Unfortunately you’ve suffered an injury sustained by the hands of another on the road. You’re possibly showing signs of whiplash injury or maybe even worse and your doctors have you on a steady dosage of pain meds. It’s time to seek the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney or claim solicitor but where do you begin. Let these 10 tips for finding the right personal injury attorney or claim solicitor guide you to resolution.
1. Realize that it’s time to contact an attorney.
Auto accident injuries vary dramatically. They run from minor injuries to those that are extremely serious. Should you believe that your injuries warrant legal action it is important to contact a personal injury attorney or claim solicitor as soon as possible. The longer that you wait, the more difficult it becomes to take the case to trail and win. The reason for this is that witnesses and evidence from the scene of the accident become harder to find as time moves forward, so it is imperative to realize your need and act upon it.
2. Find a law firm that specializes in cases like yours.
Since you’ve decide to acquire an attorney or claim solicitor, it’s important the you find the right one. For that reason it is important to search out an attorney that’s experienced in dealing with the specific issues related to your case. For instance, if you are suffering from whiplash related injuries it would be best to seek out an attorney who has handled cases related to spinal cord injury.
3. Get referrals.
The best place to get referrals is from your family and friends. Who better to seek unbiased opinions from than the trusted people you surround yourself with. Additionally, many people have used various specialized attorneys at one time or another. An example of this would be an attorney who’s prepared a will for your family. Although he or she is not qualified to take on your case, they more that likely know of a professional colleague that is, ask around.
4. Do research outside of advertising.
There are no doubt reliable and successful attorneys that pay big money for advertising , while others don’t spend a penny on marketing. It’s best as a consumer not to make decisions simply based on clever advertising. Rather, research for a reputable attorney’s records on online via the website for your state or local bar association as well as contacting a lawyer referral service operated by a local or state bar association. The American Bar Association’s public service website,www.findlegalhelp.org, features great advice about finding a personal injury attorney.
5. Know which attorney will oversee your case.
Very often a firm’s lead attorney of claim solicitor may not be handling many of the firms cases, particularly smaller ones. Therefore, it is important that a client meet with the attorney that will be assigned to their case so there are no surprises. When it’s time for your trial, making sure you have the lawyer of your choice is important to your team’s success.
6. Interview the attorney.
Potential attorneys should be asked a wide array of questions in an effort to learn more about them such as whether or not there skills and experiences match your cases personal needs. It’s also important to learn a little bit about the attorney themselves in order to help assess if their personalities are in line with yours as you’ll be spending a lot of time communicating with them. Also, make sure to ask for references when obtaining an attorney.
7. Find out if the attorney leans towards settlements over trials.
Ask how many cases the attorney takes to trial each year verses how many he or she settles out of court as this can inevitably have a factor on how much return you have on your claim.
8. Find out if the attorney is a sole practitioner or has a large staff.
Both types of firms have their pros and cons. Some clients prefer larger firms while others seek out sole practitioners. The argument for larger firms is that customer’s needs are easily met do to the shear number of staff working at the practice. Where as, sole practitioners say they are devoted to their clienteles needs on an individual basis, the quality versus quantity mentality.
9. Know the cost upfront.
After an injury, auto insurance companies won’t cover the cost associated with hiring an attorney to file a lawsuit. Typically, attorneys or claim solicitors who handle personal injury cases do so on the basis of contingency. Meaning that the attorney doesn’t get paid unless their client wins. However, some lawyers do require upfront cost regardless of a loss. This is why it is critical as a consumer that you’re clear about the cost from the beginning. Should you win your case, in most instances, your lawyer will collect roughly one-third of the personal injury settlement, although this can vary by location.
10. Be skeptical of promises.
If a personal injury attorney is promising you tons of money, it’s best to be skeptical. A professional attorney will end up spending a good amount of time investigating your case and in doing so won’t make predictions about your settlement or payout.