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Strategies for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

Strategies for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

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When you are the victim of an accident, you have a limited amount of time to take legal action against the person or party responsible for your suffering. You probably do not want to represent yourself in any kind of legal action.

Instead, you may want to hire a good personal injury lawyer to represent you. You can find one to take your case and get you the results you want by using these attorney vetting strategies.

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Identify Your Own Attorney Hiring Criteria

Before you set up a consultation with, make a phone call to, or speak to a personal injury attorney, you should first decide what your own criteria is for retaining this type of legal counsel. For example, do you want your lawyer to be someone who is easy to contact by phone or email? Do you expect your attorney to return your call or email quickly after you reach out to him or her about your case?

Likewise, you probably want an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state and has also been admitted to the state bar. The attorney’s win-loss record also should come into consideration during the vetting process. You want to know your personal injury lawyer has plenty of experiencing handling cases like yours and has a high success rate winning lawsuits or negotiating lucrative settlements for clients.

These are just a few of the criteria you may want to think about before hiring a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury case. By knowing what is important to you as a client, you can then move onto hiring an attorney who could get you the results you want.

Research Local Attorneys

Your next move should involve researching what personal injury lawyers’ practice in your area. You can do this by conducting a simple online search. The Internet can quickly reveal what personal injury attorneys have practices and are accepting clients in your city or state.

You also can use the Internet to access legal directories as well as your state bar association’s website. These sites can give names, addresses, and phone numbers for local personal injury attorneys. They also give ratings for the attorneys so you know how well they are regarded with clients and the legal community.

Finally, you can ask your friends and family members for referrals to personal injury attorneys. Chances are someone you know or is related to has used this kind of legal service in the past. You can use their referrals to locate an attorney who can possibly take your personal injury case.

Visit Attorney Websites

Most personal injury attorneys today have their own websites or web pages. You should visit these pages to read the lawyer’s biographies to learn where they went to school, what professional accreditations they have, and other important details that can bolster your confidence about hiring them.

Many personal injury lawyers also provide links to cases they have won or academic papers they have published. These credentials demonstrate that the lawyers have the experience to take your personal injury case and work toward the compensation and justice you are entitled to under state law.

Set Up Initial Consultations

Before you decide what attorney to hire, you should set up initial consultations with and interview several personal injury lawyers first. These meetings are typically offered at no cost to you. They serve as an opportunity for you to ask questions about your case and give details of the accident and injury you suffered so you know what legal action to take.

This meeting will also give you the chance to determine if you feel at ease with the attorney or if he or she leaves you skeptical about working with the lawyer on the case. Based on your interview with the lawyer as well as your own gut instincts, you can determine whether or not to put the attorney on retainer.

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Ask about Payment Options

Many personal injury attorneys promise to take cases at no obligation to the client. They say that they will not collect payments for their representation of you if you do not win a judgment or settlement in your case.

As promising as this sounds, you should approach this advertisement with a certain degree of skepticism. It is true that many personal injury lawyers will not collect on attorney fees if you do not win your case. However, they often will charge for expenses related to filing and pursuing the case like:

  • Expert witness fees
  • Fees for obtaining medical records
  • Physician report fees
  • Filing fees
  • Courier and copying expenses

Additionally, you may need to pay a retainer upfront before the attorney will take your case. You should find out how much the case could cost you even if the attorney does not collect lawyer fees if you do not win your case. You can then decide if you can afford to hire the attorney to represent you.

Find Out How Long the Attorney Has Practiced Personal Injury Law

You may appreciate that newly graduated lawyers have to get their experience from somewhere. However, you may not want their expertise to come at the expense of your case.

Instead, you may prefer to hire an attorney who has been practicing law for years if not decades. Experience works to your advantage because you get a lawyer who has more than likely handled and won cases like yours. He or she also knows what state laws apply to your case and what kind of justice or compensation you can reasonably pursue in court.

A skilled attorney will also know when to pursue a settlement instead of filing a lawsuit. Rather than put you through a lengthy and expensive lawsuit in court, a good attorney will assertively negotiate a settlement that works in your best interests. You can use the funds to move on with your life and cover expenses that you incurred from the accident.

These criteria can help you find a skilled personal injury to represent you after an accident. You do not have to face filing a case or advocating for yourself in court alone. A personal injury lawyer could pursue and get you the compensation and justice you are entitled to under your state’s personal injury laws.

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