It might be possible to handle a personal injuries claim yourself in some rare cases. This is when your injuries are not severe and you feel comfortable with dealing with the insurance company of the at-fault party. If you have been seriously hurt in an accident or the other side is being tense, it’s best to hire an experienced attorney to handle your personal injury case. Do not trust just any lawyer to help you. Find someone who is familiar with your case and who you feel you can trust.
Find Experienced Lawyers
You have many options to obtain referrals to personal injury attorneys who are experienced plaintiffs. After you have received referrals, make sure to compare-shop. Before you hire anyone, get the names of several lawyers. Be prepared to be rejected. Many lawyers won’t accept cases if they are below a certain amount of recovery or if the claim doesn’t make sense.
Friends and acquaintances
Ask your friends and coworkers if they have ever been represented by a lawyer in personal injury cases. You should listen to your friend or colleague who recommends a lawyer. Don’t base your decision on a recommendation from someone else. Different people will respond differently to the style and personality of a lawyer. Don’t hire a lawyer before you have met with the lawyer and discussed your case.
Nolo’s Lawyer Directory
There are two ways that Nolo can help you find an attorney. To connect with potential attorneys, you can use the Online Chat feature on this page. Nolo offers a unique directory of lawyers that includes a detailed profile for each attorney and information that can help you choose the right lawyer. These profiles provide information about the lawyer’s education and experience as well as fees. Learn more about the compensation of personal injury lawyers. Nolo confirmed that each listed attorney holds a valid license.
You can also ask your friends and family to refer you to an experienced personal injuries lawyer. Lawyers often refer cases to each other, and many lawyers know someone who handles personal injury cases for plaintiffs. However, unlike referrals from coworkers or friends, don’t take another lawyer’s word for it.
Many local bar associations offer referral services that allow you to find the names of qualified lawyers, organized by legal specialty. Although they are required to be approved by the state bars association, there is wide variation in the quality and reliability of these services. While some services screen potential attorneys carefully and only list those who have a particular qualification and/or past experience, others will list any attorney that is in good standing with the state bars, provided they maintain liability insurance. Ask about the qualifications of the lawyer referral service before you make your decision. Also, inquire about how thorough the screening process is.
How to Choose the Best Lawyer For You
Talk to a lawyer about your case and the possible solutions. Take copies of all documents, including police reports, medical records, bills, income loss information and correspondence with the insurance company. A majority of lawyers don’t charge for the initial consultation. Before you meet with a lawyer for the first time, ask whether they will charge you for that interview. Go somewhere else if the lawyer is trying to charge you for discussing your case.
Once you have explained to the lawyer what your case is about, there will be a few things you need to ask the lawyer.
How long have you been a lawyer?
What percentage of the law firm’s work involves personal injury cases in any given case?
Do they usually represent plaintiffs or defense? Do you not want to be represented only by someone who is experienced in personal injury cases, but has been exclusively a lawyer for defendants? They may think too closely to the insurance company’s attitudes and might not be as aggressive in pursuing your claim.
Is the case being handled by the lawyer or would they pass it on to another, perhaps less experienced lawyer? It is normal for multiple attorneys to work on the same case and have less experienced attorneys handling routine tasks. It is important to find out who would be responsible for the case, and with whom you would deal directly. Ask to meet with any other lawyer involved in the case.