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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.

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86 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.

  12. I just wanted to thank you for this advice on hiring a personal injury lawyer. Honestly, I was unaware that contingency fees were negotiable. Definitely something I’m going to keep in mind, just in case!

  13. I like what you said about asking a lawyer how many cases he is handling. Knowing how buys he is can be a good way to determine if he has enough attention to devote to you. I am looking for a lawyer to help me get compensation for my injury, and I want to make sure I get the best. These tips should help, thanks.

  14. My cousin was in a car crash recently, and I think she could use some help filing for personal injury claims. I think you make a good point how it’s important to understand what your personal responsibility is in regards to helping your lawyer prepare your case for you. I’ll pass this information onto my cousin so that she can have the best chance possible of winning her case.

  15. These are some great things to think about before hiring a personal injury lawyer. I like how you said to ask the lawyer what they specialize in. My sister was bitten by a dog recently, and so she needs to hire a lawyer who’s worked with those types of cases before.

  16. I like that you point out that different lawyers have different skills. It might be important to ask if they have handled a case like yours before. That way, you know that they know what they are doing.

  17. Your advice to start searching for a personal injury lawyer by getting referrals from friends and colleagues and then checking out online reviews is a great idea. While you’re looking at online reviews, it would probably help to check out the attorney’s official website in order to get more information about their background and experience. Their website could also give you more information on their specialization so that you can make sure they’re the best choice for your personal injury case.

  18. Thanks for the advice about complying with your doctor’s instructions about your injuries. My sister was hospitalized for a week after an auto accident, and she wants to get a personal injury attorney so she can get compensated for the hospital bills. She hasn’t been taking her medication in the right doses, though; I’ll be sure to let her know to make sure she gets better.

  19. I like that you mention checking online reviews to help you find a reputable personal injury lawyer. If applicable, also try to ask people you know for recommendations. This can help you narrow down your search and help you find the right lawyer for your needs a bit faster.

  20. I love that the article goes over the importance of choosing a personal injury lawyer with the right education and relevant skills. After all, there are many, many different kinds of personal injury cases out there and they need to have experience working on cases similar to your own first. For example, if you were injured on the job, then you need to make sure that the attorney you hire has had experience with workplace injury cases.

  21. I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  22. My sister was recently hurt when she was at work, and she is wondering how to find a good personal injury attorney to help her with her case. So I like your suggestion to figure out if you would like a lawyer that will take their time with you or one that will get your case over with fast. Since my sister likes to take her time, I’ll be sure to tell her to get a personal injury attorney who will be patient with her as well.

  23. Thanks for your comment about how it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney that is reputable. I like how you said that they should also be very experienced in their field of work as well. My husband and I are looking into getting a personal injury attorney with a lot of experience and skill for my sister.

  24. My brother wasn’t recently hurt pretty bad in an accident and this has put him out of work, and now his family is struggling financially. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to get all of the needed paperwork for the case before contacting a lawyer. We’ll have to work on helping them get all of the paperwork, and then we can find a personal injury attorney that will work perfectly for them.

  25. I’m glad you talked about making sure that your medical bills are properly submitted to your health insurance company. My neighbor is looking to hire storm damage lawyers but wants to get some help on getting everything else figured out. I’ll be sure to talk to him about getting all his medical bills submitted.

  26. Thanks for those tips about contingency fees. I was looking for a good estimate for what the cost would be for winning, and I am glad to say this number was below my expectations! Thanks for the great news! Now, I can plan better for hiring a personal injury lawyer.

  27. Thanks for pointing out that you should ask things like if the lawyer has handled a case like yours, where they learned the law, and how long they’ve been working. My husband and I were recently in a pretty bad accident and had to go to the hospital. We’re going to be fine, but it’d be nice to get some help getting the compensation we need. We’ll have to ask those questions to find a lawyer we can trust to help us.

  28. My friend really needs the help of a personal injury lawyer, but doesn’t know how to find one. Thank you for all the tips on how to hire a personal injury lawyer. I’m glad you mentioned that he can start by asking friends and colleagues for references. It would be really nice to see if anyone has worked with a personal injury lawyer before.

  29. Thanks for your tip to look into car accident attorneys that are educated. I like how you said that they should have proper certification as well. My husband and I are looking into accident attorneys; thanks for the tips on what to look for.

  30. I agree that you should consider time when you’re choosing a lawyer. If your case is time sensitive, then you’ll need to find a lawyer that is available to help you as soon as possible. I agree that you should be aware of “statutes of limitations,” like you said. You should discuss this with your lawyer as well.

  31. It’s nice how you said that a car accident attorney should be reputable. I also like how you said they should have positive online reviews. My husband and I are looking into a car accident attorney for our friend for a case she is going to be in soon.

  32. It’s interesting how you said that some personal injury lawyers don’t handle their cases the same as others. This seems like it would actually be a good thing because it could keep a court on its toes with the different style. That way you have a bit of an edge and can increase your chances of reaching a favorable settlement.

  33. I have recently been thinking about getting a personal injury lawyer but I wanted to look up a few tips first. I really appreciated the tip about how different lawyers have different skill sets. I will have to look into it further to see if they do assembly-line or have a more personalized attention.

  34. I totally agree with you when you said that it is important to also do our part as the client to give our lawyer more opportunities to help us. I like that you emphasized the importance of seeking the medical care that we needed and also submitting the necessary documents to our insurance company. My sister should probably read this article too because she can be quite careless on the road. There have been a couple of times that we almost got into an accident because she easily gets distracted.

  35. My friend actually got hit by a car, so she’s been looking for a lawyer to help her. I love how you mentioned that being honest with your lawyer is important, as it will enable them to help you better. I’ll share this article with my friend, so I appreciate you sharing it.

  36. Thank you for pointing out that personal injury has a time limit and that if the person fails to file a complaint within the time limit, they may not be allowed to proceed with the case. If so, then I will be sure to start looking for a lawyer as soon as possible. My brother was involved in some kind of crash a few days ago, and he is still recovering in the hospital. Since you said that there is a time limit, then I will not wait until he recovers to file a case.

  37. My brother got into an auto accident this past weekend. I liked that you pointed out that if he goes to court over the crash he will need to provide your medical records. That does seem like a good thing for him to be aware of when looking for a lawyer.

  38. You make a great point about being honest with your attorney. Holding things back is only going to deter your cause. It will also put a rift between the two of you who are supposed to be a team.

  39. I agree that you want to consider asking for referrals when choosing an injury lawyer. Finding someone who has a lot of happy past clients would be really helpful as well. My husband and I are looking for an injury lawyer, so we’ll have to check their referrals first.

  40. I really appreciated that you talked about lawsuits having a strict time frame, so you should file your claim as soon as possible. I did not know that they have strict time frames. I was recently in an accident, and I want to file a lawsuit. I will be sure to file the lawsuit as soon as I can, so I do not run out of time.

  41. I really appreciate the list of questions you gave to determine if a personal injury lawyer you’re considering has the right experience and skills. Your list introduced to me the question of if a lawyer has a plan for how to proceed with a case. Personally, I feel like this question would really show if they know what they are talking about and have experience going against an insurance company during a claim.

  42. I appreciate that you explained that it would be best to prepare the documents needed even before you hire a lawyer. With that in mind, I will work on the paperwork that my husband needs while my daughter looks for a lawyer that we can trust. He just can’t do it on his own right now because the injury that he got from the accident made him bedridden temporarily.

  43. It’s good to know that time is important to consider when hiring a lawyer. Does the statutes of limitations you mentioned differ from state to state? I’d be interested to know since my friend might be thinking of getting legal help for an accident she was involved in a little while ago.

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