Doing Lawyers The Right Way
Looking for the Right Personal Injury Lawyer Hiring the right lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of your personal injury claim, which makes picking the right lawyer a critical decision. Most attorneys who focus on personal injury law represent only one side of these kinds of cases – the plaintiff (the individual who was injured) or the defendant (the person or entity alleged to have caused the injury). Generally, personal recommendations and word of mouth are the best place to begin a search for a lawyer. Online is also a great place for putting together your initial list of prospects. Whittling It Down However you found those candidates, you’ll have to trim down your list to three or four with the use of the following criteria:
Lessons Learned from Years with Experts
> Biographical Information – Know the background of the lawyer. Does he look like an expert in the type of personal injury claim you have? His profile should give you a picture of the nature of cases he usually handles (and which side). If you can’t seem to tell, call the office directly and inquire. Check for other information that you can in these lawyers’ websites. The more informed you are, the better you will be able to decide.
> Professional Associations – See if the attorney belongs to any trial lawyers’ associations, whether local, state or national. > Location – If you have a working relationship with a lawyer practicing in another area, ask him for names of some good prospects in the local scene. > Professional Standing – Visit the lawyer’s website or call your state bar association to know if the lawyer you’re interested in is in good standing. Conflicts of Interest Does the lawyer represent anybody who might be affiliated with any of the parties you are planning to sue, or anybody who may have an interest in the result of the case? Once you’ve trimmed down your list of prospects, ask them each about a consultation . There’s no need to strike a lawyer off your list if he can’t meet you on short notice. Remember, good personal injury lawyers are usually busy. Money Issues Most personal injury claim scenarios allow you to hire an attorney on a “contingency fee” basis. This simply means that the lawyer will be paid a percentage – about one-third – of any settlement or court award you get, and if you don’t get any, he won’t be paid his legal fees too. In any case, you have to read the contract before signing it, and understand that you may still have to pay for costs associated with your case (which are separate from legal fees), like expert witness fees, court stenographer fees, etc.