Accidents can happen at any location and at any time. An untimely injury can leave you out of work until you recover completely. But if you get injured in an accident that was not your fault, you need to seek out damages against the negligent party.
Making ends meet without work and increased expenses due to medical bills can put a strain on anyone. This is where a personal injury lawyer, also referred to as an accident lawyer, can be a godsend. They can help you acquire compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Essential duties of a personal injury lawyer
Your attorney should do the following:
- Explain to you your rights
- Provides advice
- Walk you through the system
- Explain a variety of legal processes
- Assess the damages and create a financial claim for damages rendered
- Complete a professional investigation
- Represent you in the courtroom
- Handle the legal issues concerning a settlement
But this is not a job for just any personal injury lawyer. You want one that is experienced enough to represent your case and ensure that you are adequately compensated.
To make it all easy for you, here are some of the necessary aspects that you should consider when searching for a good personal injury lawyer:
- The number of years in practice
An experienced attorney needs a number of years to back his or her practice. With more exposure to various scenarios, a personal injury lawyer has the expertise to devise a better legal strategy for your case. So inquire about track record, work experience, jury verdicts, motion practice, and appeals that the lawyer has won.
On a side note, do not entertain the idea of going to a large firm. With hundreds of cases in the process of being resolved, yours could end up being transferred to a less experienced associate.
- Relevant case experience
First off, find a lawyer that specializes in personal injury. Don’t settle for one that you think can do a good job.
Additionally, personal injury law is a broad area of practice. Though some firms will take on any case that comes their way, you should search for one that has experience in handling a situation similar to yours.
- Trial experience
Approximately 96% of all lawsuits are settled out of court. To get the best representation for your case, ensure that your lawyer preps thoroughly as if it were to go to trial. So during your initial consultation, inquire about trial experience, which courts they’ve been conducted in, how many cases have gone to trial, and the success rate.
- Number of current cases
Inquire about the number of claims the lawyer is handling at the moment. If there are too many clients, you may not get the time, resources, and personal attention that you deserve. You can get an idea of how ‘busy’ a lawyer is by finding out how easy or difficult it is to schedule a consultation with his office.
All lawyers should follow the rules and guidelines of the Bar Association. But with personal injury law, the attorney should also have a network of investigators and medical professionals that can help provide proof and build a sturdy case. More importantly, a professional lawyer will be attentive and empathetic.
Choosing a local personal injury attorney makes it easier to contact and visit them during the course of the proceedings. For example, a Winter Park lawyer will not only have an established local team of professionals, but it allows individuals to access staff support whenever required.
Search online for reviews about the lawyer from former clients. The lawyer you select must not only have positive reviews, but he or she should also have a spotless record. Steer clear of lawyers that have malpractice claims against them or several unsatisfied clients. You may consider checking the local grievance committee to see whether the attorney has committed any acts of professional misconduct.
- The rate of success
A personal injury attorney with a good track record of success has the skills, practice, and strategies to obtain better settlements. Remember, even a reputable lawyer cannot guarantee success, but it can significantly improve the chances.
For more guidance on filing a personal injury claim, continue reading 4 Steps to Filing Your Personal Injury Claim.
Your attorney should be determined to win your case. They should display a degree of interest and discuss all possible outcomes. Gauge the integrity and dedication of the lawyer in the initial meeting. Not only should he listen to your concerns and answer all your questions, but he should do so without rushing you. Look for a courteous, responsive, and easy-going manner.
A reliable personal injury lawyer will be honest and upfront about the fee structure. There should be no hidden costs or misleading statements in the agreement. More importantly, the lawyer must possess effective communication skills so that everyone is on the same page.
A sincere personal injury lawyer will ensure that you are appropriately compensated for your losses. So never feel as if you’re being pressured into a settlement. The sincerity of your attorney will come off clearly when he treats you more than just another money-making case. Also, inquire whether the individual you meet in the initial consultation will handle the entire case, or will a paralegal or younger associate be dealing with it.
Every case is unique, so there are bound to be shortfalls. But being honest about the best course of action is the ideal way to develop a client-lawyer relationship. There’s no point in sugar-coating the truth because it only causes resentment and anger later on.
Seeking a law firm that is licensed is the way to begin for any legal matter. But when it comes to a personal injury, you must hire one that has a track record of success relating to your injury type.
Moreover, the attorney you select must be an experienced professional that has an established network of investigators and medical professionals. So before choosing a lawyer or law firm, do your research and look into reviews offered by previous clients.