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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. Online is also a great place for putting together your initial list of prospects. 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:
Understanding Lawyers
> Biographical Information – Research the lawyer’s background. Does he look like an expert in the type of personal injury claim you have? His profile must reflect the kinds of cases he usually takes up (and which side). If it seems hard to tell, you can always call the office and ask. Explore these lawyers’ websites and see what other information is there. The more you learn about them, the wiser your decision will be.
Smart Ideas: Lawyers Revisited
> 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 practicing in another area, ask him for names of some good prospects in the local scene. > Professional Standing – Visit the lawyer’s website or call your state bar association to know if the lawyer you’re interested in 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? After you’ve narrowed down your list of prospects, inquire about an initial consultation . You don’t have to strike a lawyer off your list just because he couldn’t meet you on short notice. It’s natural for good personal injury lawyers to be busy. Money Issues Most personal injury claim scenarios make it possible to pay an attorney on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that the lawyer will be get a portion of any court award or settlement you receive – typically around a third – and if you don’t receive anything, neither does your lawyer does get paid legal fees. In any case, read the contract before singing it as you may still need to pay for costs (not included in legal fees) such as court stenographer or expert witness fees, photocopying fees, and so on.