What should I look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Finding the right personal injury attorney for your case can be hard. Most people go their entire lives without hiring a lawyer, so can you know what you need from your representative? Personal injury is a unique field with special requirements. This article gives you six different characteristics to consider so you can hire the best attorney for your case.
What Types of Cases Does Your Attorney Handle?
The best divorce lawyer in the country won’t be much help for recovering damages in a personal injury case. It’s impossible for any individual attorney to excel in all fields of law, which is why many lawyers specialize right out of school. You want an advocate who understands the intricacies of personal injury cases. Even if your family friend is an experience attorney at a big law firm, government agency or corporation, they might not have the right background for your case. Look for a lawyer who focuses on personal injury law in your city.
Does Your Lawyer’s Academic Background Matter?
The most important characteristic for an attorney in personal injury lawsuits is their localized experience. It doesn’t matter if they were first in their class at Columbia or barely graduated from the University of Mississippi. If they have a history of successfully negotiating personal injury settlements, winning cases at trial and satisfying clients, they can help with your case. They need to be a licensed attorney recognized by your state, but that’s the only external credential that matters.
Do You Get Along with Your Attorney?
If you have a complicated case with long-term injuries, lost wages and expensive medical bills, you could spend a lot of time working with your lawyer. You don’t have to be best friends, but you should feel comfortable with them. Do they seem like a good negotiator who can get you a fair settlement? Do they address your concerns or talk over you? It’s okay to seek a different attorney if you don’t like the personality of the first personal injury lawyer you find.
How Long Has Your Attorney Been Practicing Personal Injury Law?
New graduates need time to learn the details of winning cases, submitting paperwork to insurance companies and building relationships with local judges. To get the most money possible from your personal injury lawsuit, you want an experienced attorney. Some law firms may share cases between experienced partners and new associates who are training in the field. It’s okay for your injury case to be handled by a lawyer with less experience as long as they’re supervised. Ask your attorney how much of the case they will work on and how they ensure other lawyers in the firm deliver the same level of quality. You can even ask to meet with everyone involved with your case.
What Kinds of Settlements Has Your Attorney Negotiated in the Past?
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate you for your medical bills and the damage to your life as a result of your injury. In most cases, your case will be settled instead of going to trial. Getting a fair settlement is an art form. Your attorney will have to battle with lawyers from insurance companies and corporations who want to minimize the amount their clients have to pay. When you meet with a prospective attorney, ask how much they think your case is worth and if they’ve negotiated similar cases in the past.
Can Your Attorney Help with Medical Bills?
If you’ve been injured and don’t have health insurance, it can be hard to get the treatment you deserve. Some law firms offer help for clients trying to access medical care. This might be a loan, medical lien or business relationship with a specific provider. Your attorney’s support staff might also have resources you can use for affordable care.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, coworkers or state bar association for a recommendation. You can also look online for a personal injury attorney. Now that you know what traits your lawyer needs to have, you’re ready to find the perfect fit for your case.