Contrary to popular belief, many lawyers who call themselves trial layers don’t actually have much practical jury trial experience.
Being in an accident is a harrowing experience. The priority, of course, is recovering from the physical aspects of the accident. After that, the next focus needs to be on legal matters related to the accident. Your injury that is caused by negligence on someone else’s part will require you to make many decisions in the coming days.
Insurance companies will have skilled lawyers in their team to defend these personal injury claims. You will, therefore, need an experienced lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. A successful and experienced personal injury attorney usually charges the same as one that has a minimal track record of success. So it’s pivotal that you choose wisely.
Read below to learn how you can choose the right lawyer for your case.
How Can You Choose a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?
Doing thorough research of the lawyers in your community is essential when choosing the right lawyer. To determine the track record and success rate, you need to ask a few questions to the lawyers when you meet them. Some of the checkpoints are:
Check Out the Peer Reviews
Personal injury lawyers are rated by the reviews they receive from their colleagues. There are peer review rating systems that rate the lawyers based on what their peers are saying about them. Some of the peer rating sources are The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry and Superlawyers.
These sources have peer review ratings from lawyers across the country. They provide ratings to the lawyers that indicate their legal ability and level of expertise. They have an annual listing of lawyers covering more than 70 areas of practice. Lawyers getting the best reviews from this list are certainly reliable as they have achieved the highest recognition of professional achievement from their peers.
Inquire About the Percentage of Fellow Lawyer Referral Cases
A good way to find out about the best personal injury lawyers in your community is to ask the other lawyers practicing there. A good and reliable lawyer who is reputed in his field will have a significant percentage of his workload coming as referrals from other lawyers. So you can start from an attorney friend and ask him about who he thinks are better lawyers in the personal injury cases.
How Will the Lawyer Handle the Expenses?
Almost all lawyers dealing with personal injury will offer a free consultation and not charge you unless a recovery is involved. When you check out advertisements of lawyers on different media, you will see that most of them make the same offers. Free first consultation, no fee without recovery, and they will come to your home or hospital to visit you.
It’s a standard offer when the lawyer tells you that the first consultancy is free, and they won’t charge you unless your case involves a recovery. In the case of recovery, there will be an agreement for a contingent fee. However, there are other expenses involved apart from the fees. These are fees required to prepare the case and keep it going.
These include fees for an expert witness, physician reports charges, fees for the court reporters, fees for filing the case, medical records charges, and other expenses that you will need to pay for a personal injury lawsuit. Find out beforehand if the lawyer will pay the costs along the way, and have you reimburse him later from the recovery money, or will he require you to pay the costs at the start or along the way.
Is the Lawyer Well-Equipped to Handle the Case?
Most of the time, a catastrophic personal injury lawsuit turns out to be very expensive if taken to court. Above, we have mentioned some of the costs involved in taking a case to court. These expenses have to be managed by the lawyer on a daily basis. Also, he must have proper resources available to pay for the fees and other costs of managing the case properly.
If the lawyer does not have these resources to take the case all the way to trial, the client’s case may suffer. Ill-prepared lawyers might pressurize you to take a settlement, which might not be adequate. So research this point before hiring a lawyer.
What Type of Cases Does the Lawyer Regularly Handle?
Many lawyers are general practitioners. They deal with many different types of legal issues, occasionally personal injury cases as well. If your personal injury claim is of a more serious and complicated nature, then it’s best to hire a lawyer who handles personal injury cases on a daily basis.
Medical professionals working; image by Piron Guillaume, via Unsplash.com.
There are many advancements in medical malpractice and personal injury law. These cases have become very complex. Hence a general practitioner will not be able to handle a complex personal injury case. Since most of the insurance companies hire seasoned lawyers to defend their case, so it’s
imperative for you to hire someone experienced to represent you.
How much Experience Does the Lawyer Have?
Usually, a lawyer who has been handling personal injury cases for 3 years will charge you the same contingent fee as a lawyer who has 25 years of experience. In such a case, it is strongly advised that you hire the attorney with more experience.
If your case is complicated and you are up against a renowned insurance company, then it only makes more sense that you hire a more experienced lawyer. The more seasoned lawyer will have many tricks up his sleeve to combat various scenarios, significantly affecting the outcome of your trial.
Has This Lawyer Tried Cases in Court?
Contrary to popular belief, many lawyers who call themselves trial layers don’t actually have much practical jury trial experience. So you need to carefully check whether the lawyer actually tries cases in a court trial, and if so, then how often does he do it.
It is bad news if the insurance company lawyer gets a whiff that the lawyer representing you does not have much trial experience and mostly settles cases outside court. Then they will try to settle the case outside court for a minimal amount. So choose wisely when you aim to get a good settlement amount in your case.
Getting a good deal on your personal injury case is going to depend on the expertise of the attorney representing you due to all the reasons stated above. So do your research and pick a good attorney to fight your case following the steps mentioned in this article.