I’m not jaded when it comes to lawyers. They are people too, most of them are just REALLY good at, well, telling MOST of the truth. While America has a reputation of being a sue-happy nation, there are often times where people truly need a personal injury lawyer to help them get the compensation they need and deserve if they are injured at someone else’s fault (oh my gosh, I sound like a commercial). Often times insurance companies under-compensate, and if you’re dealing with an individual, they will try and shift blame away from themselves. Like what happened to ME a few months ago when a girl just ran a red light, hit me head on, ruined my neck and tried to get away with it. Here are some things to look for when hiring a good personal injury lawyer:
- Areas of specialty. If you’re in a car crash, you don’t want to go to a lawyer who specializes in animal attacks at zoos.
- Experience. Find a lawyer who has experience working with clients that have had cases like your own. Ask his or her record with similar cases.
- Courtroom experience. Will your lawyer take your case to trial if you want him or her to? Or will they insist on a settlement because it’s faster and easier for them? Make sure you discuss this before you hire them.
- High dollar cases. Has your lawyer handled a big dollar case, say a million dollar case or more? If they have, and they won, you can be sure they are good under pressure and should be fine with your case even if it’s only for a few thousand dollars.
- Contingency fee. If you have a solid case, your lawyer should agree to work for a contingency fee, meaning they will work for a percentage of your monetary award or settlement. If there is no recovery, they won’t charge you anything. These fees are often negotiable, so try and get as close to 25% as you can.
- Will they be the person handling your case? Often times people go to the big name lawyer in their city, agree to hire them and then find out that one of their associates is actually handling their case instead of the “famous” lawyer. If you hire a lawyer because of their record or experience, make sure they won’t pass your case onto someone else under them.
- When will your case be filed? Some lawyers might have bigger cases with more potential dollar signs than your case. If they are too busy working on those cases to file your lawsuit, you might wait months or longer until they come around to your case. Make sure they have time for you now. You shouldn’t wait more than a couple weeks to have things filed for you.