When You Need to Start Calling Personal Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been in an accident that’s due to someone else’s negligence, you’re probably considering the benefits of going ahead with personal injury claims and hoping to find the best personal injury lawyer around. Choosing an attorney can be quite a process and one that you don’t want to take lightly. The right legal representation can result in successful personal injury settlements and justice for your case. When choosing an attorney, you want to look at their background, credentials, success rate, and see whether or not you feel that they’d be a good fit for your case. You should draw up questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before meeting or interviewing them, to make sure that all your bases are covered.
When Do I Need the Services of a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured physically or emotionally because of the negligence or oversight of another party (your employer, a medical professional, etc.,), and you require compensation for expenses incurred because of the accident, retaining a personal injury lawyer can be quite beneficial.
Alternatively, you may retain a personal injury lawyer if you’ve been accused of being the negligent party.
Common personal injury cases include medical malpractice cases, work injuries — especially if there’s difficult receiving workers’ compensation, traffic accidents (drunk driving cases often make up a good portion of these), or complications from chemicals or other toxic substances that are high where you work or live (such as asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma or asbestosis.
If you have a strong case, a lawyer can advise you on the next steps — or tell you that the case will likely cost you more than its worth to pursue. However, in cases like distracted driving accidents, which caused over 3,000 deaths in 2012 and over 400,000 injuries, or drunk driving accidents, which killed over 10,000 people, the case might be quite strong.
How Do I Go About Choosing an Attorney?
Choosing an attorney can often be a decision that will make or break your case. You want an attorney with plenty of experience, success with his or her cases, and an excellent reputation. Talk to family, friends, and acquaintances first to see if they have any recommendations. They’ll be able to recommend an attorney who they’ve had personal experience with and can vouch for, which is valuable.
You can also reach out the American Bar Association if you truly have no idea where to start, or if you have a family lawyer, he or she might be able to refer an associate to you.
Be sure to do your research as well! A lot of information can be found online now and that’s a great place to start. You should also call the attorney and set up an initial consultation to get a feel for the way their offices are run, your comfort level with the attorney, and to see how they behave around you.
What Questions Should I Be Asking Them?
So now that you know the basic steps of choosing an attorney, it’s time to figure out what you should be asking them during that initial consultation. Depending on if you want your case to go to trial or you’d rather settle, you may have different questions. You do however, want to know how often the lawyer goes to trial — and if he or she is willing to do so, if a settlement is not reached. This can be indicative of their skill level and commitment to you.
Knowing what their caseload is like is also important. If there are too many cases, the lawyer is likely to be spread thin and not want to take the time (or simply won’t have the time) to go to trial. You should also ask about their experience, qualifications, and cases they’ve successfully won as examples. And, of course, ask how long you expect your case will take — while there’s never going to be a specific answer, he or she should have enough experience to give you an educated estimate.
Set yourself up for success by choosing the right personal injury lawyer for you!