When you’re injured as a result of an accident or someone else’s negligence, recovery is always a priority. But with the average hospital stay costing more than $10,000, paying for the treatment you need can be almost impossible out-of-pocket.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your interests can help you get the money you deserve. And if you’re wondering how to find a personal injury lawyer, you’re not alone.
Before you start to panic and get overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who could represent you, take a deep breath. Use these simple tips to help you find the best attorney for your case.
Think about the Details of Your Case
The first step is always to determine whether you really need to hire an attorney or not. Not every injury case is worth going to trial over.
For example, if you’re injured and the injury hasn’t kept you from working or living your life as normal, you may not need an attorney. But if you’ve been out of work as a result of the injury or your medical costs are high, hiring a lawyer is a good idea.
If you’re not sure if you have a case, you can always speak with an attorney. They’ll let you know if your injuries qualify for a personal injury claim or if you’re better off working with your insurance company to cover the damages.
It’s always best to work with an attorney that has an established reputation. And the best way to know if someone has a good reputation is to ask the people you know and trust.
Check with your friends, family, and coworkers and ask for their recommendations. Even if they’ve never had a personal injury case, they may know someone who did and can provide you with a recommendation that way.
Look for Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Believe it or not, all attorneys aren’t capable of representing your personal injury case. You need to find a lawyer who specializes in that specific type of law.
Look for attorneys with an established history representing personal injury cases. This will give you the best chance to have a successful case.
Choosing a general practice attorney can be an option. But it does mean the lawyer will be less well-versed in personal injury law. And you could end up getting a lower settlement than you really deserve.
Do Some Research
Once you find a few names, it’s tempting to start scheduling consultations and meeting with the attorneys. But you need to do a bit of digging first. Otherwise, you won’t know which lawyers are the best fit for your unique case.
The first place to start is by looking at their online reviews. This won’t give you insight into the details, but it can help you decide if an attorney or their law firm is worth working with. See what previous clients have to say about their services. If everything is positive, keep them as an option.
You’ll also want to check if there are any complaints against them. This will likely show up as negative reviews or even complaints filed through the Better Business Bureau.
If any attorney seems less trustworthy or doesn’t have a great track record of winning settlements, keep looking. You’ll find a good personal injury attorney, but it may take some time.
Schedule Consultations with More Than One Attorney
The best way to find out if you’re comfortable with an attorney is to meet with them. And you’ll want to meet with more than one lawyer to find the right fit. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations. These consultations allow you to get to know the lawyer and help them determine if you have a case in the first place.
During your consultation, the attorney will ask for the details of your accident, what you’ve done since, and what you’re hoping to achieve with their help. You may want to bring any documents you have relating to the case or your treatments.
While they’re asking you to explain your case, think about how comfortable you are with the attorney. Do they listen to you? Are they receptive to your concerns? If not, keep looking. But if you’re satisfied and confident in their services, consider hiring them.
Look for Lawyers That Work on Contingency
The best personal injury attorneys don’t charge you fees up front. Instead, they work on contingency. This means they only get paid you win your case.
When the court awards you a settlement, the attorney will take a percentage of that settlement to cover their services. You’ll know what that percentage is before you agree to work with them.
This means you’ll end up getting the representation you deserve without having to worry about expensive fees that eat away at the entire settlement amount.
Make Sure You Understand Their Terms
The worst mistake you can make when hiring an attorney is not being clear on their terms. And we’re not talking about legal jargon—we’re talking about the terms of payment.
Make sure they explain how they’ll collect payment for their services. You should have a clear understanding of any hourly charges you may incur, additional or surprise costs that could come up, or the percentage of your settlement they’ll take if they’re paid on contingency.
They should be willing to write these terms down so you can compare their costs with estimates you receive from other attorneys. If a lawyer isn’t willing to outline payment details, walk away.
When you’re injured, it’s only natural to wonder how to find a personal injury lawyer. But these tips will help make the process easier. You just have to be patient and take the time to speak with more than one attorney.
The right lawyer will help you get the money you deserve so you can focus on recovering completely. If you’re looking for additional tips to help you save money while you’re recovering, check out our latest posts.