Looking for an attorney to handle your personal injury case? You’re not alone.
The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey reported that there were 29.4 million emergency department visits for unintentional injuries in 2017. Leading causes include auto accidents, falls, poisoning, and electrocution.
With the exorbitant price of treatment, victims are seldom able to pay out of their pocket. For instance, consider the average lifetime cost of paraplegia, which is part of the 17,810 new spinal cord injuries that occur each year. Statista estimates that for a 25-year-old patient, the total outlay can enter the $5 million range.
Hopefully, your situation is far less dire. In any event, hiring the right legal expertise is vital to ensuring that you receive a fair settlement. Here are 5 tips for finding the best personal injury lawyer.
Today, the practice of law is highly specialized. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) suggests that only 4% to 5% of personal injury cases go to trial.
In fact, you may know more about personal injury law by the end of this guide than some attorneys. So, focus on those with proven experience representing clients in personal injury cases. It’s generally recommended to avoid lawyers who primarily work with insurance companies, as they might be compelled to reduce your payout.
Stick to Local Firms
There are several reasons why it’s important to choose an attorney that practices in your area. Local lawyers know the court clerks, judges, and other people that could be involved in your case. This can make them more persuasive in negotiations. Additional reasons include:
- Familiarity with unique court practice rules
- Perceptible community reputation
- Accessible face-to-face meetings
- Opportunity to visit the premises
Get in Touch
The most frequently cited lawyer ethics violation is poor communication. Whether it’s in person or over the phone, the way an attorney responds when you reach out speaks volumes for their service quality.
Meetings are an ideal opportunity to perform an assessment. Are the employees polite and presentable? Do the offices look clean and organized?
Remember to visit their website as well. Check the content and overall design. Leading attorneys usually offer free consultation forms on their site. This Houston personal injury lawyer also details their practice areas, industry accolades, board memberships, and previous settlements, which highlights their competence and credibility.
Know the Fees
Personal injury cases are typically billed on a contingency basis. This means that the attorney is only paid when the case is settled. You may come across lower fees in set pricing structures as opposed to hourly rates. Some lawyers offer payment plans, too.
Read the Paperwork
From payment agreements to legal contracts, you’ll be presented with numerous documents as you start working with attorneys. Ask as many questions as necessary during this process. If the lawyer appears uncomfortable or bothered by your request, then you should probably move on.
You want to work with an experienced attorney who maintains an open and transparent line of communication. Find the right fit and your personal injury case will be resolved in no time.