You can file a personal injury claim for compensation after you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another person. If your injury is minor, it may be a good idea to handle the claim yourself. However, if your injuries are severe or the guilty party is difficult, you’ll probably want a personal injury attorney to handle it. You should not just hire a lawyer for help. You want a lawyer who is experienced in handling your type of case.
This article discusses the seven secrets to finding a good personal injury attorney for your case.
Tips for choosing the best personal injury lawyer
1. Choose a lawyer who only specializes in personal injury law
Personal injury law is complicated and involves many specialized rules and practices. Lawyers who handle divorces, wills, trusts, or bankruptcy can be anything, but not masters. They don’t try business, and insurance companies lowball accordingly. You risk the quality of your representation if you choose an attorney who does not specialize in personal injury law. 2. Select a personal injury attorney with a proven history of high judgments and settlements
If you have a major case involving serious injuries, it’s essential to know that your attorney can make an important ruling or settlement. Ask your attorney how many million dollar judgments or settlements he has had. Are they members of the Million Dollar Advocates? The Million Dollar Advocates is a reputable organization of lawyers who have settled or adjudicated cases worth one million dollars or more. Not every case is worth a million dollars, but if you have such a case, make sure you have a lawyer who can deliver the goods. Choose an attorney who has a history of handling cases if necessary
Many, if not most, attorneys who advertise personal injury cases have never seen the inside of a courtroom. They take your case, try to pressure you to settle for a pittance. Insurance companies are very aggressive. If they know your lawyer won’t go to court, that he’s afraid of the courtroom, they’ll take advantage of this and make ridiculous offers or make little or no effort to settle your case. They know that your lawyer is shooting blind and that he will fold his hand and pressure you to fold too if he sees the underwriter not budging. If your attorney isn’t willing to take the case to a jury, the insurer knows that and will hurt you. 4. Find a lawyer who has the resources to take your case seriously
Look around you when you hire a lawyer. Do they look like they are successful? Does their office look like they are doing well? Does the lawyer have a line of credit or personal assets necessary to properly prepare your case? Serious personal injury cases are expensive to prepare. Many experts are needed to properly prepare a case. Often many doctors have to have their statements taken and later have to appear in court. Other experts should be hired, such as economists, biomechanics, accident reconstruction specialists, vocational rehabilitation specialists and life care planners. The cost in a single case can often exceed $100,000 if properly prepared. Make sure your lawyer has enough money to play with the big boys.
Serious personal injury attorneys work with and learn from other excellent personal injury attorneys. In today’s challenging environment where insurers don’t hesitate to use dirty tricks and underhanded methods to make injured people look bad, it’s critical to be up to date and know what the insurers are up to. 6. The lawyer should allow you to talk to his previous clients if you ask
If a lawyer is good, do you think they would have a problem allowing you to speak to previous clients they have represented? Any attorney worth his money has happy clients he’s not ashamed of, you can talk to. If a Sacramento accident lawyer tells you that they can’t allow you to speak to former clients, you should carefully consider whether there might be a reason for that. Maybe they haven’t done such an excellent job for those customers in the past.7. Retain an attorney written and taught in the personal injury field
Ask the attorney you’re considering hiring about articles they’ve written on personal injury and presentations they’ve given to other personal injury attorneys. Have they had a public TV show where they talked to the public about personal injury? If the attorney has never written, never presented to other attorneys, never hosted a TV show, consider how much he probably knows about his field.