The difference between a legal case is won or lost most of the time sits with the personal injury lawyer that is handling the case. Regardless of whether it is a car accident that you have been involved in or a trip or a fall, hiring the correct personal injury lawyer to represent you can prove a vitally important decision.
Despite its importance, the actual process of deciding on which of the many personal injury lawyers out there to hire does not need to be a complex one. Some of the things that you need to do and consider for the purpose of coming to a decision are listed below for you to take a look at in detail.
Establish the type of lawyer that you need
If you have never had to hire a personal injury lawyer before, then it is likely to be the case that you do not know where to start with it all. First off, you need to work out what area of the law your situation is concerned with. For instance, if you have been involved in some sort of accident, such as a car crash, that you were not responsible for causing and have been injured by, then what you will need is a personal injury lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer will fight for your rights and work to get you financial compensation for the injuries that you have sustained from the accident. This can include things such as medical negligence, falls and trips, motorcycle crashes, car crashes, plus many more things. You should try your best to find a personal injury lawyer that possesses many years of experience in working in this area of the law.
Look for fully licensed lawyers
You want to do what you can to keep clear of any personal injury lawyer that does not have a license to practice. One way of doing this is by searching for legitimate and fully licensed personal injury lawyers within your local area. In order to do this, do not do a generic search online for ‘car accident personal injury lawyer’ or something similar. This is because it will most definitely bring up a whole host of adverts for personal injury lawyers that are not necessarily the best at what they do, but had the foresight to purchase some online adverts.
What you should do is look at what experience the personal lawyer has. One way of doing this is by searching on state bar association websites or looking at professional organizations that specialize in personal injury law. When looking through these directories, see what requirements are in place in order for a personal injury lawyer to join them. It is also important to check whether any personal injury lawyer that you are thinking about hiring is board certified in personal injury law.
Doing this can often provide you with some insight into if they have any judicial connections – something which is highly beneficial for a personal injury lawyer to have. The contribution to any campaigns or participation within a bar association are good signs that the personal injury lawyer is highly involved in the legal scene in your local area.
Check their discipline history
You do not want to hire a personal injury lawyer that has an unclean track record. The best way of finding a personal injury lawyer that is free from any issues is by searching the local state bar association. They should run some sort of disciplinary system that anyone is free to look through and gain important insight from.
Where you do find that a personal injury lawyer that you were thinking about hiring has a history of facing disciplinary issues, then you should do what you can to keep clear of them. Being mentioned in a disciplinary system means that the personal injury lawyer has been subject to professional disciplinary action.
Work out the size of the law firm
The size, age, connections with medical experts, and the experience that a personal injury law firm has are all important considerations to take into account when deciding on a personal injury lawyer to hire. However, you should not be hasty in automatically eliminating those personal injury law firms that are on the smaller side. Whilst you may be more aware of some of the bigger names when it comes to personal injury law firms (because they have spent lots of money on advertising), it is typically the case that these are more expensive than the smaller ones. With the larger personal injury firms, you may also get less of a personal experience, so this is something to consider when making a decision.
What is helpful when looking for a personal injury law firm is reviews from previous clients, what their connections are, and if they receive referrals from other lawyers.
Read reviews from previous clients
Taking the time out to find and read reviews of a personal injury lawyer from previous clients provides you with the opportunity to see how they work and if they are good at what they do before actually committing to hiring them. See if these clients actually recommend using the personal injury lawyer or if they had any disagreements with them.
The relationship between you and your lawyer will develop into a personal one and so it is important that you feel comfortable enough with them to discuss a range of different topics, some of which will be quite invasive into your privacy. Previous reviews should also hopefully give some insight into if they possess good negotiation skills and if they have dealt with a similar case to your own before. These types of online reviews are basically the new word of mouth, so you should take them seriously.
Arrange a meeting with them
During the process of reaching a personal injury lawyer to hire, you will no doubt have come across a number of things and now you have questions to ask. To help you get some of these answered and so that you can get to know the personal injury lawyer directly for yourself, it can be very helpful to arrange an actual face to face meeting with them. It is the case with most of them that they provide free consultation meetings and so you should make the most of these offers.
They are a great way of helping to form an opinion of a personal injury lawyer, as well as for them to get a better understanding of the details of your case.
Prepare a list of questions
During a meeting with a personal injury lawyer, you should go armed with a range of different questions. Doing this allows you to make a decision of where or not you want to hire them to handle your case. The meeting will start off with you talking about the details of your case but once that has been done, you will then have the opportunity to have any questions that you may have. If you do not have any, then there are a list of some helpful ones below.
- How much am I expected to participate in the case?
- Have you handled these types of cases before?
- How much other work do you have on at the moment?
- Will you be personally handling my case?
- How will you keep in contact with me?
- Do you think that the case will go to trial?
- Have you taken many cases to trial before?
- What are your fees for handling my case?
- What do you think the outcome of the case will be?
Consider your options
After meeting with a personal injury lawyer, it is then important to take some time to think about what was discussed and consider your options – you may have visited a number of different personal injury lawyers and so there is a lot for you to think about. At very least you should sleep on things before coming to a decision on who you want to hire.
Think about what you gleaned from each meeting and if any of the personal injury lawyers possess experience in the specific area of personal injury law that you need them to. How do they each measure up against one another?
Agree a contingency fee
Before going ahead and actually hiring a personal injury lawyer, you need to come to an agreement with them over what their Contingency Fees in VA are going to be. Not only will this make you fully aware of what you owe them financially, but, if done right, should also outline exactly how the relationship between yourself and the personal injury lawyer will work.
When it comes down to it, you are looking for the best possible personal injury lawyer for the purpose of winning your case and getting you the financial compensation that you rightly deserve for the injuries that you have sustained from your accident. This is why taking on board all of the above considerations, actions, and advice listed above is so important for a positive outcome.