How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, you may need a lawyer to represent your claim. But how can you know what to look for in a personal injury lawyer to make the right choice? Read this article and discover a few helpful tips.
Millions of Americans sustain unintentional or accidental injuries every year. According to the CDC, the year 2015 alone saw 2.8 million people hospitalized with 27.6 million treated in an emergency room for such injuries. What’s more, accidental injuries cause, on average, 1 death every 3 minutes–a truly staggering statistic! Clearly, accidents are an unavoidable fact of daily American life that can have a deep impact on both individuals and communities.
A victim may struggle to cope with how unjust such a mishap may feel. Usually, an accident that resulted in serious injuries could have been avoided if another person or party hadn’t acted negligently or recklessly. There’s little wonder, then, that many victims choose to take advantage of their legal rights and pursue a legal claim against those who are responsible for their plight.
The injured party may, indeed, benefit from filing a personal injury claim in a variety of ways. Apart from the sense of emotional closure either a settlement or positive jury verdict may bring, victims may also obtain monetary compensation for their injury. Compensation may help minimize the financial impact of the injury and protect the victim’s budget during the adjustment to new circumstances.
If you have been injured in an accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, choosing the right lawyer is one of the best ways to increase your chances of prevailing in the legal battle ahead of you. In this article, we explain why your choice is so crucial and what you must take into consideration when choosing an attorney.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
In the Internet era, it may be tempting to teach yourself. It’s easy to believe that saving time and money is possible if you choose to represent yourself in a personal injury claim instead of contracting a lawyer. It seems that all the information you need is right at your fingertips. Self-representation is, after all, a legally viable option. At face value, such reasoning may seem practical and appealing. However, while it is true that it is possible to choose self-representation, you may actually be setting yourself up for self-defeat.
Personal injury law is complex, and handling a legal claim is challenging. This undertaking requires more theoretical knowledge than you can possibly find, understand, and assimilate–even if you are an avid Internet user and have good research skills. With little or no previous experience in dealing with legal matters, it may be all too easy for you to misunderstand a crucial term, miss an important deadline, or fail to fulfill another important legal requirement. Any such misgiving can automatically render your claim invalid.
Beyond theoretical knowledge, preparing and successfully defending a personal injury claim also requires practical skills that take years to gain, hone, and learn how to apply. Such skills involve gathering evidence, preparing a strong claim, handling negotiations with the at-fault party, and being able to discern unfair strategies of the insurance companies–to name just a few. If you work with an experienced attorney, he or she will employ knowledge and skills to ensure a successful resolution of your claim so that you can focus entirely on your physical and emotional recovery.
Now that we’ve established that it’s in your best interest to let an experienced injury lawyer represent your claim, there is another outstanding question: How can you know which attorney you should choose? Below, we list 3 essential qualities you must seek in a personal injury lawyer.
A Good Personal Injury Lawyer is Empathetic
Coping with an accidental injury and its impact on your life may be extremely taxing–physically, emotionally, and financially. It may be challenging and even embarrassing for you to discuss your injuries and how your life changed as a result. Recounting the accident with all its details may also be difficult and emotionally exhausting, as it may prompt painful memories to resurface and cause you to relive your trauma.
That’s why, when choosing a good personal injury lawyer, you need to look for someone tactful, respectful, and empathetic. This kind of lawyer will treat you with the dignity you deserve and have your best interest in mind and at heart throughout the duration of your claim.
Therefore, if an attorney does the following, then he or she may be an excellent candidate:
- Listens to you attentively during the initial consultation
- Doesn’t allow him- or herself to be distracted by technology
- Asks questions about your situation
- Acknowledges your plight
A Good Personal Injury Lawyer Has Courtroom Experience
Most personal injury claims end in settlements and never evolve in full-fledged lawsuits. In fact, this is often seen as the preferred solution, since settling is quicker than going to court and gives both sides more control over the end result. Yet, if you want to truly ensure that your claim will prevail and you will be able to obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve, you should only work with an attorney who has courtroom experience.
A skilled attorney will endeavor to bring your claim to a swift and successful resolution–but will prioritize your best interest first and foremost. Therefore, if the at-fault party and their representatives are unresponsive, make unreasonable demands, or offer a settlement amount below the actual worth of your claim, a good attorney will not hesitate to fight for your rights in the court of law.
However, in order to prevail, the attorney must have ample experience in representing clients in the courtroom with courage and confidence. In reality, choosing a lawyer without courtroom experience may greatly diminish your chances of success.
A Good Personal Injury Lawyer Has a Proven Record
It is fairly accurate to say that when it comes to good personal injury lawyers, their reputation precedes them. Therefore, before settling on an attorney, investigate his or her track record. If the attorney managed to secure compensation for his or her clients many times before, it may be a good indication of future performance as well. In addition, some personal injury lawyers feature testimonies from previous clients on their website which may give you a good idea of how working with them looks like.
The decision to choose the right personal injury lawyer may seem overwhelming. It is usually best to try to talk to a few personal injury lawyers before selecting the one who will represent you. In any case, recalling the benefits of working with an attorney will motivate you to take care in deciding–and remembering the factors mentioned in this article will help you make the right choice.