Lawyers specializing in personal injury represent individuals who have suffered physical, psychological, or emotional harm. Lawyers like these conduct legal research to assist their clients in obtaining compensation for their injuries.
A monetary damages award is usually awarded to help offset the costs of the injuries. Lawyers specializing in personal injury also perform other tasks, such as appearing in court and representing clients in negotiations.
How Can I Find a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The most common methods for finding a personal injury lawyer are:
- Access to reliable legal services can often be found through word of mouth. However, the average person may not always know a personal injury lawyer.
- A phone book or online search can provide lots of results, but they are limited in attorney backgrounds and ratings.
- Often, bar associations can provide information on attorney profiles, although connecting with a lawyer through these groups can be slow.
- Matching services can often provide a sure and efficient way to connect with lawyers. LegalMatch.com is the nation’s largest attorney-client matching service and covers all 50 states.
Newer online methods such as attorney-client matching websites are replacing many traditional methods of finding a lawyer. These websites provide more direct and accurate connections with attorneys.
What Information Should I Ask My Personal Injury Lawyer?
It is very important that you learn about personal injury attorneys before you hire them. Before hiring them, you can conduct an informal interview over the phone and via email. During an interview, the prospective personal injury attorney should disclose detailed information about their experience and your case’s circumstances.
You should ask about the following during the interview:
- Role of the lawyer in the firm
- Experience of the lawyer in the field of personal injury
- The lawyer’s experience in handling cases like yours
- Successful cases the lawyer has handled in the past
- The lawyer’s fees for related cases
- A lawyer’s prediction of the outcome of your case
- The number of other cases the lawyer is currently working on
- The average amount of compensation an attorney wins in related cases
- Conflicts of interest
You should not hesitate to interview them thoroughly because you will be working closely with the lawyer. To be successful in your personal injury claim, you need to build a strong client-attorney relationship before any litigation actually begins.
Tips on How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
It helps to take some time to define your search needs before looking for a personal injury lawyer. Here are some tips:
- Identify the category of your legal issue: Most claims will fall into a clear category like car accidents, slip and fall, or negligence. Narrowing your search will help speed up the process.
- Identify whether you would like to work with a particular type of lawyer or if you have any special requirements: This will help you avoid conflicts of interest in the long run.
- Prepare documents and papers that may be helpful for your claim: Compile receipts, hospital bills, work stubs, etc.
Create a checklist of questions you might have for your attorney. You should write down the incident that led to your injury as soon as possible to avoid forgetting any details. Therefore, the more you understand your own personal injury situation and your legal needs, the greater your chances of finding a personal injury attorney who can help you.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Attorneys specializing in personal injury charge their clients on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fee arrangements occur when the client does not pay the lawyer for legal services until the lawyer actually wins the case and the client is legally compensated for their injuries.
If you choose a personal injury lawyer, you can discuss compensation options with them. Contingency fee arrangements, hourly rates, and flat fees are the most common types of compensation.
- Flat Fees: In a flat fee compensation arrangement, you will agree to pay your lawyer a predetermined sum upon completing your case. The lawyer will usually charge you this flat fee regardless of the outcome of your lawsuit. Personal injury cases rarely involve flat fees.
- Hourly Rates: An hourly fee arrangement requires you to pay your attorney based on the number of hours they spend working on your case. It is your attorney’s responsibility to keep detailed time records, and they cannot charge you for the time they spent on another case.
- Contingent Fee Arrangements: A contingency fee arrangement is an agreement where the lawyer only collects their fee if you settle or win your case. According to a typical contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer will collect 1/3 of your award. In personal injury cases, contingent fee agreements are the most common type of fee arrangement.
Do I Need to Interview My Personal Injury Lawyer?
You must learn basic information about personal injury lawyers before seeking their help. Before hiring, you can conduct an informal interview over the phone and via email.
Since you will be working closely with your attorney, you should not hesitate to conduct a thorough interview. The outcome of your injury claim depends on a good client-attorney relationship before any litigation begins.
Personal Injury Checklist
In the event of a personal injury, you will need to keep track of a lot of information. Create a “personal injury checklist” to keep track of everything. This is a list of all the essential data and documents that might be used when initiating a personal injury lawsuit or legal claim.
Checklists help organize your list into two categories: “Important Information” and “Documents.” For example, you may wish to write your list as follows:
- Contact information for the party who caused your injury or injuries
- Contact information for any other individuals involved in the event
- The date, place, and circumstances of the accident
- Any witnesses or individuals you spoke to immediately after the accident and their contact information
- The name, address, and phone number of the emergency room or hospital you visited after the injury
- Information about all the doctors who have treated or examined you
- Information regarding insurance policies for both your insurance company and the other party
- Dates when you missed work due to your injury or accident
- Other essential data, statistics, or contact information
- Reports from the police or accident reports
- Statements from the opposing party and key witnesses
- Health insurance policies
- Health care bills, pharmaceutical receipts, chiropractor bills, etc.
- Documents describing insurance policies
- Other important coverage, such as health care, work benefits, and veteran’s benefits
- All correspondence/letters from the opposite party, witnesses, and third-party operators such as insurance companies and government agencies
- Receipts for the costs of the injury, especially for damage to property
- Pay stubs (if you have lost wages due to the accident)
- A list of any questions you may have when interviewing your injury lawyer
Immediately after the incident, take photographs or video footage of the accident scene.
There is a lot of information to process, even for straightforward claims. Verify that all the information on the documents is correct and make copies- these can be used as proof in case you decide to sue. It is also useful to make a written account of the event (like a diary entry) to record the details for later reference.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is often necessary since most people don’t have a working knowledge of personal injury laws.
It might be in your best interests to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need help filing a lawsuit. An attorney can assist you with different technical aspects of the legal claim and represent you in court.