Suffering a personal injury can be devastating. Besides dealing with physical pain and limitations,
the victim has to deal with lost income from work, medical bills, mortgage or rent payments and other financial obligations. The experience is all the more frustrating because someone else is responsible for causing the injury either intentionally or through negligence.
The best recourse in such cases is to pursue financial reimbursement for your injuries, and this requires hiring a personal injury attorney. Finding a reliable attorney, however, can be challenging. Hiring the right attorney makes all the difference in terms of actually pursuing and winning your case.
Set Up A Consultation
The first step in finding a personal injury attorney is to arrange a consultation. Consultations are usually free of charge. Talking with an attorney will help you to clarify the basic facts, evidence, and viability of your case.
Many people hesitate to contact an attorney because they worry that the initial consultation may be too expensive. The truth is that attorneys typically offer consultations free of charge. It benefits them as well as their potential clients.
Choose A Personal Injury Attorney with Experience
Keep in mind that not all lawyers are the same. An attorney may be a criminal defense attorney, a tax attorney and so on. You want to make sure that the attorney you hire has experience with personal injury cases. Attorneys usually limit their practice to one or two areas of the law.
Not all attorneys are interested in working on personal injury case. In other words, a criminal defense attorney will not be interested in handling your case.
The Dangers of Ambulance Chases
One of most infamous examples of a disreputable lawyer is the ambulance chaser. Most states have passed laws making ambulance chasing illegal. Beware of lawyers who contact you after an accident. This is always a bad sign. You should always be the one who makes first contact with a lawyer following an accident or injury.
Lawsuits and Settlements
Seeking damages for a personal injury may require filing a lawsuit against the responsible party, but not always. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to convince an insurance company to provide important information without filing a lawsuit.
This is usually a faster and less expensive option for someone seeking damages. Also keep in mind that many lawsuits are often settled before a case goes to trial.
Clarify the Fees
Personal injury attorneys typically do not work for free. A lawyer wants to be paid for her time. Personal injury attorneys typically agree to work on a contingency fee. This means you are not obligated to pay the attorney until you are paid.
This makes it possible to hire an attorney to work on your case even if you do not have the money to pay her upfront. Working on a contingency fee motivates an attorney only to take cases that have a strong chance of reaching a favorable outcome.
Make sure that you clearly understand attorney fees and expectations before hiring an attorney. An important thing to keep in mind is that the lawyer’s fee only pays for her time. You may be responsible for additional “expenses” incurred if the lawyer has to hire someone to work on the case. Attorneys typically bill the client for the expenses.