According to studies, there are more than 59,000 personal injury law firms across the United States. The number of individual personal injury lawyers is even higher. The availability of a personal injury law firm is highly dependent on where you live or where you are located. To make sure you build a successful case and win, you must go with the best available choice there is.
But how do you know that the lawyer you hire is the best? What are the things you need to consider when choosing one to represent you for your case? If you have never hired a lawyer before, it can be quite difficult and confusing to know where to start. The good news is, once you know what to look for in a lawyer, finding the best one to fight your case won’t be difficult.
What are the things that you need to consider before choosing a personal injury law firm and lawyer? Keep reading to find out!
- Is Personal Injury Their Specialty?
One of the first things you need to consider when looking for a law firm or lawyer for your case is whether they specialize in personal injury cases.
In the same way that doctors specialize in different areas of medicine, lawyers and law firms also have different areas of specialties. You wouldn’t want a family doctor to perform a heart surgery. In the same manner, you also wouldn’t want to hire a general attorney to handle your personal injury case.
Aside from being more well-versed in personal injury law, personal injury lawyers are more likely to have better reputation with insurance companies. If a lawyer has a known track record among insurance companies, your case may hold more weight in negotiations.
- How Much Experience do they Have?
Aside from specializing in personal injury cases, another thing you need to consider is experience. Specifically experience in personal injury.
It’s one thing when a lawyer claims to specialize in personal injury, but how long have they been practicing this? You wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer who has only had one or two personal injury cases to their belt.
Another important point to consider is their trial experience. According to studies, only 30% of lawyers are involved in jury trials within the first five years. If your case has a high chance of going to court, you want to make sure the lawyer or law firm you hire knows how to handle a jury.
- How Well do They Represent their Clients?
When taking on personal injury cases, a personal injury firm or lawyer usually goes head-to-head with insurance companies’ legal teams. These teams are not only experienced, but their main goal is to make sure you do not get the compensation you are fighting for. To keep this from happening, your lawyer must be willing to represent you aggressively, to the best of their ability. If your lawyer doesn’t fight tooth and nail for you, then they may not have what it takes to win your case.
It is important, therefore, to evaluate the level of commitment and tenacity the potential lawyer have before you commit to them.
- Are they Willing to Travel to See You in Case of Emergency Situations?
When opening a personal injury case, it’s simply not enough to talk to your lawyer only through the phone. You need to be able to communicate with them face to face.
If you have sustained serious injuries, you may be unable to travel to see your lawyer. You may have to stay in the hospital for treatment. If this is the case, you need a lawyer who is willing to travel to see you.
- What are their Credentials?
It goes without saying that any lawyer your hire must have completed their legal training. But, apart from the basics of a law degree or other legal qualifications, what other credentials do the lawyers you’re considering have?
What awards have they won? Are they recognized within their field of expertise?
Aside from credentials, another thing to look for is if they have memberships in legal organization such as a trial lawyers association.
- References and Reviews
When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm or personal injury lawyers, don’t forget to check references and reviews. Hiring an attorney is not the same as shopping online, but you can still check online reviews regarding their service.
If you can also get your hands-on references from people you know, they can be useful recommendations to follow up.
- Where are They Located?
When looking for a personal injury lawyer, it would be wise to choose one that’s familiar with the different by-laws specific to your area. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for a lawyer located in the same city as you. They will not only have a better understanding of the legal framework in your area, but it will be more convenient for you to meet with each other and for them to travel to the court location any time you are summoned.
- Their Fee Structure
Before committing to an attorney, make sure you completely understand their fee structure first. Different lawyers and law firms have different fee schedules, and you need to be on the clear regarding these so you can:
- Compare and evaluate lawyer fees
- Avoid any unnecessary fee-related surprises
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you only have to pay if the lawyer wins your case. In this case, the fees will be taken out of your settlement.
But there are other costs besides the lawyer’s fees that you might have to assume even if the case is lost. These can include costs for getting expert witnesses, court-related expenses, and others.
Make sure you talk to your lawyer and clarify what your responsibility is before you sign a contingency agreement with a personal injury law firm or lawyer.
- Do You Get Along Well?
Lastly, do you get along with the lawyer you are considering? Personal injury cases, as with most cases, can be quite lengthy and involved. You need to have considerable dealings with the attorney you choose. For this reason, it’s important you like the lawyer in question.