Have you recently suffered an injury of any magnitude and feel like you could use some help paying the medical bills or living expenses brought about during a layoff? Personal injury attorneys specialize in ensuring compensation for people who deserve it (and preventing others from doing wrong by them) – even if you think your injury was caused by an accident, there is very likely a guilty party that can compensate you with the right legal help on your side. Here’s how to choose a personal injury attorney.
Choosing a personal injury attorney
- Word of mouth: Good lawyers have a way of getting famous (or infamous) in a relatively short period of time: the best will have others trembling at the slightest utterance of their name. Ask your friends, family and acquaintances regarding a good attorney specializing in personal injuries – you will more than likely get a name or two worth checking out.
- Look for attorneys that work for free until the legal battle is won: Successful lawyers will have no trouble working with this policy – in fact, most personal injury attorneys insist on payment only after they’ve won in the courts. If your attorney asks for any sort of payment before going to court, it might be a sign of bad things ahead – likewise, if the contract mentions payments in case of a loss in court, you probably want to keep looking. With that said, be careful: some attorneys might ask for too big of a cut, and you’ll want to agree on clear-cut payment terms before ever going into court (preferably a percentage fee). Also, attorneys with this policy might be reluctant to take cases in ‘gray areas’ – if the case around your injury seems murky (read: difficult to win), you might have to contend with paying something up front to get a good lawyer on the case.
- Ask for past clients: This goes without saying: a good attorney won’t mind providing a few past clients with whom they’ve had successful dealings. It’s best if you can actually get in touch with these people and ask them about details, although a review is still better than nothing. While there, make sure to ask for specific amounts of money that they’ve managed to secure for past clients – this is one of those cases where bigger is indeed better.
- Ask for past opponents: This is a major one, and one that many overlook. You can usually judge the caliber of your attorney by the parties they’ve successfully prosecuted in the past. Why? The bigger a name, company or brand is, the better their own attorneys will be – the bigger players have an entire legal team working with them and fending off attacks, so to speak. A personal injury attorney who has went against some big or downright menacing companies and won is definitely someone worth your consideration. Sure, the list of ‘victims’ doesn’t have to include Google or The Coca-Cola Company, but going against established companies with seven-figure or higher annual earnings and winning should be a part of your attorney’s resume.