Choosing The Right Personal Injury Attorney Makes A Difference
To understand whether a particular personal injury attorney is right for your needs, it’s important to meet with a lawyer in person and have them explain how they would manage your case. When scheduling a consultation, make sure to bring copies of materials that highlight granular details pertaining to your claim such as a police report, medical records, missed wage statements, all correspondences with insurance companies, and a demand letter if you have one. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and many provide services based on a contingency agreement.
Still, it’s important to discuss what their fees are if they do successfully win your case and obtain a settlement package on your behalf. Once you provide an attorney with a general idea of your case and the details surrounding your injuries, make sure to ask a few standard questions during your first meeting to understand whether they are appropriate for you.
Experience With Personal Injury Claims
Ask about the attorney’s professional background and general experience handling personal injury claims. Find out what law school they graduated from, what firms they may have worked for over the course of their career, and what their record is when it comes to successfully settling or winning cases. A few specific questions you should consider asking include:
- How many years have they practiced personal injury law
- What percentage of their total cases include personal injury claims
- Do they mostly represent accident victims or defendants
- Are they familiar with the insurance company or the specific adjuster that’s attached to your case
Understanding an attorney’s perspective on client communication is critical for determining whether your needs will be supported throughout the duration of a case. Some attorney’s do not respond to emails or phone calls, especially if they are operating on a contingency agreement and do not receive upfront payments. Knowing whether your attorney is willing to provide continuous updates to your case, if they will listen to you when you feel overwhelmed or are looking to discuss your claim, and understanding their ability to articulate or explain your case in ways that resonate with you are essential for ensuring a positive experience. If you meet with an attorney who is not willing to keep you informed and isn’t interested in listening to your input before making decisions on your behalf, do not hire them.
Defining A Settlement Agreement
Once you explain the details surrounding your case to an attorney and discuss the history of any conversations you may have had with an insurance company around a settlement package, find out what their opinion is for how much your claim is worth and how difficult it may be to meet such goals. The attorney you hire should be able to explain their vision for your case, as well as several ways your case can be presented to a judge or jury. Ask the attorney to define their goals based on:
- Their ability to obtain a settlement agreement that’s approachable and within the insurance company’s comfort range
- Their ability to obtain a settlement agreement that exceeds the amount originally offered by the insurance company
- Their ability to obtain as much compensation as possible regardless of how much time or resources it takes
Find An Attorney Who Represents Your Interests
Asking an attorney to approach your claim based on your goals and needs does not mean that you locked into anything. As your case progresses, you should feel empowered to ask your attorney to change direction if necessary. Your personal and financial circumstances may change over the course of the negotiations or trial and if you need your attorney to reach a settlement quickly, they should be able to explain the consequences of the decision, while also providing support.