How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been hurt or a loved one has been killed in an accident of some kind, you need to be looking at a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit in order to get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses and other concerns. The type of accident may vary, though car accidents and medical malpractice are the most commonly associated with personal injury law. Both are major problems; Over 37,000 Americans die in road crashes each year (1.3 million globally, or 3,287 deaths each day), and about 225,000 people die each year from medical malpractice, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Although it’s not mandatory to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you during litigation, it is highly recommended. This is an area of the law that depends on a detailed understanding of complex statutes, and it’s difficult to navigate that process on your own — especially if you’re recovering or grieving. But how do you choose the right personal injury attorney? You’ll probably want to go to a consultation at one or more law firms before you make a final decision. Here are the questions you should ask of each lawyer you interview:
- How Many Injury Cases Have You Overseen?
There’s no special degree or certification that designates some attorneys as personal injury attorneys, but some attorneys do decide to focus their practices on this particular area of the law. Naturally, you’d expect those attorneys to end up with better results. Ask for a ballpark figure of how many personal injury cases or wrongful death cases similar to yours the lawyer in question has handled.
- What Course of Action Will You Recommend?
Some attorneys are aggressive and unyielding, suggesting you go to court to get the maximum possible settlement, whereas others take a more measured approach and try to reach an agreement through arbitration or other pre-court negotiations. Both are valid approaches, but you should be sure you’re choosing a personal injury attorney who will take a course of action you’re comfortable with.
- Who Will Actually Be Working on My Case?
Sometimes the lawyer you consult with won’t be involved in your case personally. Be sure to clarify who will actually be interacting with you on a regular basis and make sure you’re comfortable with them.
- How Are Fees and Expenses Handled?
Many personal injury lawyers work on contingency, meaning they get a portion of your settlement if they win your case. But not all work this way, and rates will still vary. Don’t be embarrassed to ask financial questions — these attorneys know that you’re probably in a tough spot already and need to make smart financial choices.
- When Will I Need to Make a Decision By?
You may not have all the time in the world to mull the decision over. Deadlines called statutes of limitation may mean that you need to choose an attorney and decide whether or not to file a lawsuit right away.
The content on this website is for general informational purposes, not legal advice and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship.