips may point people in the right direction.
Whether people are driving to a job in the Chicago area, shopping at a mall or are just using a commercial product, they can become injured due to the actions of another party. A drunk driver, a store owner who failed to warn of a slippery surface or a company that sold a faulty design could be found responsible for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages and other damages. However, without the right lawyer, injured victims may have a hard time obtaining the compensation the law entitles them to. Choosing a lawyer is often easier said than done though, because there are so many out there
Look at past experience
Injured victims should search for a lawyer who has dealt with a situation similar to theirs in the past. According to Forbes, county and state bar associations often have a referral service that can help connect clients with lawyers who have experience with different types of personal injury, such as product liability, malpractice, libel, auto collisions, wrongful death, negligence and premises liability. Reviewing a lawyer’s past experience may help people eliminate underqualified candidates.
Go to an initial meeting
While hiring someone based on their background and experience is advisable, it may not always be enough. It is also important the client and lawyer are able to work together throughout the proceedings. Forbes states that taking consultation meetings with more than one attorney can help people make a smarter selection. If this vital step is skipped, the client may sign a contract with a lawyer whose personality is jarring. This may seem like a minor issue, but it could lead to a loss of both time and money. The initial meeting is the perfect time for people to get acquainted with the attorney and staff.
Ask the right questions
In order to best assess a lawyer’s competence, the Illinois State Bar Association suggests that people should ask each lawyer questions about how the case would be handled in that particular firm
Do follow-up research
Even after the initial meeting, it is important that people continue their research of all attorneys they contact before the final decision is made. According to the Supreme Court of Illinois, there are a lot of resources available for public use. Some of these resources highlight the history of individual attorneys, opinions concerning various lawyers and the professional responsibility an attorney has for a client. This type of information could prove essential to hiring an experienced and caring lawyer.
Tips to Help You Find the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Choosing the right attorney to represent you is one of the most important things you can do to help your personal injury case. Hiring the best attorney for your particular situation can help provide you with the support and expertise you need for a more optimal outcome in your case.
Pick the Right Type of Attorney
When you have a medical condition that requires treatment, the first thing you will usually do is search for a doctor that specializes in that kind of ailment. The same thought process applies to selecting an attorney.
Research Several Attorneys
It is essential to conduct research on any attorney or firm before deciding who you wish to interview. You may want to start by speaking to family members and trusted friends about their personal experiences with attorneys in your area. When conducting your research, look for issues with their reputation that may affect your case.
Interview the Attorney
When you have a repair performed on your home, you would never think twice about asking the repair company about their credentials or experience. This consideration should be no different when deciding on an attorney. You will want to talk to your potential lawyer about their past cases and outcomes and ask how they feel they could represent your case.
Ask About Your Case
Ask your attorney what they think about the merits of your case. Ask how they will handle the case and what outcome they would like to see. Does the attorney only take cases that they can settle out of court or are they willing to represent your case before a judge and jury?
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
Experience. Never underestimate the value of an attorney’s experience when it comes to assessing and investigating a claim. Hire a personal injury lawyer who knows what to look for and understands what it means to your case. So, before hiring an attorney, ask them about similar cases they’ve handled, their success rates, and whether they are prepared to take the case to trial if needed.
Focus. A personal injury lawyer has unique skills when it comes to determining issues of liability such as negligence and causation and is probably better equipped when it comes to accurately valuing the compensation for damages. Approximately 95% of personal injury lawsuits settle before trial, so knowing how to negotiate a fair settlement is important as many factors are involved. Hiring a criminal lawyer or corporate lawyer will not prove as beneficial.
Reputation. A lawyers reputation provides that added value as it will precede them- not only from a plaintiff’s perspective, but from the defendant’s perspective and the court’s perspective for handling cases and doing things the right way. It puts a client in the best situation to recover as much as they deserve as a result of their injuries.
Objectivity.Make sure your injury attorney is objective and isn’t looking to settle your case too quickly in order to move on to the next client.
Personality.Often the most overlooked factor in hiring an attorney is personality. When you’ve been injured the last thing you need is an attorney who is not going to be there for you to ask questions, give you a status on your case, or return your calls in a reasonable time. Be sure you are comfortable with your lawyer’s ethics and experience.