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Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer Is Simple

Learn what to consider when you experience a potential personal injury case.
7 things to consider before hiring a personal injury attorney

7 Things to Consider Before Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury claims apply to a wide range of situations and types of accidents. You may have been injured by a slip and fall on someone’s property, in a car accident, or by being bitten by stranger’s dog. If your injuries are serious, you should hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim.

If you’re like most people, you’ll want to find the best San Diego personal injury lawyer out there. Before you hire a law firm to represent you, here are some important things that you should know about hiring a personal injury lawyer.

1. How Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

As you search for a lawyer, start by asking friends and colleagues for references. A referral service can also help you to locate a reputable law firm. However, make sure that you always check the online reviews of attorneys to ensure that the firm doesn’t have a shady past.

If any attorneys contact you wanting to represent you in your personal injury claim after you have suffered an accident, keep in mind that it is illegal for attorneys to solicit business in this way. Ambulance chasers should be avoided at all costs.

2. Understand Your Personal Responsibilities

As a client, you have many responsibilities. Seek necessary medical care and remain in compliance with your doctor’s recommendations – your health and well-being are the top priority. Ensure that your medical bills are properly submitted to your health insurance company. Keep your lawyer updated on the progress of your medical care and treatments. Finally, be honest and candid with your attorney. Your lawyer can only help you as much as you let him or her.

3. Request the Paperwork Needed for Your Case

In order to represent you in your personal injury claim, your lawyer will require a significant amount of paperwork. Gather these important documents, including:

  • Medical records (related pre-existing conditions and test results);
  • Accident/Collision report, if the police were involved;
  • Pictures (take pictures of all injuries and property damage)
  • Details about the incident (date, location, time, weather/road conditions);
  • Car Insurance policy information for yourself and the other party;
  • Breakdown of your lost income/wages resulting from the accident.

The better prepared you are for your case, even before you have consulted a lawyer, the better off you’ll be.

4. Time Is of the Essence

Lawsuits have strict time limits, known as “statutes of limitations.” If you delay, you may be forever barred from seeking compensation for your injuries. Act promptly and do not wait to file your claim!

5. Different Lawyers Have Different Skill Sets

Not all lawyers handle personal injury claims. Personal injury lawyers treat their cases differently from one another. Some lawyers prefer an “assembly-line” approach, taking every case that walks in their door, getting them in and out as quickly as possible regardless as to the facts of each case. Other lawyers prefer to focus on fewer cases, giving personalized attention to each one, getting to know the client and the situation. Ask yourself whether you want to be one of many clients or if you want personalized attention from your lawyer.

6. If Your Personal Injury Lawyer Has the Right Education, Skills, and Experience

The following are some important questions that you can ask to help you find a lawyer who can offer the expertise that you are looking for:

  • Where did your lawyer go to law school?
  • Where did your lawyer learn to practice law?
  • How long has your lawyer been handling these types of cases?
  • Has your lawyer handled a case like yours before?
  • Does your lawyer specialize in representing claimants against the insurance companies?
  • Does your lawyer have a plan as to how he/she will handle your case?

By asking these questions, you can improve your odds of finding a lawyer that specializes in your exact needs.

7. How Contingency Fees Work

In general, the contingency fee that you will be charged will be between 33.3-40% of a personal injury award, depending on whether the case goes to trial or not. Contingency fees are negotiable. Any medical liens you may have should be negotiated and paid before you receive any of the money from your settlement or you could be on the hook for these bills later on.

Pre-trial costs (expert witnesses, court reporters, preparation and filing of legal pleadings) are generally advanced by the lawyer, to be reimbursed out of any amounts recovered later on. If there is no recovery of funds, the lawyer will generally not charge the client for costs – Ask your lawyer before signing any agreements!

Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are currently interviewing personal injury lawyers and you want to make sure that you have selected the best one for your needs, here are a few questions to ask:

  1. What areas of law do you specialize in/have experience with?
  2. Have you handled a case like mine previously? If so, what was the outcome?
  3. How many personal injury cases have you worked on previously? How many cases are you handling right now?
  4. How long do you expect it will take to resolve my case?
  5. How often can I expect to receive communications from you regarding my case? Will I be able to contact you directly if I have questions?
  6. Will you file a lawsuit on my behalf if I am not satisfied with the offer provided by the insurance company?
  7. What are your fees? What are the terms of your legal services agreement? Make sure to ask questions about any aspects of the agreement that you do not understand before you sign!
  8. Can you provide the names and phone numbers of some of your previous clients as references?
  9. Finally, trust your gut!  Your lawyer should be personable, intelligent, and give you confidence that he or she will fight tooth and nail on your behalf.

Speak With Walker Law Now!

If you have a personal injury case, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party to pursue compensation for all of your unnecessary pain and suffering. Walker Law can help you to determine your next course of action. Send us an email or call us today at (619) 839-9978 to schedule your free consultation.

16 Responses

  1. I think it’s a great idea to find out if they have worked on a case similar to yours. I know that if I needed a lawyer, I would want them to have the experience. I would also want to know if their previous case went well. Thanks for the information.

  2. My sister needs to get a personal injury attorney. Thanks for the advice about how you should ask questions about their previous similar cases. I would also suggest making sure to get an attorney that you like and get along with.

  3. I appreciate your tip on being honest and candid with a personal injury lawyer. I imagine that in order for them to help you it is your responsibility to inform them of everything they may need. My sister recently got into an accident so she should definitely be honest with her lawyer once she hires one.

  4. You mentioned that not all lawyers handle personal injury claims and personal injury lawyers treat their cases differently from one another. Do most attorneys specialize in certain types of injuries? My brother was walking down some stairs at the mall and slipped on some water. Hiring an experienced lawyer could be crucial for his case.

  5. I like the idea of trusting your gut. That’s something that’s always been helpful for me when I’ve made decisions. I don’t see how that won’t help when you’re in looking for a personal injury attorney.

  6. I like what this article recommends about asking certain questions before hiring a lawyer. It makes sense that asking things like how many similar cases they’ve handled could be helpful. I’ll have to keep this in mind to make sure I get a lawyer that’s experienced in cases like mine so it’ll get resolved effectively.

  7. I really like your thought about lawsuits having strict time limits. I can definitely see how acting quickly could resolve the situation quicker as well. I would think it would be good to consult with an attorney even if you’re not sure you need one, as they would probably be able to tell you if you have a case.

  8. I like that you include a list of questions for people to ask when they’re looking to hire a personal injury attorney. Too many people go in unprepared when they interview a potential lawyer that they wish to hire. Questions like the one you ask in number eight are great because you get the opportunity to find out about the lawyer’s past work and whether or not they will have the sills to help with your case.

  9. John

    I think these are all great tips on how to go about consulting with a personal injury lawyer. I thought tip number 6 could be especially important. I’ve read elsewhere that your odds of winning increase dramatically if your lawyer has handled a case similar to your own. I know I’d feel more comfortable working with a lawyer who has had previous experience winning a case with someone in a situation similar to mine.

  10. A good friend of mine mentioned that he wanted to find a personal injury attorney, just in case they ever have a need for that. In the article you wrote that you should check online reviews of different local attorneys, and choose the one that is best qualified for your situation. If my friend spent some time online researching, it would definitely make identifying a good attorney a lot easier. Thanks for the read.

  11. I’m glad that you talk about stature of limitations in the article because a lot of people aren’t even aware that that is a thing. However, as the article points out, it is important to file your personal injury case as quickly as possible or it might not be considered valid after a certain point. Hiring a personal injury attorney can be a great benefit here because they can guide you through the process of submitting your case quickly.

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