Accidents can happen to anyone. Worse, they can result from the negligence of others and cause their victims significant pain or losses. Note that the suffering does not have to be physical. Psychological distress can also be too much to bear, which is why it is simply unfair to let it go. The victims will need a chance to recover as well as the means to rebuild their lives, and it is primarily what personal injury attorneys are here for.
What Qualifies as Personal Injury
A personal injury can be any harm that you sustained due to the carelessness or deliberate error by an individual or organization. Among the most common are car and motorcycle accidents, boat accidents, hit and run accidents, trips and falls, defamation of character, assault and battery, and dog bites. Workplace accidents also count as personal injury. If any of these happens to you, you will need a personal injury attorney to not only represent you in court but also to ensure that your rights as a victim will be properly observed by the law.
Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
There are more than a million personal injury attorneys in the United States. That is almost as many as we have Realtors. How do you know which of them is right for you? It is not a decision that you can make overnight. Similar to choosing a Realtor, when you choose an attorney, you are putting your truest in them. Also as in choosing a real estate agent, there is a lot of money on the line and very little room for mistakes.
It is not just about who is most willing to take your case, as most of them will show that they are. The first thing to do is to know what your needs and preferences are, the goals that you want to achieve. Proximity and availability can help you make a list of the personal injury attorneys to consider.
Costs and Fees.
Of course, hiring a personal injury lawyer costs money. But it need not be as complicated as some might think it is. Unlike criminal defense and family law attorneys, most personal injury attorneys do not ask for upfront fees from their clients. That is, provided that they charge on a contingent basis. By contingent, it means that the personal injury attorney will not be paid unless the client receives a settlement.
The fee that will be asked for by a personal injury attorney can be anywhere between 33 to 40 percent of the settlement. If, for instance, the client receives $100,000 in settlement, the personal injury attorney will receive $33,000 to $40,000, depending on the rate they agreed upon. If they lost the case, the client will not have to pay the personal injury attorney.
The more experienced a personal injury attorney is, the better that he or she should be able to handle your case. Then again, the fact that a personal injury attorney is a newbie does not necessarily mean that he or she is not capable of dealing well with the case. Do not simply rely on the number of years that a personal injury attorney has spent in this field. Get information from the other clients that he or she had handled in the past, or from the other lawyers who know about his or her work and reputation. Note that the very best personal injury attorneys are those who have earned the respect of their clients and colleagues.
Character and Personality.
You are likely to have a lot of questions about the case you are going to file. A personal injury attorney should give you time to answer all of them. He or she should even volunteer information that he or she believes will help you better understand the situation and set your expectations right.
The person injury attorney should be a person you can be comfortable talking to, even about personal matters. He or she should have the urge to solve your problem and not handle your case like it is just another case in their portfolio. The best personal injury attorneys are those are regard their job as a helping profession and not merely a business.
When you choose a Realtor to sell your home, most people today read reviews and look up testimonials to find the best Realtor. You should do the same when choosing an attorney.
How do I Find a Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury attorneys are around every corner. The local newspaper, TV commercials, and the internet can easily tell you were to find one. The challenge though is in finding the one that can give you what you need. So how do you start looking for a personal injury attorney?
The best way to start is by asking for recommendations from the people in your circle. Your friends or relatives should be able to provide you with a name of a personal injury attorney that they believe can help you with your case. Ask those who have dealt with a personal injury attorney before, and what they like, or not like, about that personal injury attorney.
You will want to avoid websites like findlaw — as those are simply paid advertisements. Being on those lists only show that the layer has enough money to advertise there.
You might also need to research on the personal injury attorneys that you have on your list. The internet makes a good source of information because it is easily accessible. You can join relevant forums and communities to know about what others have to say a law firm or a personal injury attorney.
Watch out for those with red flags. Keep in mind though, that not everything that is said on the internet is true. Some firms can be exaggerating their accomplishments in order to attract clients. You can be assured that this personal injury attorney is someone you can trust if he or she is not only recommended by a person you know but also have good reviews online.
Summary and Conclusion
Choosing a personal injury attorney is not an easy task. You have to search for as much information as you can, and then make comparisons to know which personal injury attorney is the best. The years of experience in the field is important, but it is also necessary that you look for a personal injury attorney that is recommended by a friend or relative, or one who have already served many satisfied clients. The best thing about hiring a personal injury attorney though, is that, you do not have to worry about paying out of your pocket. Most personal injury attorneys will only ask for a fee when the case is won and the client receives a settlement.