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How to choose a personal injury attorney

by on May 4, 2012 » Add the first comment.

Choosing an attorney, in general, is a difficult task considering that most attorneys claim to have impeccable backgrounds and references. Finding a personal injury attorney becomes increasingly challenging when an individual or their loved ones has been injured, given that they want to receive the fairest compensation possible. Below contains some key tips on how to choose a reputable personal injury attorney.

  1. A personal injury attorney should be hired rather than a general attorney. This is because laws are constantly changing, and a general attorney may not be able to keep up with the most recent developments in personal injury law.
  2. Individuals should try to seek out experts in their claim area. For instance, if their claim is in the area of medical malpractice, individuals should choose prospective attorneys based on whether or not they have experience in that specific claim area.
  3. Individuals should search for personal injury attorneys in their area, or call their personal attorney first if they have one. Their personal attorneys may be able to recommend a few reputable personal injury attorneys who will be able to handle their case successfully. If individuals do not have a personal attorney who can give them recommendations, they should call their local Bar Association or log into the American Bar Association’s website, where they can search for personal injury attorneys. Both individuals’ local Bar Association or the American Bar Association’s website will be able to provide information on most attorneys, such as education and length of years in practice.
  4. Alternatively, individuals can search for well-known local personal injury attorneys from television commercials and/or other advertisements, and view their background information on the American Bar Association’s website. They can also speak with their personal friends and/or family who have used personal injury attorneys in the past.
  5. Once individuals have selected a few personal injury attorneys, they should set up appointments to meet with them. When meeting with personal injury attorneys, individuals should take detailed notes in order to compare prices, professionalism, background and personal demeanor afterwards. Individuals should keep in mind that they should not hire the first attorney they meet or recommended to them.
  6. Individuals should especially make sure to inquire about any and all fees, since each attorney has his or her own system of billing clients. However, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they only get paid after, and if, individuals receive a settlement. Their fees generally range from 30 to 40 percent of the settlement award. Individuals should reconsider going with any personal injury attorneys who request money upfront.
  7. Individuals should make sure that any prospective personal injury attorneys are effective at dealing with insurance companies, given that most personal injury claims are settled out of court. Individuals should also ask to see proof of successful past negotiations as well as past average award amounts.
  8. A highly qualified, reputable personal injury attorney should also have trial experience. Although most injury claims never go to court, the attorney should be prepared and know how to deal with an injury claim should it end up going to court.
  9. Individuals should also ensure that they personally get along well with any attorney they are considering hiring, given that they will be spending a lot of time with him or her. Individuals should also make sure that they are able to communicate with any prospective attorneys effectively.
  10. Individuals may also want to consider learning about the attorney’s staff before choosing them. Specifically, they should ask to speak with a few staff members to ensure that they will get along well, and that the staff members are responsive to their needs.
  11. Once an attorney has been chosen, individuals should be patient and request regular updates, given that most personal injury attorneys have several cases going on at the same time.
  12. It should be kept in mind that once individuals have hired a personal injury attorney, they are not stuck with them – individuals may fire an attorney at anytime if they prove to be incompetent and neglectful. However, the old personal injury attorney may be entitled to a lien on the new attorney’s fees.

If individuals follow these above tips, then they are on the right track to finding a high quality, reputable personal injury attorney to handle their case. Individuals should always keep in mind that they should not rely on the insurance companies to adequately compensate them for their injuries. With the help of a personal injury attorney, individuals will be able to receive maximum compensation for their personal injuries.

Find more like this: Personal Injury

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