Personal damages occur far too often due to the negligence of other individuals or organizations. Personal injury law refers to the civil or tort law that focuses on your compensation in case of any physical, emotional, or psychological injury happening due to the negligence of others. The law empowers the injured victim to prove the case and claim compensation from the negligent individual. However, due to being a complex process, hiring a personal injury lawyer is recommended. Here is how to do that in 3 easy steps.
Scrutinize the Lawyer’s History
You’re in the market to find a compelling lawyer. Don’t compromise your chances of winning the case with someone who doesn’t have enough experience or expertise in this area of law. Here is how you can scrutinize a lawyer’s legitimacy and compatibility.
The Area of Law They have Expertise in
Often, the merit of a personal injury claim depends on the lawyer’s expertise. In some cases, witnesses and proof can be enough to win, but other cases are more challenging. The personal injury lawyers know the adequate amount of documentation that you may require to win your case. They carefully plan, organize, and gather data relevant to the claim and present them in court in a compelling manner.
In contrast, an inexperienced lawyer wouldn’t understand the necessary elements that your case may need in order to be victorious. This may not seem to be an issue for easier cases, but if the case takes unexpected turns, your inexperienced lawyer may not be able to keep up with it.
Consider Firm Size and Resources
Injury cases often require various resources like doctors, forensic experts, and engineers. The firm size may not be the only identifying characteristic for that, but it ideally is a good one. A bigger firm should have different lawyers with expertise in different areas of law, who may support your personal injury lawyer and build your case more effectively. However, don’t disregard smaller firms altogether. While larger firms may be more effective, you may receive a reduced personal attention and a higher hourly bill.
The license of the Lawyer
You may already have searched for lawyers in your area before stumbling upon this article. Although Google is a great source for finding your personal injury lawyer, it’s not the best one. While you may find excellent lawyers, with an adequate budget, inexperienced personal injury lawyers may also rank higher on these results.
Instead, consider searching for lawyers on the bar association’s website. The websites often offer features that allow you to filter the results according to their years of experience, area of expertise, and other minimum inclusions. Moreover, check if they’re certified to practice in your area.
Optimally, you want to go for a lawyer who has a clean track record. The bar association of the subject lawyer should have the information about their discipline history publicly shown. If there have been instances where they’ve violated a professional discipline, their profile should be flagged with reason. We advise you to avoid them because they’ve got a higher probability to sabotage your case by breaking the confidentiality agreement or conspiring with the defendant.
Past Client Feedback
Hold past reviews of personal injury lawyers in the highest regard while hiring one. Focus mostly on negative reviews and analyze if you can work around that. However, don’t disregard reviews that include lawyer-client personal comfort and the negotiation abilities of the lawyer. You need to share your personal stories with your lawyer. Therefore, personal trust is critical. Moreover, as most personal injury cases end up in a negotiation, having confidence in your lawyer’s negotiation abilities is also an important factor.
2. Book a Consultation
Following your analysis of the finest choices, you should have at least 4-5 lawyers who you might be able to work with. Typically, you’re required to call the office of the lawyers to book your appointment with them. But, many firms offer online consultation forms to simplify the process. If you choose to go through the online process, you may need to include a few key details of your case. While the inputs may not be detailed, it gives the lawyer talking points when they decide to call you back.
Typically, the case evaluation is set for a free consultation. It’s like taking a test drive before buying your car. However, with the critical points out of your way, you can focus more on the firm’s behavior towards you. For instance, if the receptionist made you feel welcome or the lawyer was kind enough to listen to your story.
Moreover, consider asking questions. Here are a few of them that you may want to ask the lawyer.
- What’s their experience regarding these sorts of cases?
- Do they have sufficient time to work on your case right now?
- Do they have previous experience settling cases in your location?
- How do they communicate with the clients regarding case updates?
- How many of their cases go to trial and how confident they are about your case?
- Does your case have merits to win?
Sign a Fee Agreement
In personal injury cases, the most popular structure is a contingency fee agreement. In a contingency fee agreement, you’re not liable to pay anything if you don’t win the case or are compensated through mutual negotiation. Although this fee structure is strictly based on the case merit, it can be a great option for those who have confidence in their case and their lawyer. Through careful vetting and analysis of the proofs, the personal injury lawyers determine if your case is eligible for a contingency fee plan.
However, although an effective addition, not every lawyer or law firm allows a contingency fee agreement. Consider adding this element to your hiring process for a personal injury lawyer.
Hopefully, you’ve understood what it takes to hire a personal injury lawyer in 3 simple steps. The first step is analyzing the history, background, and experience of the lawyer. The second step involves your experience with the lawyer of the firm and reservation of an appointment by gathering information. The final step is to consider the fee agreement that you’re being offered. In most cases, if your case has merit, you may get a contingency fee agreement.