Personal injury lawyers work with clients that have sustained an injury as a result of the negligence of another or due to an accident. You can file a personal injury claim against an individual, a company, or even a government entity depending on who is responsible for your particular injury. Working with an experienced attorney will allow you to navigate the details of your personal injury lawsuit or claim and help you understand and weigh the pros and cons of your different options. This article will cover the steps you should take to choose a personal injury lawyer.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to legal representation. It is important to take the time to find the right lawyer for you and your case rather than working with the first name you encounter. If you have been injured in an accident or as a result of negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation from the person responsible. An experienced personal injury attorney with Ktenas Injury Lawyers will work with you to file your personal injury claim and fight to get a fair settlement for your injuries.
There are a number of different qualifications that you as a potential client should look for in an attorney. While it is important to begin working with a lawyer as quickly as possible following your accident, it is also a good idea to take a little time to ensure that you find someone you are comfortable with. We cover some of the most important areas to look at while choosing your legal representation below:
Look at their Experience
One of the most important considerations when looking into any lawyer is their experience with cases similar to yours. If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer it usually isn't in your best interest to hire an attorney who has exclusively handled business law or family law, for example. The more familiar an attorney is with personal injury law, the better they will be at building a strong and successful case for you. They will know the pitfalls common in cases similar to your own, can get ahead of obstacles you are likely to encounter, and help you prepare for any possible issues you may face, ranging from proving your damages to handling difficult negotiations with insurance companies.
Be sure to do some research on any lawyers you may be considering. Look into their background and experience to determine if you are interested in meeting with them. Check their website to be sure personal injury is the main practice area for them. Having an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases is likely to be a better move than one who will work on them occasionally. Read client reviews from others who have worked with them to help inform your decision, you should be able to find these on their own website as well as ratings & reviews left on Google or other dedicated web pages.
If you decide that you like what you see from a particular attorney then you can look into setting up a meeting. Most personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation to look at your case and understand the specifics of your situation better. You can also use this time to ask questions to better understand their qualifications. If you want more information about a particular area of their practice or about their level of experience with personal injury cases, just ask them!
Common questions can include:
How long have they been practicing?
If they practice several types of law, what percentage of their cases come from personal injury claims?
What level of experience do they have taking cases to trial?
Have they worked cases similar to your own before?
What types of awards and recognitions have they received from the legal community?
You Want a Strong Track Record of Success
Finding a lawyer with experience is an important first step, but there are more factors to consider. Experience alone isn't enough to win your case. You should also be looking for an attorney who has a proven ability to successfully negotiate fair settlements or win court cases.
Look for mentions of past cases on their websites, many successful attorneys will include some information about past cases where they have won major settlements for their clients. And just as before, don't be afraid to ask questions such as:
What types of injury claims have they won in the past? If you have suffered a major injury and they have only won cases with minor claims you may want to look for another lawyer.
Have they shown that they are able to consistently recover successful settlements for their clients?
Have they received any awards or recognitions for their settlements or verdicts?
This can often be forgotten in the search for the most well-qualified attorney, but communication can make or break the professional relationship between you and your legal representative. Having clear and open communication between yourself and your attorney can be one of the most important aspects of your case. When you meet first meet with a prospective lawyer ask them questions and be sure to pay particular attention to the following:
Are they able to quickly and clearly answer your questions?
Are they able to explain things in easily understandable terms rather than confusing you with endless legal jargon?
Do they communicate professionally?
Does their concern for your case seem genuine?
How many cases do they currently have? A full caseload can limit the amount of time available to each client.
Understand Their Pricing
Before you move forward with any lawyer you should be sure that you fully understand their pricing structure. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so your potential attorneys should be able to clearly explain what their percentage would be and how that is applied, or what costs and attorney fees to expect if they use another pricing model.
No matter how they charge for their cases they should be able to offer a clear breakdown of costs and any fees you may be assessed. There should be no surprises as your case moves forward. When you find an attorney you would like to work with is sure to get your payment agreement in writing as well.
Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney
After narrowing down your list of prospective personal injury lawyers, the best way to make a final decision is to sit down for a meeting with each of them. Contact each of your top choices to schedule an appointment where you can discuss your case and address any concerns you have.
Make sure you bring a written list of questions to your meeting. There will be a lot of information tossed around in this early stage and it is easy to get sidetracked and forget a few questions that you consider important. It may even be a good idea to bring along someone you trust. Have them sit in on the meeting and take notes, allowing you to focus more on the discussion.
Some common questions you can ask include:
What is your experience with cases similar to mine?
What was the outcome of these cases?
Is personal injury law the primary focus of your practice?
Remember that the first meeting with your lawyer is not only about getting them more information on your case but about building a professional relationship and establishing expectations for the case as it moves forward.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in the First Place?
If you have suffered an injury as part of an accident or as a result of negligence by another party you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Whether you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit you will have a team working against you to either demonstrate your fault in the accident or work toward getting you to agree to the lowest settlement amount possible. It is in your best interest to work with an accident attorney with extensive experience working similar cases, and getting the maximum compensation for their clients.
Whether you have minor or severe injuries you can have an incredibly difficult time focusing on your own recovery while attempting to handle insurance negotiations or building a case for a lawsuit. An experienced lawyer with Ktenas Injury Lawyers will be able to help you understand the options available to you and will fight to get fair compensation for your damages and income loss. Call today at 312-300-2515 to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated legal team today to see what we can bring to your case.