Did you know that unintentional injuries are the fourth highest cause of death in the US, with about 200,955 deaths every year?
Most of these injuries are the result of negligence by another person or party. If that’s the case, victims have the legal right to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
If you’re looking to file a personal injury claim, it’s a good idea to find a proficient personal injury lawyer for your case. That’s because insurance companies hire some of the best lawyers in the country to refute your claim. Going it alone will only work to your detriment.
However, with so many personal injury attorneys available today, picking the right one can be a serious challenge. If this describes your predicament, worry not; we’re here to help.
In today’s post, we’ll be highlighting a couple of tips for hiring the best personal injury lawyer for your case.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A personal injury lawyer is a professional who helps people receive compensation for the injuries they have sustained due to someone else’s negligence. This type of lawyer typically works on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim, you may be wondering what a personal injury lawyer can do for you. Here are some of the things personal injury lawyers typically do:
- Investigate your accident to determine who was at fault
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
- File a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, if necessary
- Represent you in court, if necessary
It’s worth noting that personal injury lawyers aren’t mandatory for personal injury claims. However, we highly recommend hiring one to get the compensation you deserve. Plus, since most of them work on contingency, you have nothing to lose.
Tips for Finding the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
There’s no shortage of personal injury attorneys in the US. Do a simple Google search, and you’ll find dozens of them eager to help you file your claim. Here are a few tips for hiring the right one for you.
1. Consider the Specifics of Your Case
You might be surprised at just how broad personal injury law is. It covers everything from car accidents and slip and falls to medical malpractice and defective products. As such, it’s important that you find an attorney who specializes in the specific type of accident you were involved in.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you’ll want to find a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents. If you were injured at work, you might need a lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation claims. The same applies if you were injured in a slip and fall accident or due to medical malpractice.
It would be nearly impossible for one lawyer to be an expert in all types of personal injury cases. By finding a lawyer who specializes in your type of case, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible representation.
2. Check the Lawyer’s Experience
As you’d expect, the more experienced a lawyer is, the better they’ll be at handling your case. That’s because personal injury law can be quite complex, and an experienced lawyer will know how to navigate the complexities to get you the best possible outcome.
As a rule of thumb, look for a lawyer with at least 5 years of experience handling cases like yours. We’re not dismissing the newer lawyers, but it’s hit-or-miss with them. To be on the safe side, just find an experienced lawyer and secure your case.
What’s more, it’s worth noting that experience doesn’t just mean how many years the lawyer has practiced. A better indicator of experience is how many clients the lawyer has worked with before. Ask them about the cases they handled and how their most recent cases turned out.
This will give you a good idea of what you can expect from the lawyers. Lawyers with lackluster success rates are definitely not worth your time or money.
3. Ask for Referrals From Close Friends and Family
If you have friends or family members who have used personal injury lawyers in the past, ask for referrals. It’s likely they’ll be more than happy to refer you to a lawyer they’ve worked with before and had a positive experience with. Family and friends are more likely to point you in the right direction than complete strangers.
Of course, this isn’t always possible. If that’s the case, don’t worry too much. Just do your homework and follow our advice to the letter. You’ll find the right lawyer for your case in no time.
4. Check the Lawyer’s Reputation
When you’ve compiled a list of potential personal injury lawyers, it’s time to do some digging and check their reputation. Start by checking online reviews. Google the lawyer’s name and see what others have said about them.
Most law firms will have their own websites where you can check reviews from previous clients. However, some law firms may doctor their reviews to dupe unsuspecting clients. To be on the safe side, consider checking out reviews on authority review sites like Yelp or The BBB.
Remember, one or two negative reviews shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. In fact, read a few negative reviews so you can get a well-rounded view of the lawyer. Of course, you want a lawyer with more positive than negative reviews to help you file your claim.
Lawyers that belong to attorney trial associations are the jackpot. By attorney trial associations, we’re talking associations like the American Bar Association and sites like SuperLawyer.com.
The fact that a lawyer is a member of these associations speaks volumes about their reputation. If they’re good enough to be accepted into these highly-coveted associations, you can bet your bottom dollar they’re the real deal. Lawyers that hold awards or leadership positions are just what the doctor ordered.
5. Check How Much the Lawyer Charges
Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency basis. This means they only get paid if you win your case. If you don’t win, you don’t owe them anything. Most personal injury lawyers will charge between 33% and 40% of your total settlement.
However, it’s not uncommon for some lawyers to charge a higher percentage. If you’re not comfortable with the lawyer’s fee, move on to the next one on your list. However, be cautious of lawyers who charge very low rates, and here’s why.
Remember, personal injury lawyers must cover certain fees and still make a profit. Any lawyer charging meager rates is likely cutting corners. The results will be underwhelming.
It’s no wonder lawyers that charge very low rates don’t work on a contingency basis. That’s why you should also find out how much the lawyer charges for their services. Some personal injury lawyers will charge an hourly rate, and others will charge a flat fee, but the best ones work on a contingency basis.
6. Find Someone You Can Get Along With
Your personal injury case will take months, maybe even years, to settle. You’ll be working closely with your personal injury lawyer during this time, so it’s important to find someone you can get along with.
You should feel comfortable confiding in your lawyer and vice versa. You want a lawyer that listens to you and answers all your questions. If you don’t feel comfortable with your lawyer, find someone else.
The personal injury case period will be a stressful time. The last thing you need is more stress from working with a lawyer you can’t stand.
7. Check What the Lawyer’s Office Looks Like
It might seem a bit trifling, but you also want to check out the lawyer’s office. A well-kept and organized office is a good sign that the lawyer is professional.
A lawyer that doesn’t take the time to keep up with their office probably won’t be very attentive to your personal injury case. You want a lawyer that’s on top of things and will give your case the attention it deserves.
While you’re in the office, also take note of how the staff treats you. The way the receptionist greets you and the way the lawyer’s assistant talks to you is telling. If they’re rude or seem uninterested in helping you, it’s a sign that the lawyer won’t serve you well.
You want a lawyer that has a professional and friendly staff because you’ll be dealing with them a lot. Also, steer clear of any lawyer with an overtly disorganized office. A messy office is a red flag you shouldn’t ignore.
What Kind of Cases Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Handle?
As mentioned above, personal injury law is pretty broad, so you need to first ensure that your case qualifies as a personal injury case. Here are a few types of cases that personal injury lawyers handle.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
This is the most common type of personal injury case. If you were injured in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, you can file a personal injury claim.
You can also file a personal injury claim if you were a pedestrian hit by a vehicle. These cases usually involve negligence on the part of the driver. If the accident was your fault, you have no case to present.
Slip and Fall Accidents
When you slip and fall on a wet floor on a commercial or institutional property, you can file a personal injury claim. The custodians of these properties have the responsibility to label slippery floors to avoid such accidents.
You can also file a personal injury claim if you trip and fall on an object that was left in the middle of the aisle in a store. These cases usually involve negligence on the part of the store owner to maintain a safe environment for shoppers.
To win these cases, you must be able to prove that the property or store owner was aware of the hazard and did nothing to fix it or label it. These cases are harder to win if the hazard was something that just happened, like a sudden liquid spill. A personal injury lawyer will help you file your claim for a slip and fall accident.
Personal injury lawyers also handle cases where people are injured by defective products. If you were injured while using a defective product, you can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer.
These cases usually involve a manufacturing or design defect that makes the product dangerous for consumers. For instance, in 1999, a family got a $4.9 billion settlement from General Motors after a van from the company exploded following an accident, killing all passengers.
Dog Attack Injuries
You can file a personal injury claim if you are attacked and injured by someone else’s dog. To win such cases, you must be able to prove that the dog’s owner knew the animal was dangerous but did nothing to keep it under control or warn people about it.
These cases are harder to win if the attack happened on the dog’s property, because most states have laws that protect dog owners in these situations. In fact, you could be the one in trouble for trespassing.
Did you know that medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the country, with more than 251,000 deaths every year? You can file a personal injury claim against a doctor or hospital if you were injured due to their negligence.
However, you must prove that the health care professional deviated from the standard of care and that this deviation resulted in your injuries. These cases are complex and usually require the testimony of another medical expert.
Only the Best Personal Injury Lawyer Will Do
With the above tips, you’re well on your way to finding the perfect personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim. Just remember to check out online reviews and do some background research on the lawyer in question. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from your friends and family to get the right person for the job.
Lucky for you, the best personal injury lawyers in the country are a click away. Get your free evaluation today, and we’ll help get you the compensation you deserve.