Tips on Choosing a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
There are probably over 10 pages and in some bigger cities maybe over 20 pages of personal injury attorney listings in any given phone book. So, how do you pick the right one for your case?
Personal injury cases are a serious matter. They sometime involve big compensations. Victims of a personal injury will depend on their lawyer’s ability to recover financial damages that will be needed to cover medical treatments, replace lost income, and hopefully compensate for the pain and suffering had the person been involved in a very serious injury including permanent disability and even death.
Remember, the insurance companies don’t want to see you happy. They don’t care for you. They are more concerned with paying a dividend to their shareholders than your well being. The insurance company lawyers will seek to pay you the least amount possible. Therefore, choosing a good personal injury lawyer with a good track record of successful negotiations is essential to getting the most out of your case.
Personal injury cases can include car accidents, product defects, physical injury at workplace, medical malpractice, to name just a few. In order to be certain that your case has validity in the eyes of the law, contact a legal professional in your town.
Here are a few tips to help you find a good personal injury lawyer.
Experience – Of course, a personal injury lawyer with a great deal of experience, and not just years of practice, but a track record of a favorable amount of successful negotiations is a major benefit to your case. Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. But a personal injury lawyer with a good amount of settlements may win your case by threatening to take the case to trial. The defendants are often willing to pay out more money to the plaintiffs in order to avoid negative publicity, expensive trials, and even the possibility that the court may award the plaintiffs more money. If your personal injury lawyer has never won cases in court, the defendant in your lawsuit may not take the threat seriously.
Get a personal injury lawyer that will take your case on a contingency fee basis – This is a fee that is charged at the end of the case and only if your case is successful. This means that your lawyer doesn’t get paid unless you get paid. Lawyers who primarily represent people in accidents usually charge a contingency fee. Your lawyer will take the fee out of the money you receive for your injuries. You can expect your lawyer to take somewhere around 30% of your final settlement. Thus, it is essential for you to clearly understand the payment structure before you sign the retainer agreement.
Face-to-face meeting with your prospective lawyer – Your personal injury lawyer is going to be your closest advisor. You must feel comfortable talking to him or her and feel that you can trust them. If you don’t like that particular lawyer for some reason and don’t feel comfortable talking to him or her, you need to keep looking.
Martindale-Hubbell rating – With a history spanning more than 133 years, the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Network has a database of over a million lawyers and law firms in 160 countries. This service evaluates lawyers based on peer reviews. Their website, Martindale.com has a helpful lawyer locator service and will explain the rating system.
And last but not least – never, never, ever give a recorded statement or talk on the phone (since the phone conversation could be recorded) to a representative of the defendant or the insurance company until you consult with your personal injury lawyer first. If asked for such, you could simply say: “I’m not prepared to provide any statements at this time.” A recorded statement of yours could and will be used as evidence against you in the settlement negotiations and in the trial if you have overlooked any facts or you have missed some details while giving the statement.
Disclaimer: The author and publisher of this article have done their best to give you useful, informative and accurate information. This article does not represent nor replace the legal advice you need to get from a lawyer, or other professional if the content of the article involves an issue you are facing. Laws vary from state-to-state and change from time-to-time. Always consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions about the issues described in this article. Thank you.