The Things That Do and Do Not Matter When Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you’re injured and need help getting compensated for an accident, you may need to consider hiring a lawyer to fight on your behalf. Being injured is stressful, and choosing a personal injury lawyer can seem like another overwhelming situation.
Finding a lawyer to represent you is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be complicated if you know what does and doesn’t matter when it comes to competent litigation.
What is personal injury law?
Before you start the search for a personal injury attorney, you’ll want to be sure your case is a personal injury lawsuit. Slip and fall accidents, auto accidents, dog bites, burn, brain, or spinal cord injuries, complex regional pain syndrome, and sexual abuse are all personal injury claims.
If you need a lawyer to handle your case, keep these issues in mind. It’s a good idea to use this list as a basis to draft some important questions to ask an attorney at your free consultation.
As you might expect, lawyers get better with practice. Find a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law and has been practicing law for long enough to know the ins and outs of the field. A younger lawyer from a reputable firm is also a safe bet as you can be sure he or she will get support from other, more senior lawyers.
Look for an attorney who focuses on fewer cases at once to ensure that your personal injury case will get the attention it deserves, rather than a firm that shuffles clients through the door.
Remember that the relationship goes two ways. As a client, you’ll have to source documents including medical records, police reports in the case of a car accident, pictures, and insurance policies. You’ll also have to report your bills to your insurance company and keep your lawyer up to date on your status.
A good law firm will have a good reputation. Research the firm and lawyers and make sure they have successful records handling similar cases.
It’s also a good idea to ask around for referrals. People who have worked with a personal injury lawyer in the past or lawyers in other fields make great advisors on what firm to turn to or avoid.
Longevity is another facet of reputation; firms that have been in the business for a long time have the experience and ethics to handle your case well.
What doesn’t matter
Don’t make the mistake of taking a mostly irrelevant factor into a dealbreaker. If you’re about to balk on a lawyer because of one of these issues, reconsider the decision.
It’s not an issue if your lawyer is not located in your town. Personal injury lawyers will often travel to meet prospective clients when necessary and for most day-to-day correspondences, it’s not necessary to have a face-to-face conversation.
Look for the best lawyer in your state, not your town.
Being located in the high-end city center might be correlated with renown, but it certainly does not cause success. Value the reputation and prior success of a firm above their office building.
Most lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they retain a percentage of your settlement as payment. This means that lawyers who reach larger settlements for their clients will retain a larger dollar amount, even if the contingency fee was the same.
What to avoid
Ambulance chasing is illegal in Michigan, so if an attorney solicits business by calling you after an accident, look elsewhere for a personal injury lawyer.
Important steps to take
Regardless of the attorney you retain, you’ll need to take certain steps to help your case run smoothly. Seek proper medical care and ask for the records to show your attorney. Also, remember to submit medical bills to your insurance company.
Contact a lawyer at our law firm as soon as possible after the accident. Even if it’s too early to know if you have a case, an attorney can advise you of your rights and let you know what to look out for. This will also prevent you from running out of time to file a claim per the statutes of limitations.
The personal injury lawyer you chose to hire may profoundly impact your settlement and the case itself. The experienced lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. have helped many people like you. Call us at 866-MICH-LAW today to learn more about how we can help you or to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
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.