Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer: How to Find a Good One
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be frightened and in pain from your injuries. You may not know how you will financially support your family if you cannot work. You may be considering a personal injury lawyer, but you aren’t sure how to find a good one. These tips can help you choose the right lawyer for your case.
Personal Injury Experience
The legal industry has become very specialized, and not every lawyer is well-versed in personal injury law. If you purchased a home, you more than likely used a real estate attorney at settlement. That may not be the right attorney to call if you have been in an accident. You also don’t want to choose an attorney whose focus has been supporting insurance companies.
Contingency Based Payment
Personal injury attorneys accept cases on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that the attorney agrees to accept a percentage of your settlement rather than accepting money from you up front. If your claim will be small, an attorney may not be willing to take the case.
Keep in mind that an attorney incurs costs in running an office. If those costs are too high to accept a small payment claim, they may turn it down. Do not get discouraged, however, as you may be able to hire an attorney on an hourly basis to handle your claim.
Fault and Payment Ability
A personal injury attorney should be able to review your case to see if you have a good chance of winning. If you are largely responsible for the accident, your chances of receiving a high settlement is reduced in some states. In a few states, you will not be allowed to collect at all if you were in any way at fault.
If the person who caused the accident has very little in the way of assets, the attorney should inform you that you have little chance of collecting on a settlement. If a personal injury attorney suggests that you don’t have a case, that does not mean they are correct. You should consult with several attorneys, especially if one tells you there is no case.
Talk to Friends and Relatives
One of the best ways to find a good personal injury attorney is to talk to your friends and family. You may know of someone else who had to hire a personal injury attorney, and they can provide you with details about the attorney they used. Keep in mind that everyone has a different personality and style, so the attorney your friend used may not be one that you feel comfortable using. You definitely want to choose an attorney that you feel comfortable with and trust.
Ask Lawyers You Know
You can ask the real estate attorney who handled your settlement if they can recommend a good personal injury attorney. If your cousin was recently divorced, see if that attorney can recommend an attorney for your accident injuries. If the attorney offers to represent you rather than refer you, be sure to ask for details on other personal injury cases they have handled and what the outcome was in those cases.
Each state bar association offers a referral service as well. You can usually search their website for attorneys based on their specialty. If your state bar does not have a website, give them a call for a referral. Keep in mind that bar associations don’t really screen the lawyers in their database, which means they may not offer the most qualified attorney to you. Be sure to check references and ask the attorney for details on previous personal injury cases.
If you have been injured in an accident and are looking for legal assistance, click here to find out how a personal injury lawyer might help you. It is your legal right to seek compensation after an accident that wasn’t your fault. There’s no reason you should be stuck with the bills when someone else’s negligence caused your injuries.
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