How To Choose A Personal Injury LawyerCategories: Personal Injury
If you were injured and someone else may have been at fault or contributed to the injury or accident through negligent, reckless or careless behavior you will want to find a well-qualified personal injury lawyer to represent you. But how do you go about choosing your lawyer?
Every website you read will say that the attorneys will work hard to get you the maximum compensation. Every website will say the attorneys will fight for your rights and protect your interests. Every website will say that they won’t charge you a penny unless and until they recover money for you. And every website will say the attorneys are qualified. How are you supposed to know who to pick?
By following these seven simple guidelines, you will be able to choose the right personal injury lawyer with confidence.
Seven Guidelines for Choosing Your Injury Attorney
Here’s what to look for when deciding on legal representation for your accident or injury:
1. Experience – How long has the lawyer been practicing? If he or she has only been out of law school for a few years, they probably do not have enough experience to represent you if things get complicated. Ask how many years they’ve been practicing law and more important, ask how much experience they have with your particular type of accident. Just because someone has experience with a lot of car accident cases doesn’t mean they know the ins and outs of a motorcycle case, or how to handle a truck accident case, or what is involved in proving liability with a defective product, or the many complications of a brain injury. Ask about their experience with your type of accident and choose an attorney who has very specific experience in that area.
2. Trial Experience – Many injury law firms have experience settling a variety of personal injury cases – including cases like your accident – but not all cases settle or should settle, so you want to choose an injury law firm with extensive experience in the courtroom. Ask how many cases they have actually tried before a judge and jury. Ask what the outcomes of those cases were. Make sure you hire strong litigators; this will make all the difference if you have to go to court, and will actually make a difference in your settlement negotiations as well. If the other side knows your legal counsel is more than prepared to go to trial, they are likely to make better offers.
3. Board Certified – Becoming board certified requires years of experience, extensive ongoing education and courtroom experience including jury trials. Board certified attorneys are considered “experts” in their area of practice. If you want someone committed to being the best in their field, hire a board certified attorney.
4. Martindale-Hubbell “AV” Rated – Martindale-Hubbell is a national directory and guide that provides background information and evaluation ratings on lawyers and law firms throughout the U.S. The prestigious “AV” rating is determined by attorneys, peers, and judges, and recognizes outstanding achievement in the legal profession. A firm that has achieved an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell demonstrates excellence in the legal profession. When you are looking for an injury attorney to represent you, ask what their Martindale-Hubbell rating is and choose an “AV” rated firm.
5. A Practice Focused Exclusively on Personal Injury Law – A law firm that takes all kinds of cases won’t have the time or resources to be true experts in injury cases. Firms that limit their practice strictly to personal injury will be able to use all of their resources to thoroughly investigate your case and help recover damages. They will be the most up-to-date on the laws that govern personal injury, and will have the resources to prove liability.
Attorneys who focus their practices on personal injuries will also have the depth of knowledge to understand medical terminology and the short and long term implications of various injuries as well as what will be required now and in the future for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. They will have whole teams of experts to help prove your case, and will know how to get you the maximum compensation from a variety of sources. Hire a lawyer and law firm that eats, breathes and sleeps personal injury law and you will be getting the best representation you can.
6. Compassion – Of course you want lawyers who are experts in their field, but if you or a loved one has suffered a serious or catastrophic injury, your life has probably been turned upside down. So you also want an attorney who has compassion for your situation and understands your challenges. Ask the attorney if they will talk to creditors on your behalf if you are being hounded about bills. Ask them if they will talk to your insurance company for you if there is a question about coverage. Of course you won’t really have a sense of their understanding or compassion until you meet with them, but if they’re “all business” without a caring human component, you may want to find an attorney who is highly skilled and kind.
7. Free Consultation. When you have questions, you should not have to pay for that time or worry about what it might cost. Find a firm that offers a free initial consultation and is willing to invest some time in trying to help you even before they know they will be hired. This is not only a way for you to get the advice and guidance you need before deciding how to proceed, it’s a good way to know if the firm and the lawyers seem to care about your and your family and how they might be able to help.
These seven steps are important to follow when you or someone you love has been injured in an accident. No one can turn back the clock and take away your injuries, but an experienced and qualified accident lawyer can certainly help you get the compensation you need to start on the road to recovery.
One of the most important aspects of choosing a personal injury lawyer is their personality. Find a qualified, resourceful, and personable law firm like Kogan & DiSalvo to handle your case. With the right lawyer, the process will go much smoother, and you could end up with a higher settlement than you thought.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, we hope you will contact Kogan & DiSalvo, P.A. to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers today. Your initial consultation is free.