Choosing Your Personal Injury Legal Team: An Overview
If you or a loved one have recently suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of another party, you may be wondering what your next steps are. You’re in the midst of a struggle to heal, and that has to be your top priority. But that struggle shouldn’t get in the way of standing up for your rights and recovering compensatory damages. A quality personal injury attorney can fight for you and your interests and help ensure that you receive the financial compensation to which you are entitled.
But how to find the best legal team to stand with you through the difficult, often stressful process of a personal injury lawsuit? There are many factors that must be considered when making your choice. This guide will lay out the most important of these factors and offer step by step instructions for selecting your own personal injury attorney. By the time you’ve reached the end, you’ll be ready to make a selection and partner with a legal expert you can place your trust in.
There are several things to think about as you begin the process of searching for the right personal injury lawyer:
- Experience. Many lawyers limit their practice to one or two types of law and become deeply specialized in those areas. When hiring a personal injury lawyer, it may be to your benefit to look for a specialist in the area of personal injury law. At the very least, the person or team you choose should be experienced in the area of personal injury, and should be able to point to numerous successful cases.
- Legal Fees. Many lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so don’t be afraid to contact someone and discuss your case. Money shouldn’t enter into the picture until you decide to work together. In addition, many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means their pay is contingent on their ability to win your case—they don’t get paid unless you do.
- Avoid Ambulance Chasers. You’ve probably heard of the concept—attorneys who, literally or figuratively, flock to the site of an accident and start handing out business cards in an effort to profit from someone else’s misfortune. This practice is not only unethical, it’s illegal in most states. If you were contacted by an attorney’s office shortly after your accident, that’s a huge red flag. However, as a general rule personal injury attorneys are there to help you and protect your interests. Research and asking for references will help separate the wheat from the chaff.
- Take Your Time. Another way to spot an unethical hack? Ask how long your case will take to resolve. The average length of a personal injury lawsuit is about one or two years. This can feel like forever when you’re waiting for resolution, and the con artists know it, so beware of anyone who says they can offer a speedy cash settlement. This is generally a false promise.
Keep these points in mind as you read through this guide and we take an in-depth look at the process of selecting a personal injury attorney.