Choosing the right attorney to represent you is one of the most important things you can do to help your personal injury case. Hiring the best attorney for your particular situation can help provide you with the support and expertise you need for a more optimal outcome in your case.
Although there are many considerations when deciding which attorney is right for you, the process can be relatively straightforward. Here are a few factors to help you decide if a certain lawyer is right for your case.
Pick the Right Type of Attorney
When you have a medical condition that requires treatment, the first thing you will usually do is search for a doctor that specializes in that kind of ailment. The same thought process applies to selecting an attorney.
Every attorney has an area of law that they dedicate their practice to so they can become a specialist in that sector of law. Choose an attorney that has dedicated their practice to representing clients with situations that are similar to yours.
In some cases, a firm may be dedicated to practicing personal injury law. If that is the situation, you may want to ensure the firm has an attorney who handles cases related to your type of accident and secure an interview with that particular attorney.
Research Several Attorneys
It is essential to conduct research on any attorney or firm before deciding who you wish to interview. You may want to start by speaking to family members and trusted friends about their personal experiences with attorneys in your area. When conducting your research, look for issues with their reputation that may affect your case.
Most people have strong opinions about legal representation. You will find that there is usually a significant amount information available about any attorney or firm you’re researching which may help you make your decision.
Interview the Attorney
When you have a repair performed on your home, you would never think twice about asking the repair company about their credentials or experience. This consideration should be no different when deciding on an attorney. You will want to talk to your potential lawyer about their past cases and outcomes and ask how they feel they could represent your case.
The interview process is a crucial step when selecting your attorney because it will give you better insights into the expertise of the attorney. If you do not feel comfortable with the answers provided by the attorney, or distrust their judgment, you may want to consider continuing your search.
Once you feel comfortable with a lawyer, it is time to proceed to the next step before officially hiring them.
Ask About Your Case
Ask your attorney what they think about the merits of your case. Ask how they will handle the case and what outcome they would like to see. Does the attorney only take cases that they can settle out of court or are they willing to represent your case before a judge and jury?
You may also want to ask about the communication style and process your attorney implements with clients. Do they periodically check in or are they okay with you checking in on the status of your case? Ask what they anticipate the outcome of your case to be.
The last question is essential. Attorneys who promise specific amounts of money or promise large sums for an accident should be cause for concern. It is important to remember that every case and every injury is as unique as the person to which it happened. Your attorney can give you a “ball park figure” based on similar cases they have handled, but they should never promise you a specific amount or tell you that you are going to get large sums of money.
Review All Paperwork
Make sure that you review all paperwork the attorney presents to you, so you are in full understanding of what you are about to sign. Once you sign the documents to accept their legal services you have entered into a contract.
Ask as many questions as necessary for you to feel comfortable. If the attorney is uncomfortable with your questions or seems bothered in any way, then it may be time to move on. You only want to hire a lawyer that you can openly and comfortably work with for the best possible outcome. Remember that your attorney is there to provide you with the support you need.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means they do not receive any payment for their work until the case is settled. Many potential clients do no additional investigation into the language contained in these payment agreements. That can prove to be costly in the long run.
It is imperative that you ask what percentage of your recovery they will charge for their services and how they charge for any additional legal fees.
Some attorneys may charge different prices or an hourly rate for specific tasks. Others may charge a higher percentage for various types of cases. Be sure that you understand any potential charges and make sure you feel comfortable with that payment structure.
In the end, you need to trust your instincts when you hire a lawyer to represent your case. You need to feel as if you are going to receive quality legal representation and that your attorney cares about the outcome of your case. A qualified personal injury attorney can help protect your rights as you fight together to recover for your damages.