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If you have been injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in filing a claim against the responsible party or parties. An attorney can handle your lawsuit, prepare your case for a trial, and assist you in reaching a settlement claim.
There are hundreds of personal injury attorneys in the United States. A quick Google search will most certainly turn up the websites of law offices of personal injury lawyers near you. Selecting the most qualified lawyer to handle your case may be difficult with so many possibilities.
To find the best personal injury attorney, consider several things like success rate, experience, and knowledge of personal injury law.
Work With An Experienced Lawyer In Your State
The first step is to select a lawyer who has represented claimants, also known as plaintiffs, in personal injury lawsuits. Even if they are experienced, you may not want to be represented by someone from a law firm that has largely served insurance companies. Instead, it is in your best interest to seek the services and advice of a personal injury and accident attorney. This person will be more knowledgeable about the laws that apply to your case. They also have the qualifications and know medical professionals to assist victims in building a case and receiving treatment for their injuries.
In addition, we recommend seeking consultation and representation from a lawyer with experience handling cases with similar circumstances to yours. For example, if you've been harmed by a defective product, you should consult a product liability attorney. For car accidents or auto accidents, you'll want to choose a car accident attorney.
Also, each state has a different statute of limitations and timeline for handling settlements. So, ideally, you should consult with lawyers who are experts in personal injury claims in your state or region.
A Lawyer Might Decline Your Case
When trying to find a lawyer to work on your case, it's best to set your expectations. Some lawyers decline clients for a variety of reasons, including:
- Small Settlement Amount. Personal injury lawyers typically don't take on cases unless the expected compensation is high enough to cover their overhead costs since they work on contingency fees.
- Low Odds Of A Favorable Decision. Even if a plaintiff's claim might yield a large settlement offer, a lawyer may still decline if the odds of winning are slim. In this instance, a personal injury lawyer would rather spend their time and resources on defendants with cases that have higher chances of success.
- Compatibility. A lawyer might reject a case for issues unrelated to the claim, such as an incompatible relationship with the client. If the two of you have conflicting personalities, the lawyer might simply decide that this case is not worth it.
Ask About The Lawyers' Success Rate
The likelihood that you will "win" a personal injury lawsuit mostly depends on multiple factors surrounding the occurrence of your accident, the evidence you have to support your admission of liability, and whether you have solid legal representation to help you navigate the court trial.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 90 to 95% of personal injury lawsuits are resolved without the need for a trial. Even when a case goes to trial, it may result well for the plaintiff, especially if they try to sue without the assistance of an experienced attorney.
You will have the best chance at success if you hire a lawyer with extensive experience in personal injury law, including winning cases in court and negotiating settlements. Don’t hesitate to ask the lawyer about their history in personal injury cases and the details of each case they've handled.
Ask Friends And Family For Referrals
Many people have had personal injury or workers' compensation cases, so you can ask your friends, families, or coworkers for a referral to find a lawyer. One simple method how to find a personal injury lawyer is to get referrals. This helps you create a list of potential lawyers to have an interview with. If someone has had a bad experience with a specific lawyer, this information is useful in order to eliminate them as a prospect.
You may also inquire from your acquaintances who are accident victims to discover personal injury lawyers with a good reputation and excellent track record. However, in some instances, the lawyer your friend knows might have a different specialty or area of practice. If so, ask the lawyer to refer you to someone who would be a better fit, either in that lawyer's office or from other law firms.
Seek A Lawyer That Works On Contingency
Lawyers charge thousands of dollars per hour for their services. If you've been injured, you probably can't afford to pay for it. However, experienced personal injury lawyers generally operate on a contingency basis. This arrangement means that the lawyer's fee is a percentage of the settlement amount you receive. When you have a winning lawsuit, this situation works well. Many lawyers will accept your case in exchange for a sizable portion of your settlement or compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions
When working with a personal injury lawyer, here are some questions you might end up asking yourself:
The different areas of law that attorneys can specialize in include criminal, injury, and family law. Some lawyers handle cases in different legal specializations, while others have a specialty in other areas like personal injury. You can often tell whether a lawyer can handle your case effectively during consultation. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best lawyer for the job:
-Extensive experience with personal injury laws
-Positive client reviews
-Recommendations from family and friends
-Adequate case records and trial results
-Impressive background in personal injury law education
-Abundant contacts from relevant organizations
On a contingency fee basis, the lawyer handling your personal injury claim on your behalf will be paid by taking a portion of your settlement amount as a fee for all their services. If you lose, the lawyer gets nothing. Contingency fees typically fall between 25% and 40%, so find a personal injury lawyer whose fees fall within that range.
While many lawyers are willing to take on cases where they only get paid if they win, some attorneys avoid these so-called contingency cases as they require a lot of work upfront with no guarantee of payment. Even if the case has a good chance of success, some lawyers cannot afford to take on this type of work, as they need the guaranteed income from paying clients to cover their overhead costs.
Before anyone accepts your case, a lawyer will have plenty of questions about your case, so come prepared. Make sure to bring any documents related to your case, such as a police report, medical bills, insurance correspondence, and verification of income loss. Be as clear as possible about the details of your case so your lawyer can understand the situation well. Honesty and transparency between you and your attorney are crucial at every step in your personal injury case.
You will also have the opportunity to question the lawyer about anything. To see if they are a compatible match, ask questions like:
-How long have you been practicing?
-Have you worked for an insurance company before?
-What were the outcomes of your previous personal injury cases?
-Do you mostly represent plaintiffs or defendants?
-How much would you charge for this case?
While you are within your legal rights to file a claim or lawsuit yourself, you are more likely to receive higher compensation if you hire a lawyer. According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, everyone with lawyers secured 3.5 times more settlement money than those who did not have personal injury lawyers.
Additionally, having a lawyer reduces the chances that you will have to go to trial. The process for personal injury cases in Florida does not require a court appearance.
You can encounter many challenges when trying to find a personal injury lawyer. There are almost certainly dozens of firms in your area. It is important to conduct some research in order to find the best lawyer for you. The answer to "how to find a personal injury lawyer" is simple; just use the steps mentioned above.
If you wish to learn more about how personal injury settlements are paid out, check out this article by Disability Help.