After you’ve been injured in an accident, you may want to find a personal injury lawyer to help you with any legal claims. But selecting a lawyer requires some research. It’s important to get answers to some basic questions when picking an attorney. Here are the ones you should be asking.
What Are Their Qualifications?
There are several types of law firms that can handle personal injury cases. You want to make sure that the attorney or firm that you select has experience in negotiating and trying personal injury cases; having 10 years of experience can be considered a good benchmark. You should also ask your friends and neighbors for references about any lawyers that you may be interested in. Checking with the state bar association or a trial lawyers’ association can also give you information about the attorney that you’re researching.
Who Will Handle Your Case?
If you select a small firm, you should make sure your case will be managed by the most experienced attorney on staff and not given to an assistant or paralegal to deal with. This goes double for larger firms, where junior associates often handle cases. Some firms may even send your case out to other law firms out-of-state. So when selecting an attorney, you want to make sure that if you Google injury lawyers- Carrollton TX, just for example, your case remains in-house with whomever you select.
What Are The Fees?
How does the firm collect its fees? Will there be a fee up front for the consultation and initial evaluation? Most personal injury attorneys will take cases on contingency, which means that they’ll take their fees out of any settlements or court winnings at the end. However, you need to make sure that this is the case and get it in writing. You don’t want to find out that they’ve been running a tab on your services and that you owe money at the end. If the case isn’t on contingency, find out how much your case will cost.
Can the Firm Financially Handle Your Case?
Some cases may be expensive to prepare for and to take to court; since you may not be paying anything up front, the firm has to be able to cover the costs. You may need expert witnesses, depositions, re-enactments, and other fees to put on your case. If the lawyer can’t pay for these things – with the expectation of getting the money back from the settlement – you probably shouldn’t use that attorney for your case.
Do They Go to Court?
Another important factor in selecting a trial lawyer is their willingness to go to court. Some firms settle many of their cases and develop a reputation for avoiding going to court. This type of reputation may earn smaller settlements from defendants than those firms that go to court to try cases regularly. Make sure that the attorney you select will be willing to go to trial if settlement offers aren’t appropriate.
Selecting a personal injury attorney requires some investigation and research, so that you can select the best attorney for your case.
Dominique Brooks has been a medical editor for over 10 years. She has worked in medical education for physicians, nurses and pharmacists as well as consumers. She started writing business articles for Work.com in 2008 and health articles online in 2009. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama and a Doctor of Medicine from Vanderbilt University.