What to Know Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
A few things you need to know before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation from the negligent party. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim can give you the best chance of receiving fair compensation. A lawyer can provide the support and guidance you need to push through what can prove to be a challenging and overwhelming period. But before you choose a firm, there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Taking the time to find a knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced lawyer you can trust and feel good about working with will ensure you have a smooth experience as you continue to heal from your injuries.
Here’s what to know before hiring a personal injury lawyer:
What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer – Fee and Billing Procedures
Personal injury lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. You pay no legal fees upfront and won’t owe the attorney any money if they do not recover compensation for you. In a contingency fee agreement, you’ll be charged between 30 and 40% of the money you’re awarded when the case is resolved. This also depends on whether the case goes to trial or not.
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, make sure you understand the fee structure. Also, be sure to ask how pre-trial costs are handled.
The costs of a case might include the following:
- copying and postage costs
- deposition fees
- travel expenses
- Expert witness fees
- Document request fees
- court fees
Some lawyers bill these expenses as they’re incurred, while others wait until the case is settled and deduct their portion from the gross recovery. Make sure you know all the potential legal fees ahead of time, when you’ll be responsible for the expenses, and what actions might result in additional charges.
Experience and expertise
Experience counts. You don’t want your case to be used as a lawyer’s “learning curve.” You want to hire an attorney who has several years of experience handling cases just like yours. With each case a lawyer handles, they increase their skills, knowledge, and expertise.
If your injuries result from a motorcycle accident, search for a lawyer who has experience winning accident claims specifically related to motorcycle accidents. If a family member dies in a motorcycle crash, hire a wrongful death attorney who also handles motorcycle accidents.
Just because a lawyer has experience handling cases similar to yours doesn’t mean they’re automatically the right fit. Trial experience is also important. If your case warrants a trial, someone who’s not willing to go to court may not be equipped to handle that phase.
They may pressure you into taking less than you deserve. Be sure to ask the lawyer whether they can try a lawsuit in court or not.
Success Rate Inside and Outside of the Courtroom
A good injury lawyer gets results. While the outcome of a case cannot be guaranteed, a skilled and experienced lawyer will consistently get fair monetary compensation for clients.
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. In some cases, however, the parties in a case cannot resolve the dispute or settle the personal injury claim for a fair amount. Therefore, you want to hire a lawyer who is both a talented negotiator and an aggressive trial lawyer.
When meeting with a personal injury attorney, ask for specific statistics on the number of cases they’ve handled throughout their career. Ask how many they’ve settled versus taken to court, and how many they’ve won versus lost. Ask about the amount of recovery too.
Effective Communication Skills
Effective communication is a crucial component of a personal injury case. Whether you want to be informed of the progress of your case every step of the way or are better off with occasional updates, you want to hire a personal injury attorney who will provide you with the information you need in an easy-to-understand manner.
Ask the lawyer what communication might look like if you work together. Also, what role you’ll play in the process, and how often you can expect to receive updates on your case. Also, ask the lawyer how long it takes to respond to urgent and non-urgent messages. Lastly, make sure to inquire about the methods of communication you’ll use. These can be email, phone calls, text messages, frequent meetings, etc.
Contact Yanchuck Berman Today
Yanchuck Berman offers legal consultations to accident victims. Our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys would be happy to learn about the facts of your case, answer any questions you might have, and help you determine your next course of action. Call 727-822-6313 to schedule your no-obligation consultation.