One major reason people don’t seek out legal representation is because they erroneously perceive that they cannot afford it. A personal injury lawyer will hear the facts of your situation and determine if you have a case or not for free. You should not be paying anyone for an initial consultation.
You Want Experience
Generally, most legal professionals practice one or two types of law. Make sure the attorney that you are hiring is experienced with the type of case that you have. For example, a personal injury lawyer may have a lot of experience with medical malpractice cases, but the same counselor may have almost no experience with big rig accidents. This information is good to find out. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their past cases that are similar to yours, but don’t expect the results to be the same. Beware of ambulance chasers! In most states it is illegal to solicit clients from hospitals. If you were hurt and then started receiving letters, e-mails, or phone calls from attorneys, ignore them. These people are hardly professionals. They are seeking a quick buck at your expense.
Lawsuits are not Always Necessary
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to go to court or even file a lawsuit to get a settlement. Almost everybody wants to avoid a lengthy, costly court battle. You may get offered settlements before you even hire a personal injury lawyer. Never accept a settlement before you talk to a legal professional. A good counselor will know if you are being swindled. If they think they are offering you something less than you could get in court, they will advise you to reject the offer and take it to trial. Rejecting a settlement offer could also result in a better settlement deal being offered by the other party.
Find Out What the Fees Will be Upfront
A personal injury lawyer will have you sign a contract if you decide to hire them. Make sure you know what their fee is going to be. Generally, this price ranges between 20 and 33 percent, but it could go as high as 45 percent of the awarded damages. If you should lose your case, they will get nothing, so you don’t have to worry about paying them in the case of a loss. Sometimes they charge you extra for their expenses, and sometimes they cover it themselves. Make sure you understand the deal with their expenses before you sign any contracts.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend right away, choose legal representation that will let you make payments for their services. Many attorneys allow you to pay a small fee upfront, then pay off the rest of their services as your case progresses. Most lawyers should be able to give you an accurate estimate of their fees upfront, and not vary them as your need for them continues. Choose a person who will understand your budget limitations.
You want legal aid right now, not in a few weeks. Choose attorneys who can get you in their office within a few days, so you can begin working on your case right away. The sooner a lawyer is willing to see you, the sooner they can handle your case.