Kibbey Wagner, PLLC | August 9, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you were recently injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer. Dealing with a personal injury claim can be stressful. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the difficult process and get you the compensation you need and deserve while you recover.
The following are steps to take when choosing a personal injury lawyer:
- Research potential candidates: Your lawyer should be experienced with personal injury cases that are similar to yours.
- Know what to look for in a lawyer: Consider years of experience, reputation, disciplinary record, availability, and winning results.
- View testimonials and read client reviews: This can provide you with insight and gain knowledge about the law firm.
- Screen your candidates: Ask questions regarding their experience, attorney’s fees, and potential outcomes for your case.
- Understand the cost: You should find someone with a fee structure that works for you.
- Hire the best lawyer for you: Follow up with firms, trust your research, and do what is best for you.
After deciding which personal injury lawyer is best for your case, you will need to sign a contract with the lawyer. This will set out the terms of the representation and specify the fee structure. You should only sign the contract once you feel comfortable and understand what you are signing.
Research Potential Candidates
You must understand what your case entails before attempting to research potential candidates to represent you. Different lawyers work in different areas of personal injury law. For example, if you have a medical malpractice claim, you’ll want to hire an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice law.
Know What To Look for in a Lawyer
It can be difficult to know which lawyer to choose when selecting from multiple candidates. However, there are a few factors that separate some personal injury lawyers from the rest.
Consider the following when choosing the best personal injury lawyer:
- Years of experience – It is important to select a lawyer or law firm that has years of experience handling personal injury cases like yours.
- Reputation – Your case may be more successful with a lawyer that is well respected in the community and is known for being dependable with past clients.
- Disciplinary Record – You can use state bar and licensing body websites to identify any complaints, suspensions, or disbarments of the attorneys you are researching.
- Availability – Research the law firm’s hours and determine if that works with your schedule and physical needs.
- Winning results – You want a lawyer that gets good results regularly and is prepared to advocate for you.
Knowing what to look for in a lawyer can help you choose the best personal injury lawyer for you.
View Testimonials and Read Reviews
Reading the reviews from past clients can help you learn about the lawyer’s services. Reading or watching testimonials can show you the kind of help you can expect to receive.
Testimonials and reviews can also indicate what the lawyer’s personality and dedication are like. Be mindful, however, that there may be a few bad reviews for even the best lawyers.
Screen Your Candidates
You should narrow your list of potential lawyers down using referrals from people you trust, Google, and legal directories such as Martindale-Hubbell. Once you have a few top candidates, contact these lawyers to discuss your case.
You should prepare questions in advance of your free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. You also be ready to discuss how your injury occurred and if the law firm can handle your case.
The following are common questions to ask your candidates:
- How many years of experience do you have with personal injury cases?
- Have you been successful with cases like mine in the past?
- What types of cases do you handle?
- How long do I have before I am barred from pursuing compensation?
- How long will my case take to be resolved?
- Who will I be working with on the legal team?
- How frequently will I be updated on the status of my case?
- What is the fee arrangement for a case like mine?
- Do you think that my case could be successful?
It is important to be truthful when speaking with your potential lawyers. Provide them with as much information and documentation as possible. During this initial conversation, you may be able to gauge whether or not the law firm is a fit for you.
Understand the Cost
It is important to find a lawyer that meets your financial needs. Feel free to ask questions regarding the attorney’s fee structure during the initial consultation.
Many personal injury lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not pay anything unless the law firm is successful in getting you compensation. If your personal injury case is successful, part of the compensation you are awarded will cover attorney’s fees and costs. This allows you to pursue a lawsuit in a cost-effective way.
Hire the Best Personal Injury Attorney For You
If you are comfortable and confident that the personal injury attorney is the right one for you, that is likely the one you should hire. However, after an initial consultation with an attorney, you may have some more follow-up questions. Taking notes during the first meeting can help you prepare for any follow-up conversations you may have.
Whether it takes one meeting or two to decide to hire a personal injury attorney, you should trust the decision you make after conducting research. Make the best decision for you and trust your instincts.
As noted above, after you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, you will sign a contract. This contract will detail the fee arrangement and the terms of the representation. Feel free to ask any lingering questions before signing the contract. If you do not feel comfortable or you are confused about the terms, do not sign.
If you do decide to sign the agreement, your personal injury lawyer and their team can begin working to get you the compensation you deserve.