Personal injury attorneys are the first people to see when an accident happens. Most of them operate on contingency, so they don’t get paid unless you do, although, at times, you may be responsible for paying some other costs associated with your injury. You can still hire one even if you retain other professionals like a doctor or reconstructionist.
When choosing a personal injury attorney, keep in mind that not all lawyers are created equal. If possible, ask for references from family members and friends who have used their services before. That way, you can avoid hiring someone who isn’t truly capable of representing you well. The following are seven things to consider when picking out a personal injury lawyer:
- Cost – The hourly rate charged by most abogados de lesiones personales is often relatively high, and you will generally spend more the more extended your case takes to complete. However, it’s essential to consider the possibility of a counter-offer from the insurance company. If they want to settle quickly for a large sum of money, you’ll have expenses that need to be paid upfront. It is possible to recover those fees when dropping or winning your case through a contingency fee arrangement.
- Experience – The best personal injury attorneys have extensive experience in cases similar to yours and a great deal of knowledge about how insurance companies operate in settlement situations. Ask specifically what types of issues your attorney has worked on previously because you don’t want just any old lawyer who happens to handle general personal injury matters.
- Honesty & Integrity – This is very important. If your attorney tells you that your case is winnable, make sure they have the experience to back up that statement. Likewise, don’t be afraid to let your attorney know if you think there’s a problem with the way they are handling your case. Attorneys are used to criticism and tend to take it well if it isn’t given personally.
- Availability – You need an attorney who will always return your phone calls promptly, especially during critical times in your case where immediate advice may be required. Other things to consider are how close the office is to where you live and whether you can easily reach them by phone after hours in case of emergencies.
- Track record – When it comes to winning personal injury cases, statistics speak volumes about an attorney’s ability to help their clients. If you can’t find these statistics available on the internet, ask for the names of former clients and contact them as well as any local attorneys who know them personally. It would help if you also asked how many cases like yours the attorney has taken to trial and whether they are often involved in negotiations with insurance companies directly. Many attorneys will not try cases unless they benefit their client and only attempt mediation when settlement looks doubtful.
- Honesty and integrity – This is very important. If your attorney tells you that your case is winnable, make sure they have the experience to back up that statement. Likewise, don’t be afraid to let your attorney know if you think there’s a problem with the way they are handling your case. Attorneys are used to criticism and tend to take it well if it isn’t given personally.
- Personality – Interview the attorneys you’re considering hiring and see how compatible you are in terms of personality and demeanor. You want someone who will understand what you’ve been through and fight aggressively for your best interests, but they should also be willing to listen closely when required. Don’t forget that this person will become an integral part of your life while working on your case, so it’s better to be comfortable around them from the beginning.
To be an effective personal injury attorney, attorneys must present themselves in a way that makes them well-suited to communicate with clients, conduct research and investigation, and work well with others. It is also necessary for reasonable personal injury attorneys to act quickly in taking cases to strengthen their client’s case while remaining ethical when dealing with opposing parties.