Personal injuries are super common. In 2020, for instance, there were 38 million emergency room visits for injuries. While most of these cases end at the ER, some morph into compensation claims. Others end up in trial courts.
If you’ve been injured and another party is at fault, or you have personal injury coverage, it’s super important to hire a personal injury lawyer. It doesn’t matter whether the injury occurred in a car accident or on a job site. A lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.
But not every personal injury lawyer will wage a good fight for you. This is why it’s essential to ensure you’re choosing a lawyer who fits the bill.
This guide will help you pick the right lawyer.
1. Injury Type Specialization
There are several types of personal injury cases, including:
- Auto accident injury
- Workplace injury
- Slip and fall injury
- Product liability injury
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
Most personal injury lawyers can handle any type of personal injury case, but the best lawyers typically specialize in one type of case. It’s highly advisable to hire a lawyer who exclusively works with victims with an injury like yours.
For example, if you were injured on the job, focus on finding a workplace injury lawyer. If you were hurt in a car accident, you need an auto accident injury lawyer. And if you suffered at the hands of a doctor, the right lawyer for you is a medical malpractice attorney.
Specialized injury attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of a specific injury. A car accident injury lawyer will be very familiar with the nature of injuries arising from car accidents. But their knowledge of medical injuries will be limited.
2. Professional Experience
Personal injury cases aren’t a walk in the park. In many cases, the at-fault party will deny liability, and insurance companies aren’t in the process of giving claimants blank cheques. It’s even more challenging when an injury case goes to trial because the burden of proof is squarely on the plaintiff (injured party).
It takes an experienced lawyer to pursue a personal injury case and ensure it reaches an outcome that’s favorable to the claimant. As such, it’s in your best interest to hire a lawyer who has vast experience.
Don’t just look at the number of years a lawyer has practiced injury law. Give more preference to the number of injury cases they have handled and what the outcome of those cases was.
If your case is going to trial, for example, it’s a no-brainer that you need a lawyer who has been to trial court several times. Not only that but also won most of those cases.
3. Resources At the Lawyer’s Disposal
Personal injury cases have different complexity levels. Some are relatively simple, only needing the services of one lawyer. Others can be highly complex, such as a multi-car collision case requiring the services of a team of lawyers and paralegals.
When you know your case is complex or when you’re seeking a lot of money in compensation, it’s crucial to assess the resources a lawyer has at their disposal before hiring them.
In fact, this is where you need to choose between hiring a solo lawyer vs hiring a law firm. While a solo lawyer can offer you a personalized experience at a better rate, they can come up short if your case is complex. On the other hand, a well-resourced law firm will give you the best chance of winning your complex case.
Most lawyers, whether solo or part of a law firm, will assure you that they have the resources to tackle your case so that they can secure your case. Don’t quickly fall for that.
Ask them about their caseload. Even a law firm with several injury lawyers on staff can struggle with your case if they’re currently handling a ton of cases.
4. Location of Practice
Lawyers are state-licensed, so it’s a no-brainer that the lawyer you’ll hire must be licensed to practice in the state where you’re pursuing the case. However, we recommend that you narrow it down to a lawyer who practices locally.
For example, if the case is happening in Fresno, California, settle on a Fresno lawyer or visit this law firm. A local lawyer will have a better understanding of any local laws that might apply to your case (in addition to state and federal laws). They’ll also be more familiar with the local court processes.
In a high-stakes case, you want to have as much advantage as possible over. A lawyer with expertise in your local area can turn out to be the biggest difference maker.
5. Cost of Services
Lawyers charge for their services, and the best lawyers charge a premium. So, you must be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets.
Fortunately, the vast majority of personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee. This means they’ll take a percentage of the settlement amount once the case concludes. It also means they won’t get paid if the case doesn’t result in a settlement.
Now, the standard contingency fee is 33.3% of the settlement amount. However, it can go higher or lower depending on the nature of the case and the lawyer. Lawyers with impeccable records will command a higher fee.
Be sure to ask whether there are any other charges besides the contingency fee before choosing an injury attorney. You don’t want to be caught unawares in the middle of the case.
Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
There’s a lot at stake when you have a personal injury case, so you’ve made a smart decision to hire a personal injury lawyer. However, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by hiring an incompetent lawyer. Use these tips to find a lawyer who you can bank on.
All the best, and come back to our blog for more informative articles.