Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
Even in average circumstances, choosing an dwi attorney can be a difficult task. It’s even more so when you or a loved one has been injured. Personal injury attorneys have a wide variety of reasons for practicing. On one end of the spectrum, some are considered to be ambulance chasers. However, on the other end of the spectrum, they are considered a savior in your time of need.
To begin with, you should get in touch with the American Bar Association for a list of personal injury attorneys in your immediate area to locate an Attorney. You can visit their website for this information. Additionally, their website will offer you other very valuable legal resources that will help to prepare you for your journey.
Next, talk to friends and family and see if they know of a good personal injury attorney. Getting advice from friends and family is extremely valuable because you’re able to find out the outcome of their case, and they can let you know how the attorney acted during the case. They can tell you whether he/she is quick to return phone calls, whether or not he/she was friendly, whether or not the attorney competently handled the case, and so much more. This is information you can’t get by simply cold-calling the attorney.
Chances are, you already have some sort of contact with an injury lawyer. Maybe you’ve had other legal issues in the past, or maybe there’s an attorney in your family or circle of friends. Whatever the case, ask them for a referral. Attorneys have friends who are attorneys, and will be able to give you a recommendation from a legal perspective, sending you to someone that they feel can handle your case.
Once you have a list of potential personal injury attorneys, it’s time to start making consultation appointments. In some cases, you may be able to get a free consultation, in other cases, you will have to pay for it. When you meet with an attorney, you will need to explain your case and then ask whether or not they have had experience with a case like yours. You will also want to ask what they think your chances of winning are and how much it is going to cost. If there is anything they can’t answer right there, ask them to get back with you at their earliest convenience.
Find out about all fees upfront. There’s nothing worse than hiring an attorney only to find out halfway through that you’re going to have to pay exorbitant fees. In most cases, personal injury attorneys allow you to pay them out of the settlement, if they feel you’re likely to get one. Make sure to get the fee agreement in writing and review it fully before you sign it.
Consider whether or not you’ll be able to get along with the attorney before hiring him/her. You’re going to be spending lots of time with them, so you need to be able to get along. A very small percentage of these cases actually enter the courtroom- the majority of them are settled out of court.
Ask for regular updates on your case, but be patient. Don’t call them every single day for an update. There are other cases going on besides yours and they can only do so much. If you slipped and fell at a store, he/she will have to wait until the store does their own investigation of the incident.
If the case is a total disaster and you feel like the attorney is completely incompetent, it’s time to fire him/her and find someone else who can better handle the case. Of course, this should be your last resort, but you should know that it is an option that is available to you.