Factors When Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
You were recently injured in an accident, and you want to ensure that you get fair compensation for what happened.
Perhaps you were involved in an automobile crash or slipped and fell on a wet floor while shopping. Maybe you got hurt at work or a doctor performed an unnecessary test, and now you’re suffering from it. No matter what your situation is, finding an experienced personal injury attorney is going to be your best chance of winning your case, whether you get a settlement or end up going to trial.
When looking for a personal injury attorney, you don’t just want to hire the first person who pops up on a commercial on TV. That doesn’t mean they are the best at their job, or are even good at it – it just means they have spent money to get a volume of people to call, probably to screeners on a phone bank.
Instead, you can look into the following factors when hiring a personal injury attorney, which will guide you in the right direction and help you find someone who can represent your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
The Strength of Your Case – Before you seek out a personal injury attorney, you’ll need to be ready to answer some basic questions regarding your case. For instance, after you got injured, did you go to the hospital immediately? Or to a medical provider that has a record of your visit? Did you collect any evidence or speak to eyewitnesses? Did the incident happen recently? In order for a personal injury attorney to actually help you, all the relevant information will, eventually, have to be gathered. If your injury happened years ago, or it was your fault you got injured, you may not have a case. If you’re not sure if you have a case, you can still speak to a personal injury attorney to determine this.
Law Firm Focus – When looking for a personal injury attorney, seek out a firm that is known for representing personal injury clients. Don’t go to a law firm with numerous, unrelated practice areas, or where personal injury is a sidebar to their main specialty. The more your attorney focuses on personal injury, the more likely you are to succeed with your case, since they will know the laws in and out.
Years of Experience – You need someone who has real experience in the field and has worked on cases like yours before. That way, they will know what angles to take and how to prove that you are justified in asking for a settlement or going to court against the defendant. An experienced attorney may also be familiar with the judge(s) in the locale where the case is to be prosecuted and who could be presiding over your case, a huge advantage in case you ever go to trial.
Online Reviews – Another good source of information are online reviews. Be cautious if you notice a personal injury attorney has only five out of five stars, since those could be fake reviews that they paid for. Or, if a personal injury attorney has many one-star or even zero-star reviews, as that’s a bad sign as well. Look for one that seems to have a good balance and responds to negative reviews politely, if there are any.
Location – You may have to visit with your personal injury attorney multiple times after the initial consultation. Choose a good, qualified, personal injury attorney who is fairly close and provides parking so that it’s not a hassle every time you want to see them. This will also ensure that the attorney is local to your court so that they will have the inside track as to the judges and courtrooms that will be involved in your case; and they will carry the respect of those judges, and know them.
Consultation – Did your lawyer give you the consultation you deserved? Did they listen to all facets of the situation and exhibit interest in you and your case? Or did they just spend a few minutes to tell you how experienced they are and toot their own horn. Get somebody who cares and who will give you peace of mind that your case is in good hands.
Cost – With a personal injury case, your attorney may cover your costs of the claim and arrange for medical bills to be paid or put in abeyance (held off) until your settlement. Then, upon getting a settlement, they will take out a percentage of the total recovered, which is the fee they receive only if they win your case. Your personal injury attorney or their staff, should go over all the terms of their contingency fees and they should provide you with a copy of the fee agreement.
Your Comfort Level – Your attorneys should treat you with respect and make you feel heard and seen. IF they do, then they’re going to be easier, and even a pleasure, to work with.
Ease of Communication – You should be able to get an appointment to chat via phone or in person during business hours and your lawyer should get back to you within a reasonable amount of time. Any support staff you communicate with should be held to similar standards. If you’re having trouble reaching your attorney or one of their staff members in the firm, make sure you voice your concerns to give them a chance to respond more appropriately. If they continue to fail, consider changing attorneys.
Finding the Best Personal Injury Attorney
Once you’ve weighed all these factors, it’s time to hire a personal injury attorney you can trust. When you’re ready to reach out, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are here for you. Our practice areas are confined to injury cases and include catastrophic injuries, burn injuries, malpractice, workers compensation, motor vehicle injuries and more. Reach out today for your consultation to get started.