What Do You Know About Lawyers

How to Pick a Personal Injury Lawyer Choosing the right lawyer can make an immense difference in the result of your personal injury claim, which makes picking out the right lawyer a vital decision. Most attorneys who focus on personal injury law represent only one side of these kinds of cases – the plaintiff (the individual who was injured) or the defendant (the person or entity alleged to have caused the injury). Word of mouth and personal recommendations are often the best place to start searching for a lawyer. Web resources are also a good starting point for creating an initial list of candidates to consider. Whittling It Down Regardless of where you found your prospects, you’ll want to trim down that list to three or four using the following criteria:
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> Biographical Information – Learn about the lawyer’s background. Does he look like an expert in the type of personal injury claim you have? His profile must offer a picture of the types of cases he often handles (and which side he’s on). If it seems hard to tell, you can always call the office and ask. See what other information you can find in these lawyers’ websites. The more informed you are, the better you will be able to decide.
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> Professional Associations – Determine whether the lawyer is part of any national, state or local trial lawyers’ associations. > Location – If you have a working relationship with a lawyer whose practice is based in another area, ask for names of some good local prospects. > Professional Standing – Get in touch with your state bar association or check out their website to see if the lawyer you are eyeing is in good standing. > Conflicts of Interest Does the lawyer represent anybody who might be affiliated with any of the parties you are planning to sue, or anybody who may have an interest in the result of the case? Once you’ve trimmed down your list of prospects, ask them each about a consultation . There’s no need to strike a lawyer off your list if he can’t meet you on short notice. Remember, good personal injury lawyers are usually busy. Money Issues Most personal injury claim scenarios make it possible to pay an attorney on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that you will only have to pay the lawyer when you have received the settlement or court award – usually about a third of that amount – and if you don’t receive any, your lawyer won’t get paid his legal fees either. In any case, it’s a must that you read the contract before affixing your signature, and understand that you may still have to pay for some “costs” (separate from legal fees) like photocopying fees, expert witness fees, court stenographer fees, and the rest.