Looking for a Personal Injury Attorney

If you feel that a recent injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, inaction, malpractice, or malice, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person. However, even though you can represent yourself, it can be a tricky business without professional legal help. This is where personal injury attorneys come in. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching out the legal advice you need to receive just compensation.

Price. This is always a factor. Some people cannot afford expensive legal advice. And, as the case progresses, those hours really add up. Many personal injury attorneys have a policy of not charging you unless you win your case. This is convenient for you, as it requires very little up front money on your part. It is also nice because it means that your lawyer will pay more attention to whether or not you can actually win. But beware! If you are not careful all of your winnings can go to your attorney. Make sure you understand whether you will be charged the hourly rate at the end, or if you will be charged a percentage of the winnings.

Extra fees. Even if your attorney offers a “no win, no pay” deal, make sure you understand that there will likely be other costs. Some charge for the initial consultation (others offer it for free) and you may be billed for incident costs like paying for records access or other fees. Make sure that you find an attorney who will transparently discuss extra fees with you before you reach a payment agreement.

Specialization. Just as in medicine, there are different areas of law. No one attorney can know everything about the law. When you are looking for someone to handle your personal injury case, make sure you search out a lawyer that specializes in personal injury. That way you will have someone who knows specifically about this area of law, and can help you more successfully navigate the waters.

Experience. Attorneys with experience are preferable to those without. There are two types of experience that a personal injury attorney should have: insurance and trial. Someone who knows how to deal with insurance companies (the entities that usually pay the settlements) will be able to get you a better settlement. Trial experience is nice, just in case your claim does go to court. While most personal injury suits are settled out of court, some do go to trial. You want someone who can get you what is needed if your claim must be settled in court.

Respect. Whether you pay up front, or pay on a contingency basis, you are entitled to respect as someone who is paying for a service. Your attorney should return phone calls and update you on your case’s status. He or she should also contact you personally most of the time. If you feel that you are not getting good performance from your lawyer, you can always hire a new one.

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