You’ve been injured in an accident and it’s someone else’s fault. What now? You’ll need a personal injury lawyer working for you to help you get the compensation you deserve. But how do you find one that is good and experienced? You ask friends, co-workers and neighbours. From there it’s up to you to do your due diligence. I tell everyone that you need to make a short list of lawyers and then go and interview them! A good personal injury lawyer will offer a free initial consultation and that is your opportunity to tell your story, and to ask them questions. Here are the top questions I’d ask:
1. What is your experience in Personal Injury Claims? What percentage of your practice is personal injury? Remember that years of practice for a general lawyer doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the specialized skills and resources to handle complex personal injury claims. I highly recommend selecting a lawyer who focusses exclusively on personal injury law. They’ll have the knowledge of the law, and the experience in mediation and court.
2. Have you handles cases like mine before? How many? How did they go? There are very specific areas of personal injury law which require even more specialized knowledge. Settling cases of medical malpractice, car accidents, assaults or injuries on public transit, all require different resources and skills. Ask what kind of cases the firm usually deals with. If yours isn’t one of the common ones they handle you may want to keep looking.
3. Have you or your partners got experience got trial experience? Although the majority of cases are settled out of court, you need to know that your lawyer will represent you well if your case ends up there.
4. How will the bill be paid? This is an extremely important question since some cases go for years without settlement. If your lawyer requires you to pay up front or pay costs as he goes then you may not be able to afford the services. Most personal injury lawyers handle cases on a contingency basis. This means that if you don’t get paid then they don’t either. The lawyer will receive a percentage of the amount you are awarded.
Make sure you get, understand and sign a contract. Be clear on how the lawyer will be paid, how expenses and other costs are paid, and what your obligations will be.
5. Make certain that you are comfortable with the lawyer. If you don’t have a good relationship, then it will be very difficult to work together. You’ll need to trust the lawyer and sometimes you need to disclose intimate personal details. The relationship has to ‘work’.
Once you’ve interviewed a few lawyers you’ll have a good idea of who is a good match and who can help you. If you or a loved one been injured due to someone else’s negligence then call me, message me, or go on my website, for a free initial consultation. I do home and hospital visits.