Things You Need To Know Before You Choose An Attorney
While reading or listening to attorney advertisements, it is important to ask critical questions to insure you are choosing the right attorney for you and your case. After all, these flashy television commercials and large colorful Yellow Pages ads are filled with attorneys claiming expertise in personal injury cases. Remember, claiming proficiency is not the same as actually possessing it. By knowing the right questions to ask and the right places to look for information you can better select the right attorney for your case.
For decades, our Law Firm has successfully represented individual citizens against large corporations and insurance companies. Because attorneys are allowed to advertise, we have seen an increase in the number of law firms from other areas sending out solicitations. We have always put our clients first and know it is important to be as informed as possible when seeking legal assistance.
To help you select the right attorney for, we have put together a list of questions you should ask while deciding to hire a personal injury attorney.
Please take a moment and review these questions and points that are very pertinent to insuring you select the right attorney for your case. Never hesitate to call us anytime we can help with these or other questions you may have. Remember, at our Law Firm, you will speak directly with a licensed attorney who is a partner in our firm. Our consultations are free.
Does the attorney who will be handling my case have sufficient experience and competence in the trial of injury cases?
Personal injury and insurance law is complicated and ever-changing. Attorneys who lack experience in the trial of these cases can be at a disadvantage in dealing with insurance companies and their defense counsel. Be sure to ask attorneys you are considering to answer the following questions:
What is the name of the licensed attorney who will be primarily handling my case, and how long have they been licensed?
How many injury cases have they actually tried in a courtroom?
Will that attorney provide a local reference, or is anyone else in your community (including local courtroom personnel) familiar with their work? If so, what is their impression of the attorney’s abilities?
Has the attorney lectured or taught other attorneys in the area of personal injury or insurance law or had articles published in continuing legal education materials or law journals?
What is the attorney’s rating with Martindale-Hubbell or other peer review organizations?
You can find out a lot of valuable information about attorneys from the online, free Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Go to www.Martindale.com. You can find ratings of an attorney’s legal ability and professional ethics made from the confidential opinions of the people who frequently work with them, particularly other attorneys and judges.
Will the attorney who will be handling my case be available to meet and confer with me or will my case be delegated to non-attorney staff members?
In some law firms, a lot of the contact with clients in injury claims is delegated to staff that are not lawyers. Sometimes this is done to maximize the volume of cases they can handle with the fewest number of licensed attorneys. This means you could have little or no contact with a licensed attorney during the representation. It is important to ask the attorney about the firm’s policies on solicitation of cases and delegation of work to non-lawyers so you can decide whether you feel comfortable with the amount of personal attention the attorney will devote to your case.
Also, some firms solicit injury cases over a large geographic area. This means that the attorneys may live and regularly work at an office in a community many miles away from yours. In order for you to decide whether the attorney will be reasonably available to confer with you, it is important to ask where the attorney lives and keeps regular office hours. During your attorney interviews, ask the following questions:
Will the attorney (rather than a paralegal) agree to meet with you face-to-face and answer your questions before you hire them?
Does that attorney regularly work at an office convenient to your community?
Where does the firm solicit injury cases?
What is the fee for settling a case before a lawsuit is filed?
Most attorneys who handle injury cases charge a contingent fee – which is a percentage of the amount recovered. However, there can be a difference in the percentage charged. Some firms charge a contingent fee of one-third of the gross recovery even if the case is settled before a lawsuit is filed.
On the other hand, many attorneys have customarily appeared in personal injury cases using a two-tiered payment structure. If the case can be settled before a lawsuit has to be filed, you pay only one-fourth of the gross recovery. If a lawsuit is filed, the fee typically increases to one-third. Under this fee structure, the amount you pay would be less if the case is settled before a lawsuit is filed.
Neither of the above contingent fee structures is necessarily unreasonable so it is up to you to decide whether the attorney who charges the higher fee is the right one for your case. Before deciding you should ask:
Will the attorney explain specifically how the contingent fee is calculated?
How does the contingent fee compare with that customarily charged by other attorneys in your area?
Do I feel I can trust this attorney to act in my best interest after meeting with the attorney and researching their reputation from other people and sources?
The attorney-client relationship requires the utmost trust. On both sides. Most of the decisions all of us make about any person’s character and integrity are based upon:
A) What we learn from others who have had contact with them, and;
B) What we learn from our own personal contact with them.
The decision to hire an attorney should be made on the same basis as you use to evaluate a person’s trustworthiness in everyday life.
Are there other people in your community who are familiar with and can vouch for the trustworthiness of the attorney or law firm?
What are your own impressions from your personal contact with the attorney?
You should hire an attorney only after a face-to-face meeting during which you satisfy yourself that the attorney answered your questions candidly and honestly, that you felt comfortable with the relationship personally, that you were satisfied that the attorney had sufficient experience and competence for you and your particular case and that they would be sufficiently available to you.
Personal Injury Attorney
One of the most difficult tasks is choosing a personal injury attorney. This becomes even worse when you undertake this task after you have an injury or a loved one who is injured.
To the public, some personal injury lawyers are ambulance chasers, only running after wealth, while others are real saviors during this time of need, helping a person out with genuine care at heart.
Identifying the later kind of lawyer is very important to avoid being scammed.
A good personal injury lawyer can help you out with:
Slip and fall
Before deciding on the personal attorney to hire, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
Start by asking yourself whether you have been injured as a result of someone else’s, or the company’s fault, either through negligence or accident.
Also ask yourself how severe the injury is and if it has led to you suffering the loss of wages, mental distress, physical distress, or steep medical bills.
Consider the evidence you have as well as whether common sense favors you in your case.
Finally, look at whether you have compromised your settlement chances either by talking with the defendant’s attorney extensively or by giving your defendant’s insurance company statements.
With these questions answered, it’s now time to search for a personal injury lawyer.
A good starting point is the American Bar Association (ABA). Ask them for a referral list of personal attorneys.
You can use the ABA website for this, by using the “find legal help” icon on the site.
You can also ask for references from family, relatives, neighbors, and friends who have previously used personal injury lawyers.
These will give you better recommendations because they know how well such attorneys offer their service and whether they are trustworthy and reliable.
By taking these simple steps, you will end up with a very helpful personal injury attorney.
How To Find A Good Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been in some form of an accident or you’ve been injured in any way at all, then it would probably be a good idea for you to find yourself an excellent personal injury attorney.
There are a lot of different attorneys available to you in this section of the law, so you want to make sure that you find one that is good at what they do and someone that you feel comfortable with so that you know that you trust them.
One major thing you need to pay attention to when looking for a personal injury attorney is their fee to represent you.
Most of them will provide you with a free consultation, but there are few that do charge a small fee as well.
If you feel like your settlement is going to pay you a lot of money, then it might be worth it for you to meet with one of the attorneys that charge a consultation fee since these are usually the individuals that have the best track records.
But I’ll leave that up to you since you only know your financial situation.
A good place to look for a personal injury attorney is right here on the Internet.
There are so many websites dedicated to reviewing all kinds of things, and you’ll definitely be able to find a site that has reviews for personal injury lawyers as well.
So look at all the different reviews about the attorney you are considering and pay close attention to the people that weren’t happy because their words will probably be a good indicator of whether or not this is the perfect attorney for you.
Another great way to find a personal injury attorney is to check with your friends and family members and see if they have a good recommendation for you.
More often than not, somebody you know has been in an accident or a slip and fall and they’ve gone through the experience that you are about to go through yourself.
So they’ll probably have some really good advice for you and I can almost guarantee that they’ll be able to recommend a good personal injury attorney right away.
I hope you found this article regarding how to find a personal injury attorney very useful.
Personal Injury Attorney – What To Consider Before Retaining One
How important is hiring a San Diego personal injury attorney?
Many people with very strong cases rarely file motions or suits in court because of the perceived embarrassment and hassle associated with pursuing a case or going to trial.
Although this may be quite true, the amount of expenses you incur from the injuries sustained may be overwhelming, warranting a need to have compensation considered through the courts.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer does no harm, and will indicate to you whether you have a strong case or not.
Besides this, this session also opens your eyes to many other possibilities where you can have redress.
Before you engage the services of a personal injury lawyer, you need to first calculate the value of your time.
Putting into consideration the amount of compensation you are pursuing, it is sometimes better to opt-out from going for trial. For instance, it may take you about 6 months to conclusively pursue a personal injury case.
This in effect means 6 months of vacation from your primary occupation, 6 months of trial frustrations and stresses.
The compensation should thus be worth this much and probably more.
Another key consideration is the lawyer fees. You should go for contingency rates of around 25 to 30 percent deducted from the money that you get paid at the end of the trial if pursued successfully.
Lawyers who ask for upfront fees from your pocket may end up getting you into a deeper financial crisis, and more so if you lose the case.
Make sure to also meet with your lawyer face to face before you retain them to make sure that there will be no conflicts of interest during your case processions, and to also discuss your case further in a more personal setting.
Making these simple considerations helps you to choose the best personal injury attorney, on top of deciding whether this is the best option for you.
Personal Injury Attorney – How To Choose One
The difference between winning and losing a personal injury trial is hiring the services of a good personal injury attorney.
Getting the best lawyer for your case means a lot of cost savings, time savings, stress, and embarrassment savings.
A good personal injury attorney will help you out with the best course of action, letting you know your chances of winning or losing a case, including whether it is worth following up such a case for compensation via a trial in a court of law.
So, how do you choose the best?
Start by getting referrals from family and friends.
This is, by far, the very best option to go with because you will get to learn how a specific attorney handled a given case, whether they were reliable, and whether they won or lost the case.
This way, you will be able to have a more clear expectation with your attorney and the case as well. However, you can also use the American Bar Association to search for lawyers near you.
Just go to their website and use the “find legal help” search icon to get possible personal injury lawyers to use. You can also ask your present lawyer for referrals.
Once you identify possible attorneys to use, set up appointments with a number of them.
Explain your case to each and try to find out if they have ever handled a similar case, whether they won and how difficult the case can get.
Make sure to enquire about lawyer fees upfront. Make sure to find out if there are consultation fees, any fees for your claim evaluation, and when the fees are expected to be paid.
Ensure that you have a written payment agreement, which you should evaluate carefully before signing.
Finally, go with your gut feeling. Do you think you will be able to work with this particular lawyer?
This is because you will be spending a lot of time with your choice of a personal injury attorney and you should be able to get along with them well and comfortably.