Maybe you just don’t know where to start.
If you or someone you care about has been injured recently, between the healing and recovery process, the doctor’s appointments, insurance companies, and the added stress and pressures, it can all feel overwhelming.
Sometimes it’s enough just to summon the energy to tackle the basics, like getting out of bed and getting dressed. Finding the right personal injury lawyer who you can trust to take care of your legal needs might feel like something you can put off until another day.
It is important, however, to choose the right personal injury for you because, if you don’t, you’ll have to face off against insurance companies on your own—and they’re very skilled at finding ways to lower payouts to injured claimants!
A good lawyer will investigate your case, establish liability, and negotiate the highest award for you. With a trusted lawyer in your corner, you’ll have the confidence and peace of mind that your legal needs will get the attention they deserve.
How do you choose the right personal injury attorney for you? Look for someone who meets these criteria.
You’ll want to find someone with the right experience. As someone who has suffered an injury, you’ll want to find an attorney who represents plaintiffs, meaning they’ll have experience overcoming obstacles and obstructions from insurance companies. You’ll want a lawyer with significant trial experience and whose main practice area is personal injury law.
Ask what sort of cases and how many cases they have handled. You’ll also want to know the results they have achieved for their clients, both in terms of trial verdicts as well as negotiated settlements. Perhaps they have won awards and recognition for their work? This is a good indicator of the level of respect they have garnered from their peers.
This is the time to trust your instincts because you’ll want to be comfortable with the lawyer who handles your case. Do they listen to you? Do they explain legal concepts and ideas to you? Are they giving you a genuine assessment of your case?
If you meet with a senior member of a firm, you should also meet the junior members, as you may be dealing with these individuals more frequently.
Does the firm have the resources and capacity to handle your case? Are they available to handle it now? Does your case seem attractive to the firm? If your case is small or may be difficult to prove liability, the lawyer may not be interested in taking your case. You’ll also want to know how long it will take to resolve your case and how much your claim might be worth.
Additionally, you should find out how involved you’ll be in the lawsuit. You might prefer to have very limited involvement or be very involved in all the decisions; ask how the lawyer prefers to handle matters.
Many personal injury lawyers charge fees on a contingency basis, meaning that they collect a percentage of the amount they recover on your behalf. You should also discuss whether you’ll have to pay any case-related costs if your claim doesn’t succeed.
Make sure you understand the payment model, so you avoid surprises later.
Preparing to Meet with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Most personal injury attorneys will offer a free initial consultation. During this time, you’ll want to ask questions so you can choose the attorney that is the best fit for you and your needs. Again, this is your chance to assess the attorney and for them to assess your case. Be sure to bring all the documents you have related to the claim.
You may also want to ask the following questions during your first meeting with a potential personal injury lawyer:
- How long have you been in practice?
- How many personal injury cases have you handled?
- How many cases do you take on at one time?
- What have you achieved for your personal injury clients?
- Do you have any experience with the insurance company in my case?
- What is your general opinion of how much my case is worth?
- What is your general opinion of how successful my case will be?
- What is your general opinion of how long it might take to resolve my case?
- What is your general opinion of a strategy for a case like mine?
- Who will work on my case?
- How will you communicate with me?
- What is your payment model?
Choosing Your Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal attorney can help you navigate the process and provide peace of mind that you have someone in your corner as you obtain the compensation you might be entitled to receive. Hunter & Everage is here to help, with experienced lawyers in Richmond, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina.