If you have recently suffered a personal injury, you know how scary and overwhelming it can feel. The physical effects can be very unpleasant to deal with. To make matters worse, if you are like most of us, navigating the legal system and knowing what to expect from your personal injury case can be very confusing!
If none of your friends or family members have been through a personal injury case, search the Internet for valuable information about personal injury attorneys. There are many organizations and forums that rate lawyers based upon client reviews. These sites can also show you the attorney’s track record for winning personal injury lawsuits.
Don’t pay any money up front to a personal injury lawyer. A reputable personal injury lawyer will not require any money up front; in most cases they will offer a free consultation prior to taking your case. During this consultation be sure to ask them about exactly what you will be charged (whether it’s a flat fee or an hourly rate), and if they offer some sort of payment plan.
How quickly does a lawyer get back to you? The answer to this question should play a huge role in which attorney you choose for your personal injury case. Anyone who leaves you hanging for days on end is no good. To figure out how long it will take once hired, multiply how long it took for them to first contact you times three.
Speak with a bar association to determine the lawyers that are in your area that practice what you need. This will not provide you a ranking of the best lawyers, but will give you a good start on finding one. The American Bar Association is a good place for you to start this process.
Look for a lawyer willing to work on a contingency basis. This means that your lawyer will not get paid unless you receive a settlement. Not only will this mean your lawyer has a vested interest in getting you a good settlement, it also means you won’t be left with a large legal fee should your case be dismissed.
If you have to miss work as a result of any injury you received, make sure that you let your boss know that this is why you will be absent. Later on you can ask your boss for a statement if you want to sue for any wages you lost as a result of being out.
Tell every doctor that you see that you are going to court for a personal injury claim. This will let the doctor know that you will be expecting him to document your injuries, treatments and progress, or lack there of, for use in court. If you fail to do this, you may not win your case.
When searching for a personal injury lawyer, do not make a decision too quickly. Make sure to interview several lawyers to have a good pool of candidates before you make your decision. Sometimes, you will find a better lawyer than the first one, even if you think he or she is top notch.
Keep in mind most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. These attorneys get paid a pecentage of the ultimate judgement for your injury. This can range to as high as 40% of the eventual settlement. Find out the contingency percentage before you make any agreement with an attorney.
Suffering a personal injury is never a pleasant experience. While you cannot change what has happened to you, you nevertheless can educate yourself on the important facts about personal injury law to make your legal experience as tolerable and seamless as possible. You have been through enough already, after all!