Have you been in a car accident? In 2013, 21,132 passengers were killed in motor vehicle accidents and another 2.05 million were hurt. That same year, distracted drivers killed 3.154 and left another 424,000 injured. It has bee estimated that there are about 660,000 people using mobile phones or devices at any given moment across the United States. The acts of reaching for a mobile device, dialing or texting increase make drivers three times more likely to get into an accident. If you were hurt in one of these accidents, you may need a personal injury attorney.
- What kins lawyer do you actually need? Like physicians, lawyers specialize. There are many different types of lawyers. You probably know that you cannot expect a criminal defense lawyer to handle your personal injury lawsuit. You need a personal injury attorney but even under that umbrella, there are several sub-categories such as car accident lawyers, truck accident lawyers, medical malpractice lawyers, product liability lawyers and the list goes on. You need to learn what kind you need and find a personal injury attorney with experience in that kind of law.
- Talk to your friends, relatives and people you trust at work. Given the litigious nature of our society, the chances are that you know someone who has hired a personal injury attorney. Ask them who they used and what they thought about working with the lawyer and with the law practice. How did they find their lawyer? Your case may not be exactly like theirs so you may not end up using the same person but they can get you moving in the right direction
- Educate yourself about what things you should look for in a personal injury attorney. There are some traits that will clue you into what kind of lawyer the person you need is. You want someone who is competent, can easily explain the process, is proactive and be willing to answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns.You should also look for someone who is passionate about what they do and will fight for you with all that they have. You need to be able to communicate with this person. If you cannot do that, you will be wasting both their and your time.
- On the flip side, there are some lawyers you should avoid. You should know how to spot them. The traits you want to avoid are the propensity for making outrageous promises, irresponsibility when it comes to paying court costs and fees, an impersonal attitude towards calling clients back or answering their questions, the inclination to be overly aggressive or arrogant, etc.
- Take advantage of the free first consultation. Bring in all of your questions. Make sure you get answers that you understand and that clarify things for you. If a personal injury attorney cannot make the time to answer your questions before you become a client, they will not make the time once you have hired them. Some questions you should ask:
- Who will be working on my case? When I have questions, who will I be able to ask?
- How much experience do you have working on this kind of case?
- What is your track record with these cases?
- What percentage of your time do cases like this take up. Oftentimes personal injury attorneys handle more than one kind of personal injury law cases.
- Do you belong to any professional associations?
- What is your billing policy? Are there any other costs? Do you ever take cases on an contingency basis? That means they only get paid if you do. Even if you do not have to pay the fee unless you win, there may be other costs. Ask about them. Knowing this going on will save you unpleasantness later.
- Talk to more than one attorney. You do not and should not go with the first personal injury law firm that you meet with. Talk to a few to get to see what your options are. You should also get a better sense of how much you will have to spend and what your chances for winning are.
The personal injury lawsuit process is stressful. Finding the best lawyer will make a difference.