Six qualities to look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer
Personal injuries are unfortunately very common and can cause a lot of pain, injury and expense. Sustaining a bad personal injury is particularly frustrating if it comes as the result of someone else’s actions or incompetence. In these kinds of cases, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the responsible party to pay for costs like medical bills, damage to your vehicle, loss of earnings, and ongoing trauma and pain. It is very important when planning to file a compensation claim that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer as they can help to maximize the money you receive.
There are many law firms and private attorneys offering personal injury representation, so it can be difficult to know which one to choose. To help everyone out there who has been hurt and is seeking compensation, here is what to look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
1) A lawyer you can trust:
The best way to choose between the different lawyers available is to contact them and arrange a meeting or online consultation. It may not sound scientific, but you need to have a good feeling about a lawyer you hire or you may have trust issues at a critical point of the proceedings. Your lawyer is your legal representative and should only ever have your best interests in mind. As many of us never have to deal with lawyers in our normal lives, it can be quite intimidating the first time we speak to one, even if it is only for a minor personal injury claim. Contact multiple lawyers and see which ones give you a good feeling and you can then narrow down the field.
2) A positive track record:
When you are interviewing lawyers, you need to ask them about their previous cases. Most importantly, you should check their record of success in similar cases to yours. The folks at McMath Woods P.A. explain that all decent lawyers will be happy to go through their previous cases with you and show exactly how they went about winning. If they don’t have a positive track record or they are reluctant to tell you about it, then these are not good signs. Don’t be over-awed or intimidated when speaking to lawyers about their records. Remember that you are in the position of power and that they need to prove to you that they are the right person for the job, not the other way round.
3) A clear plan of action:
A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney will be able to explain to you a clear plan of action as to how they will win your case and get the compensation you deserve. This will include gathering all the evidence, preparing your case, recording your deposition, communicating with the other side, and filing the lawsuit. Nothing should be left to chance when making a personal injury claim so it is important that all of these details are done properly and in good time. Different states have different statutes of limitations with regard to when evidence can be obtained and submitted, when claims applications can be filed, and when out-of-court settlements can be agreed, and so your attorney will need to advise you on all of this.
4) Experience dealing with insurance companies:
Many people who have never had to make a claim on their insurance before find themselves surprised at how difficult their insurance provider makes it. Despite common misconceptions, your insurance company does not always (or ever) have your best interests at heart. Their only aim is to make money and paying out claims eats into their profits. It is very important that you hire a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience dealing with difficult insurance companies as both yours and the other side’s will likely make it as difficult as possible for you to get the compensation you deserve. Once you have a lawyer, there is no need for you to even engage with the insurance companies yourself. Leave it all up to your legal team who will not be strong-armed into accepting an unsatisfactory offer.
5) A Full understanding of out-of-court settlements:
Many personal injury cases never end up in court because the two sides are able to agree to a settlement. This is usually a mutually advantageous outcome for both parties because it means that neither has to go through an expensive, drawn-out court case. It is impossible to know what is a fair offer for an out-of-court settlement unless you have a good understanding of how much you are likely to be awarded if you won the case in court. It is, therefore, very important that you hire an attorney who has successfully represented clients similar to yourself, and who also has experience in securing favorable out-of-court settlements. They will be able to tell you what you might expect to receive through a jury’s decision which will then help you to decide whether or not to accept an out-of-court settlement.
6) Knowledge of how to prepare a case:
A huge amount of preparation needs to go into a personal injury claim which is why it is so difficult to represent yourself. Make sure that you hire a lawyer who knows how to prepare a case from start to finish. This includes gathering the evidence, exchanging documents with the other side, filing the claims, and presenting the case effectively in court. If you plan to reject any out-of-court settlement offered, check that your chosen attorney has court experience and make sure they explain every detail of their presentation to you before the proceedings begin.
Choosing the best personal injury lawyer to represent your interests is vital in securing the maximum money possible. An experienced attorney can offer you so many benefits and enable you to focus on your injuries while they take care of the case. Look out for these six qualities when choosing your personal injury lawyer and you will have the best chance of getting the money you are entitled to.