Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, hurt on a commercial property, or even fallen at work, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit.
These lawsuits help to ensure that you don’t end up footing the medical care bills for an accident that wasn’t even your fault. They also ensure that you receive compensation for pain and suffering, time off of work, and, if necessary, property damage.
In order to secure the best possible outcome, you need to hire an accident lawyer.
But what should you look for in one?
Read our lawyer guide to find out.
1. Evaluate Their Experience
Especially in something as extreme as monumental as a personal injury case, you need a lawyer with years of experience on your side.
Ask about their past court record, get to know the settlement amounts they’ve been able to secure for past clients, and make sure you understand how many cases similar to your own they’ve worked on in the past.
This article on Louthianlaw.com does an excellent job of teaching you what to look for in a qualified personal injury attorney.
Above all else, make sure you’ve taken the time to verify their credentials. Call their law schools, connect with past employers, and check on the American Bar Association’s website to ensure their license is still valid.
2. Ask About Their Professional Network
Personal injury cases often require your lawyer to reach out to several professionals in order to best show the extent of your injuries, suffering, and more.
Therefore, any sound accident lawyer should have a large network of professionals from which to pull. These could include experts like psychologists, medical doctors, handwriting analysts, and even other attorneys.
Ask your lawyer about their professional network, and especially ask what guilds and professional legal associations they currently belong to.
3. Know Who Will Work on Your Case
Injury claims are an incredibly complicated process — and that means your case will likely need several different people working on it.
While this is quite normal, you do need to be certain that everyone with a hand in your case has the proper qualifications and certifications to be able to effectively (and legally!) do so.
Make sure you ask your attorney who else will work on your case, their credentials, and whether or not their work is included in your fee.
4. Meet in Person
The number-one most effective way to choose the right accident lawyer is to meet with them for an initial consultation.
These consultations should be free and should take place in-person as opposed to over the telephone. Meeting with a potential personal injury attorney allows you to evaluate their communication style to ensure that they’re able to properly explain complex legal processes to you in a way you can understand.
It also gives you the chance to ask them how they plan to approach your case, as well as to get an understanding of their current caseload. You want to be certain that you’re a priority to your attorney. That just may not be possible if they currently have five other cases on their plate.
Above all, try to feel out how much attention the attorney is giving you. Do you feel like they’re truly listening, and are they patient with you? Or, are they just watching the clock, cutting you off, and even attempting to end your consultation early?
An in-person consultation, more than anything else, gives you the opportunity to listen to your git.
5. Connect with past Clients
After a consultation with a car accident lawyer, you should feel completely convinced that they’re the best possible lawyer for you (that’s what they’re supposed to be able to make you think!)
However, you still need to do your due diligence and connect with at least two references.
If possible, make sure that these past clients are those whose cases were similar to your own.
While reading online reviews about an auto accident lawyer is helpful, remember that they could have been written by anyone, even by the lawyer themselves.
Asking for and speak with direct references is, therefore, essential.
6. Understand the Fee Structure
When hiring an accident lawyer, you should absolutely understand the fee structure.
Know what is and isn’t included in the fee, whether they charge by the hour or by the case, and when payment is due. How much will you owe each month/billing cycle, and how long will you have to pay their fee off in full?
In some cases, an attorney may not even charge you a fee unless they help you to win your settlement, after which they’ll take a percentage of your settlement amount.
Attorneys also offer lots of payment options and plans for those who fear they won’t be able to afford a standard personal injury lawyer. Be on the lookout for lawyers that specifically cater to low-income clients.
This guide is a great starting point for how to find affordable legal help.
Follow These Tips to Secure a Top Accident Lawyer
While we certainly hope you never have an occasion to hire an accident lawyer, we’re certain that the tips in this post will help you to make the right decision regarding legal representation if you’re involved in a personal injury case.
But what if you’re being accused of negligence by an employee or another driver?
You need to understand what to expect from the court proceedings, how to ensure you don’t accidentally implicate yourself or admit guilt, and your financial responsibilities.
Our blog will make every side of a personal injury case easy to understand.
Keep reading through our posts to make sure you know what to expect from your case.