Personal injury claims can cover a range of accidents, like getting attacked by a dog, being involved in a car or other vehicle accidents, or suffering a fall on someone’s property. If another party was at fault for your injury and if you were unable to work due to the injury, experienced financial loss, and have massive medical bills arising from it, you may need to file for compensation. And that is why you will have to hire a personal injury attorney.
Before you hire one, here are four factors you should take into consideration:
1. How much do they charge?
Depending on your specific case and injury, filing a personal injury claim might turn out to be an expensive endeavor. That is why you must get a clear idea of the budget involved and the payment structure before you sign a hiring contract with the attorney. Fortunately, many personal injury attorneys are willing to offer a free consultation in which they will assess your case and give you a breakdown of their charges.
Some personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to make any upfront payment. You only have to pay them if they win the case for you, and then they may take a 25% or 33% cut of the compensation you receive. This compensation may vary with different attorneys. However, there are other expenses such as filing fees, deposition fees, expert witness fees, and travel costs, and you should know who will pay those if you lose the case.
2. How much experience and knowledge do they have?
The personal injury attorney you hire should have a good amount of experience in handling cases similar to yours. For instance, if you have suffered from medical malpractice, you need an attorney who is well-versed in medical terminology and matters, understands how to investigate medical issues, and can ask the right medical questions. The attorney should also be familiar with state regulations regarding negligence and other legal factors that could affect your case.
Additionally, the attorney must know about the court that will try your case and the difference it will make to it and to how much compensation you will be likely to receive.
3. What is their track record of success?
While an attorney’s past record of success may not necessarily guarantee that they will win your personal injury case for you, it will certainly reassure you on the matter of their competence. It indicates that they know how to do everything possible to get the right verdict and a fair settlement. It is all the more better if they have a good reputation with other lawyers, judges, insurance companies, and past clients.
To make sure of this, you should ask for referrals from past clients and talk to some of them about their experience with the attorney. It will give you an idea of what to expect when you hire the attorney.
4. Are they willing to go to trial?
If the personal injury attorney has a history of negotiating settlements and avoiding court trials, it should ring an alarm bell or two. While it can mean that the attorney is skilled at getting fair compensation without going to trial, it can also mean that they prefer to settle at any cost rather than have to go to court.
Insurance companies know how to apply pressure and take advantage of such attorneys. The defense will make a low or unfair offer and agreeing to such a settlement may not be in your interest. So, you need to make sure that the attorney you hire will be willing to fight on your behalf in court.
Filing for a personal injury claim after an accident can be a stressful experience for most people. Along with struggling to cope with their injuries and medical bill payments, they have to deal with the obstructionist tactics of the defense lawyers and the insurance company personnel. That is why it is all the more essential that you hire a competent, experienced, and empathetic personal injury lawyer to go bat on your behalf and to make sure that you receive the full compensation that you deserve.