What You Need to Know
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer can be a huge challenge. In fact, many people still think that the higher the attorney fees, the better the lawyer. While it is true that the best personal injury lawyers demand higher fees, there are ways of getting excellent services without necessarily paying over the odds.
Here are tips on how to find and work with a great personal injury lawyer while staying within budget.
Finding a personal injury lawyer
- Get references from family and friends
If you have a friend who has been involved in a personal injury claim before, this is the time to reach that friend and ask for reference. The fact that a friend or family member already trusts this lawyer gives you the confidence in the ability of the personal injury lawyer more so if the case was eventually won. You may also use this opportunity to find out the attorney’s fees (of course this may vary depending on the complexity of the case).
- Browse through as many directories and websites as you can
There are many qualified personal injury lawyers out there waiting to help you through your case; all you have to do is find them. Yellow Pages could be a great starting point as it allows you to compare several lawyers alongside law firms. Apart from that, you can browse through several websites reviewing one lawyer after another. For even better results, search for personal injury lawyers from your location. For instance, if you live in Los Angeles, you should look for “personal injury lawyer Los Angeles.”
Working with a personal injury lawyer
- List a number of lawyers and interview them
It is advisable to list a number of personal injury lawyers and take them through an interview. The interview sessions will give you the chance to get up and close with each lawyer, ask questions, learn about their strategies and see who is best placed to work on the case. It takes more than just knowledge or experience to qualify as a great lawyer. Find out if the lawyer has handled cases similar to yours in the past and whether they won the cases.
- Tell the lawyer everything needed for the case
Whether you are getting a reference from a friend or sourcing the lawyer from the internet, once you have one name, arrange a familiarization session with the lawyer. During this session, furnish your lawyer with all information needed for the case; everything you know about the accident and what you expect from the case. Whatever you say to the attorney remains confidential between the two of you and is actually protected by law.
- Understand how personal injury attorneys arrive at their fees
Often, a personal injury lawyer will charge fees on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay the lawyer anything until they win a case or recover a claim. Attorney fees usually include; mileage, postage, accommodation, copies, court filing fees and fees for medical examinations (if any).
Remember that attorney fees are negotiable, but never haggle too much. If you haggle way below their normal fee and they still take up the case, they may be subconsciously inclined to handle the case in a different fashion.
Also, sometimes a personal injury lawyer may give discounts. The lawyer will tell you if you can get a discount, under what circumstances, and how much.
Sometimes it takes a few days, maybe even weeks before you can find that right personal injury lawyer. It’s good to practice patience. You’ll only have yourself to thank once you find that right one.