According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), in 2016, there were 39.5 million physician office visits for unintentional injuries. There were also 29.2 million emergency room visits and 169,936 deaths.
If you’re lucky, when you suffer from a personal injury, you mend quickly. But according to the US Department of Labor, in 2017, the average time someone took off from work to heal from an injury was eight days.
And if you lose a loved one, their income is gone forever. If you need to hire a bodily injury lawyer, you’ll want to hire the best.
Keep reading to learn some tips for hiring a personal injury lawyer who can help you get back on your feet.
Make Sure You Have a Big Enough Claim for a Bodily Injury Lawyer to Take
If you sprain your ankle and lose a day or two of work before going back on the job, you might not have a case. While it’s inconvenient, it’s not life-altering. It’s expensive for a personal injury lawyer to work on a case like this.
A personal injury lawyer typically won’t take a case unless it’s going to be worth their time and investment. Before consulting with a lawyer, take some time to gather all the evidence you can, including medical records and any receipts you have to prove you have a case worth pursuing.
Find Out About Their Past Experience
There are different types of personal injury cases. Find an attorney who has a proven track record handling your type of case.
Ask how many cases like yours they’ve worked on so far. Then ask what the outcomes were. It’s important to find an attorney with more wins than losses to help you get the best settlement possible.
Talk to Friends and Family
Ask your friends, family, and even business associates if they can recommend a good bodily injury attorney. Often, other attorneys know someone in the business they like and trust who handles your type of case.
Ask them to give you that attorney’s contact information. Don’t forget to ask the person providing you with the referral why they like the attorney. If they’ve worked with them in the past, ask if there was anything they didn’t like about their experience.
Do Some Online Research
Choosing a personal injury lawyer is not just a matter of grabbing the first name on the top of a Google search. Instead, take some time to dig a little deeper.
There are specific search sites like Avvo that offer lists of lawyers practicing bodily injury in your area. Many of these sites even come with ratings.
Read the Good and Bad Reviews
Check on the reviews other clients have left their attorney. Read both the low and high reviews to see what people liked best and least about the attorney.
Keep in mind some of the ratings were left by disgruntled people who may have lost their case. And the more reviews an attorney has, it usually means they have a long history of experience.
Contact a Few Attorneys Directly
Another way to find a good attorney is to pick up the phone. You can contact your state’s bar association or even your county’s bar association. They’ll be happy to provide you with a list of referrals.
But you can also contact law firms as well. Doing so will give you a good idea of what you can expect from both the law firm and the lawyer.
Ask Specific Questions
Many bodily injury attorneys offer free consultations. If you can visit their office in person.
Whether you can visit them in person, always be prepared with a list of questions to ask them. This will give you a good indication of how well you communicate with the attorney in question.
Consider Visiting Them at Their Office
If you make an office visit, pay attention to how they communicate with and treat their employees. This is a good indication of what kind of treatment you can expect to receive from them.
Find out what their fee structures are. While many do not charge any fees until you receive a settlement, some will charge administrative fees even if you lose.
Ask How Long and How Much
Ask how long they think your specific case will take. Ask if they think they’ll need to go to trial or if you can reach an out-of-court settlement instead.
And ask how much you think your case is worth. While you probably won’t be given an exact number, it’s good to know a ballpark figure so you can adjust your expectations with reality.
Reach a Communication Agreement
Good communication is extremely important between you and your attorney. You should always be available to answer questions from your attorney, when and if needed.
But it’s also essential that you remain fully informed of new developments and next steps during the entire duration that an attorney handles your case. You should at least expect to receive weekly or even bi-weekly status updates regarding your case.
Find Out Who is Really Handling Your Case
Make sure it’s the attorney and not a paralegal or a junior lawyer who is handling your case. You deserve to have the primary attorneys full attention the entire time.
If you discover someone else is handling the case, it’s a sign that the attorney is not fully invested in getting you the results you deserve. You should find someone who considers your case to be a priority.
Walk Away From Red Flags
If you’re working with an attorney and your gut feeling is that it’s not working out, trust your instincts. If you find that you’re not receiving timely communications from your attorney, find someone else.
If you discover an attorney has a disciplinary record with a complaint filed against them, they may be been suspended or even disbarred. You can find out this information online and it’s important to find this out before you start working with them.
And if their website information isn’t coinciding with the information other sources, including the attorney themselves is saying, find someone else. You deserve to work with someone you trust.
Learn More About the Legal System
The more you know about how to find the right bodily injury lawyer and what results to expect from your case, the easier the process will be.
We can help educate you on legal matters. Browse our site to learn more about the latest legal information.