What Is The Best Way To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Have you been in an auto accident and need an attorney? Finding the right one will mean doing some homework. So what is the best way to hire a personal injury lawyer if you are involved in a car accident?
Start With Your Own Network
Ask your family and friends, your employer, pastor, and neighbors. If they don’t already know, explain your situation and tell them you’re looking for a car accident lawyer. Get some names together and then go online.
As you preview different attorneys and law firms online, you’ll get an immediate sense of focus area and track record. Read client recommendations, if they are available.
Make a list of the attorneys and firms you like and seem appropriate for your situation. Whether it’s a car or motorcycle accident — or a slip and fall, medical malpractice, or product liability case — you are looking for an experienced attorney, working at a firm that specializes in handling personal injury cases.
Then call and make some appointments.
Call Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. any time (24 hours) and let us know about your situation. An attorney at our law will be happy to meet with you at your convenience, without charge or obligation.
Why Finding An Attorney ASAP Is Important
If you’ve been injured in the crash — and the other driver is at fault — finding a car accident attorney as soon as possible will enable you to negotiate the settlement and claims process with confidence.
If you are recovering from a serious injury, one that will have a long-term or permanent impact on your life, a personal injury attorney can help you understand what your injuries mean in considering actual damages and compensation.
Are you worried about future medical bills and lost wages? If you aren’t able to return to the same job you had before the accident or return to work at all, how will you be able to support yourself and your family in the future?
Before you sign any paperwork or settlement agreement with an insurance company, you’ll want to hire an attorney.
The professionals at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your case and how threshold injuries are understood in Michigan law. We can also help you understand the long-term economic and emotional impact (pain and suffering) of your injuries, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
In some cases, we may recommend that a specific medical test be done or evaluations conducted by a medical specialist. Senior partner Eileen Kroll specializes in medical cases and her training as a registered nurse is invaluable in evaluating your injury and conditions for legal purposes.
Other Reasons Not To Wait
For negotiated settlement discussions and court proceedings, there is a significant amount of background work to do in assembling your case. It’s always best to gather accident-related documentation, interview witnesses, and assemble other evidence as soon as possible after the accident.
Proving liability in a personal injury lawsuit is a lot more involved and complicated than you may think it is, even if you believe the accident was obviously not your fault. Sometimes determining fault isn’t the same as determining liability, and sometimes there are several liable parties involved, too.
Also, there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Michigan, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. If someone dies as a result of the accident, and the family wants to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the deadline is three years from the date of death.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. specializes in personal injury cases, and we are extremely familiar with the personal injury claims process in Michigan — as well as with the practices and procedures of the court system throughout the state. It helps to know the local court — as well as the judge — where your case will be heard if litigation is the best option.
Make An Appointment
Call the lawyer or firm and make an appointment. It is fine to ask that the appointment take place at your home, your hospital room, or some other location.
Prepare for the meeting by gathering together all your paperwork and other documentation related to the accident. This includes the police report, any photographs taken at the scene, the names of medical personnel and doctors who treated you, as well as the information you have on the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
Another good thing to do before your meeting is to write down all your questions, as they occur to you, about your specific type of case.
Things To Look For When You Meet
Before you actually hire a lawyer to handle your personal injury case,make sure you are comfortable with the prospect of working closely with the attorney over a period of weeks or months. During the meeting, ask yourself if you feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly with the person. You need to be able to answer “yes” to this question.
Other things to look for when you meet:
- Specific Expertise. Ask the attorney you meet with to share examples of other cases like yours, and the outcome. Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions about your case, your concerns about proving liability, and potential settlement awards. You want to be working with someone who has handled cases like yours in the past, but this isn’t always possible. Some cases and problems are unique.
- Research and Analytical Skills. There is often more than one way to look at something, and more than one reasonable conclusion to draw from the same set of facts. Preparing effective legal strategies requires absorbing and comprehending large amounts of information, and refining it all into a useful and effective legal scenario.
- Presentation and Negotiation Talent: You want to work with a personal injury lawyer who can demonstrate that he/she is ready to fight for you in court, and can demonstrate litigation and negotiation talent.
- Accessibility. Ask about accessibility, and who you need to contact when you have questions or concerns. Your attorney should be reasonably accessible, but probably can’t always respond immediately. You should also ask to meet anyone at the firm who will be involved in handling your case, and with whom you can communicate when your attorney is not available.
- Communication Skills. Good personal injury lawyers can
- write and speak clearly, concisely, and persuasively.
Don’t Worry About The Cost
Most personal injury law firms provide a free consultation. If you decide to work together moving forward, most car accident attorneys work for you on a contingency fee agreement, which means that the firm doesn’t get paid until you receive your settlement.
In Michigan, contingent legal fees in personal injury cases are set by statute (MRPC Rule 1.5) and can be up to one-third of the recovery award or settlement.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has a proven track record of success in helping individuals and families who have suffered losses — as a result of injuries, disabilities, or death – to understand their legal options, and recover damages.
Contact us toll-free (24 hours) at 1-866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation or use our convenient online contact form. Best of all, our law firm never charges a fee unless we win your case.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.