After suffering extensive physical and mental injuries, the last thing you would wish for is to see the negligent person responsible walking scot-free. You deserve justice, especially after the tormenting anguish you went through. This, however, starts with who you choose to present your case and pursue it all through to jury trials.
See, when it comes to personal injury lawsuits, nothing is as critical as getting fair value for all the physical or psychological injuries you endured. And this fundamentally rests upon your choice of personal injury lawyer – someone who would do all it takes to ensure that justice is done.
Of course, you know that when it comes to a personal injury case, getting compensated isn’t always a guarantee, unless you argue out the complaint well. This should, therefore, motivate you to go for someone skilled in civil trials and knows all the ins and outs of personal injury law. Basically, a board-certified civil lawyer who is specialized in this discipline and has been actively practicing is worth considering.
Why an experience, board-certified civil trial lawyer?
Well, a personal injury lawsuit places you against someone who probably has a bench of the best attorneys. If it’s you versus an insurance company, for example, selecting a McAllen Personal Injury Lawyer or someone who goes to court often can tilt the odds to your favor. Companies hate fighting a skilled attorney and often try to pay less in out-of-court settlements to an attorney who is afraid to try a case.
Also, insurance companies keep track of the attorneys that go to trial and even win cases. And because the contingency fee paid to all personal injury lawyers are similar, you’ve got no substantial reason to hire someone whose credentials are unknown.
Consider this 10-step guide to choosing a personal injury lawyer
As you’ve probably discovered, hiring an attorney for a case of your magnitude shouldn’t be a whimsical decision. Neither should you look at the individual’s experience, skill, reputation, and expertise alone.
These are the tips to help you choose the right lawyer:
1. Are you specialized and experienced in cases of this nature?
Tort law is a discipline on its own, so go for someone trained in it. Also, an experienced personal injury lawyer whose track record spans years of success is an invaluable asset. This is because, while most personal injury claims are preferably settled out of court, your lawyer will give the best course of action before you reach such stages. He/she will tell if an out-of-court agreement isn’t favorable and whether a trial is a good option or not.
2. Are you certified by the national bar of board advocacy?
You must check your local bar association and ascertain that whoever you are willing to bet on is adequately accredited. Apart from what you discover from the bar association, go deeper and analyze the track record of them, including the typical costs and fees associated with personal injury cases. Eventually, the background information you will acquire will help to make the final decision.
3. How long have you been practicing?
This question is just as critical as asking him/her whether she’s trained to handle cases of a similar nature as yours. And with someone who can’t be intimidated by the judge and the jury’s hard-pressing questions, you will stand a better chance of getting fair compensation.
The defendants will be willing to settle the matter quickly when they know they will not match the credentials of your team. But if they notice that the plaintiffs are another little-known fellow who will stand little chance of winning, they may probably play dirty and ensure the case drags on.
4. How many personal injury lawsuits they have won in the past year
It’s easy for any law firm to boast of having the finest brains, the most experienced bench and so forth. But nowadays, there’s a massive difference between credentials on a book and the hands-on expertise one has to support the claims. An attorney who frequents the courtroom, handling similar cases and is feared, is better placed to win the case for you.
5. If push comes to shove, will you be willing to go to trial?
It is imperative to choose an attorney who will be willing to fight all the way. Someone who specializes in cases of this nature will not fear to go head-on with the insurance company, especially when you feel the settlement isn’t fair. More importantly, go for a person who would tell the difference between a case worth going for trial and another that’s good for an amicable settlement.
6. Someone with the potential of the highest compensation possible
Using their previous winning record, it’s possible that whoever you will choose will win the case. However, whether it goes into a trial or not, the bottom line is how much he/she will win for you. That’s why it’s great to go for someone who will fight for the highest settlement possible.
7. Ask them if they will handle the case on a contingency-fee basis
Contingency fee basis is a technique that will allow you to pay if the case is won, usually 30% of whatever is gained. By adopting this method of payment, the lawyer will give his/her best. Moreover, it’s normal for personal injury cases to be charged on a contingency fee basis.
8. Consider the Martindale-Hubbell rating
This is probably the most trusted database of lawyers from all over the world. The fact that it’s over 133 years old and includes information about law firms found in over 160 countries means your choice of attorney has been listed in it. You will earn insightful information from the peer reviews.
9. Will he/she be accessible?
It is also recommended that you choose someone you can easily approach for a face-to-face conversation. It should be a person who you are comfortable speaking to and can be trusted. This tip is essential because it helps to choose a person you can relate with.
10. What costs will I have to pay upfront?
Lastly, before you agree to sign the contact form, this is perhaps the most important thing to ask. The attorney should tell you what you will cater for, when and how much. By asking for a clarification on the upfront payments, you will evade all hidden charges and the process will go on smoothly.