Were you recently injured in an accident? Was it the other person’s fault, and if so, do you think you can prove it?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, it’s time to start looking for a personal injury attorney. Unfortunately, having a good case doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a good lawyer, and your choice of attorney could be the difference between a payout and a bunch of wasted money.
How do you make sure that you’re hiring the right lawyer? While there’s no guaranteed method, we can offer several tips for hiring a personal injury lawyer.
We’ll outline these qualifications in more detail in the paragraphs below.
Nobody wants a lawyer who has never been to trial before, or, worse yet, has never won any cases before. To this end, it’s best to do research.
Perhaps you have friends who have hired the lawyer in the past. If this is the case, ask them about their lawyer and get their opinion on whether they’d be a good choice.
Of course, in situations like this, the internet is often invaluable. One thing you’ll want to search for in particular is reputation.
Some lawyers are known for going to trial while others specialize in getting a settlement. Keep in mind that the defendant will also be researching, and may know if you’ve chosen a settlement lawyer.
They may try to sell you short if they know you don’t plan to take them to trial. If you need a reliable personal injury lawyer and you’re in or around Las Vegas, you might want to consider Harris & Harris injury lawyers.
Try to find a lawyer that works on a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that the lawyer only gets paid if the client wins their case or reaches a settlement.
Oftentimes, the lawyer takes a percentage of the money awarded as part of their pay. Usually, this comes out to around one-third of total earnings.
Here’s where the really good news comes in. Most personal injury lawyers work for a contingency fee. That being said, you should still ask.
You should always ask your lawyer about why they’re qualified to handle your case. This may seem rude, but it’s not.
You’re giving the lawyer an opportunity to brag about themselves and their accomplishments, which we all enjoy, as much as we try to deny it. A lawyer that has a record worth bragging about will relish the chance to tell you why they’re the best choice for your case.
Depending on how the lawyer responds to your first question, you might want to ask some follow-up questions as well. If they’ve won awards, ask what the awards mean and who presented them.
Ask them about their record. How many cases have they handled? Are they usually successful?
Do their clients like them? Do they have any reviews or testimonials with them? A lot of lawyers keep a few around so they can show them to potential clients.
4. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
One of our best tips for hiring a personal injury lawyer is to make sure that your lawyer really is a personal injury lawyer. If the lawyer in question handles all different types of cases, chances are they are not particularly skilled in any one field.
Personal injury lawyers only handle personal injury cases, such as accident victims or those with worker’s compensation claims. This means that they’re almost guaranteed to have a fair bit of expertise in personal injury law.
Of course, the first step in the personal injury process is handling the accident correctly, which an experienced lawyer will be able to do. Believe it or not, the rules change depending on whether or not the accident involved a truck or another car.
It should come as no surprise that legal cases can be very expensive and time-consuming. With that in mind, you’ll need to make sure that your lawyer has the time, energy, and resources to give your case the attention it deserves.
There are a few telltale signs that your lawyer may not have the resources to handle your case.
The first red flag is that they don’t meet with you in person. This could mean that they don’t like dealing with clients or that they don’t have time. In either case, you’ll want to consider other options.
Are they encouraging you to take a settlement? This isn’t an absolute red flag, because there could be a very sensible reason this option is being encouraged. However, it can also be a sign that the lawyer is overbooked and looking to make time for other clients.
Another sign is that they’re very affordable, but they don’t talk about much else. If you find a lawyer who advertises on the basis that they’re cheap, they’re probably not going to do well on your case.
Also, beware of anybody you can’t find reviews for. This doesn’t always mean they’re bad, but it does keep you from verifying their skill or claims.
Finding a lawyer with no reviews may be a sign that you’ve found a huckster. It’s illegal to practice law without a license in the United States, but some people try anyway. A fraud will want to avoid going to court since they would likely be arrested for it.
When searching for lawyers, knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to look for.
6. Ask About Referrals
In many cases, lawyers will refer clients to other lawyers who may be more qualified to handle their case, or may have more time to do so. Look for a lawyer that deals with a lot of referrals.
The more referrals a lawyer has sent to them, the more respected they are within the legal community and the more likely they are to have the resources and connections needed to win a case.
For instance, if you’re injured in an accident, you’ll want a lawyer who knows a few traffic cops that will be willing to show up in court if asked. This means that the lawyer has someone who is qualified to confirm and clarify the traffic laws under oath.
7. Look into Disciplinary Actions
While the legal profession isn’t nearly as crooked as television would have you think, there are some lawyers that are infamous amongst their peers for breaking the rules. When looking for a lawyer, try to look into their record.
If they’ve been disciplined a lot, they’re not the right lawyer for you. The last thing you want is to face consequences because your lawyer did something shady, got caught, and ended up costing you the case.
If this happens, you can file a malpractice suit against your lawyer, but that will cost even more money and will take more time. Plus, if your lawyer doesn’t have malpractice insurance, you may not get any compensation.
Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
In the above paragraphs, we’ve shown you a few tips for hiring a personal injury lawyer. There are several things to look into, but it all boils down to making sure your lawyer is trustworthy and qualified to handle your case.
We’ve mentioned only a few things you should look for in this article. If you want to learn more, we encourage you to do some research on your own.
If you want more lifestyle advice, please visit our site. Are you thinking of becoming a lawyer yourself? We can tell you a bit about law school to help you make your decision.