How To Find A Great Personal Injury Lawyer

When you need to hire a personal injury lawyer, it’s really important to find someone with a strong track record of getting good settlements and winning trials, not some scummy, unethical ambulance chaser. When you or someone you care about has been injured through someone else’s negligence, you don’t always have it in you to fight with an insurance company for a larger settlement.

But how do you find a great personal injury lawyer? Lots of people use personal injury attorneys, so you might find a good one by asking around among family and friends. Your state bar can also help you with recommendations. You’ll want to make sure any attorney you hire is experienced and successful, but also that it’s someone you can work well with as your case progresses. Of course, before you make a final decision on who to hire, make sure you’ll be able to pay the lawyer out of your settlement or award.

Get Referrals

You might be surprised at how many people in your circle have used a personal injury attorney, or know someone who has used one. Ask friends and family if they can refer you to a personal injury attorney. Even if no one in your circle has used a personal injury attorney before, they might know one. If you know any attorneys in any other specialties, don’t be afraid to ask them for personal injury attorney recommendations – attorneys tend to know other attorneys across many legal specialties.

Check with Your State Bar

The recommendations of your friends and family and even of other attorneys you know shouldn’t be the last word in who you hire to take on your personal injury case. Your state bar association can provide you with referrals to personal injury attorneys in your area. They can tell you whether an attorney is licensed to practice, whether any ethical complaints have been brought against him or her, and what leadership roles he or she may be filling in the profession.

Look for an Experienced Attorney

The more experience a personal injury attorney has, the better, because what does a personal injury lawyer do? He or she will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, bring in medical experts to prove the extent of your injuries and your pain and suffering, and even take the case to trial if you can’t reach a settlement – or if your attorney thinks that you can get awarded substantially more money by a jury.

There is quite a lot that goes into litigating a successful personal injury case, and you’ll need to make sure that any attorney you choose has the experience to handle your case. When you meet for your initial consultation, ask how long the attorney has been in practice and how many personal injury cases similar to yours he or she has handled – personal injury is so detail-oriented and case-specific that different kinds of personal injury cases will be handled differently.

For example, a car accident case will be handled differently from a products liability case, which will be handled differently from a semi truck accident. You want a lawyer with lots of experience representing plaintiffs, and someone who has a proven history of getting good settlements and awards for clients. Make sure your case will be handled by the most experienced attorneys in the firm, rather than shuffled off onto a junior attorney.

Find Someone You Mesh With

Always meet with attorneys in person so you can get a better feel for who they are as a person and whether you’ll be able to work together. A personal injury case can take years to resolve, so you might be working with the attorney you choose for a long time. Look for someone who listens when you speak, returns your calls promptly, and explains things so you can understand them.

Ask About the Financials

Personal injury attorneys usually work on contingency, taking 20 to 40 percent out of the final award or settlement amount. That means they don’t get paid unless they win your case, which means that they won’t take your case if they don’t think they can win it. On top of your lawyer’s fees, you may also have to pay court costs. Make sure you understand your financial obligations and have the fee structure in writing before you proceed with an attorney.

It’s never easy to find a good personal injury attorney, but sometimes it just can’t be avoided. You didn’t ask to be injured, but a great attorney can help you get back the money you’ve lost to medical bills and lost wages, so you can focus on your recovery.

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