Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring an Injury Lawyer

Insurance companies have the financial means to retain highly qualified attorneys who specialize in fighting personal injury claims. The amount of compensation you receive will be determined by your lawyer’s experience and talents.

Most accident victims are unaware that the best and most successful personal injury attorneys in your neighborhood charge the same rates as novice lawyers with no track record of courtroom success.

Don’t choose a personal injury lawyer only on the basis of advertisements. Because these businesses work on a “high volume” and “rapid turnover” basis, there are unscrupulous lawyers who will settle your case quickly for whatever the insurance company will provide.

Every city has a slew of personal injury “want to be” lawyers eager – take your case and settle it quickly for a modest fee (but a huge return on the lawyer’s time investment).

Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You

The legal field that deals with personal injury cases are extensive. Automobile accidents, dangerous property or structures, defective products, and medical negligence are all matters handled by specialized personal injury lawyers.

Whether you were injured in a slip and fall accident, by a dog, or by a careless scooter driver, one of our expert personal injury lawyers can assist you with your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

1. Personal Injury

Personal injury law is broad and covers a wide range of situations in which people have been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence. Fortunately, our personal injury lawyer database is equally extensive, with top lawyers who specialize in a wide range of personal injury claims.

If you’ve been hurt, contact one of our attorneys right once to start the legal process of recovering compensation for your losses.

2. Automobile Accidents

In the United States, automobile accidents account for a substantial percentage of personal injury litigation. It’s no surprise that with over 276 million registered automobiles in the United States, accidents are widespread.

When other factors such as mobile phone use, drinking and driving, weather conditions, teenagers, and speeding are taken into account, the chances of being involved in a car accident increase significantly.

An individual is expected to have three or four accidents throughout the course of his or her lifetime. The National Safety Council estimates that 1 in 102 people will die in a car accident.

In 2016, there were 4.6 million injuries that required medical attention as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Medical bills, motor vehicle property damage, wage and productivity losses, employer costs, and administrative expenses accounted for an estimated $416.2 billion in costs from these accidents. Personal injury attorneys who specialize in car accidents will battle to help their clients recover money for injuries caused in an accident, generally known as damages.

3. Dangerous Property or Buildings

Dangerous property or buildings, as well as defective premises, pose a public safety risk and result in a huge number of lawsuits. Property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to avoid injuring others.

It is conceivable for the affected party to claim damages if they breach this responsibility and someone is injured as a result of their negligence.

A corporate or public building’s premises might be dangerous for a variety of reasons. For example, if a building owner is aware that one of the handrails on a set of stairs is hazardous and does nothing about it, they may be held accountable if someone is injured.

Slip and fall accidents caused by debris left on the floor, such as fruit or vegetables in a grocery store, are another common example of the harm caused by negligence.

Litigations involving dangerous property or structures can be difficult to navigate. LegalMatch lawyers that specialize in these types of cases have the experience and resources to relentlessly pursue recompense for their client’s injuries.

4. Defective Products

Defective product lawsuits typically fall under one of three areas of product liability: defective production, defective design, or failure to provide proper instructions or cautions on how to use the product correctly.

A flaw in the manufacture, design, or failure to offer warnings or instructions on the product must have caused harm in each of these categories.

Attorneys who specialize in product liability can be found in the LegalMatch directory of personal injury lawyers. A class-action lawsuit may be appropriate in some situations, and choosing an attorney with experience in complex litigation is critical.

5. Medical Malpractice

When a doctor’s or other medical professional’s activities do not satisfy the appropriate standard of care, and a patient is wounded as a result of those acts, medical malpractice occurs. Surgical errors, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose medical disorders, birth damage, and pharmaceutical errors are all common sorts of medical malpractice cases.

The plaintiff must be able to prove the existence of a doctor-patient connection, the doctor’s failure to meet the acceptable standard of care for the patient, causation, and actual damages in order to bring a successful medical malpractice claim.

Plaintiffs can sue for both economic and non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.

Loss of income, medical expenditures incurred as a result of the misconduct, lost earning ability, mental anguish, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering are all possible damages.

Because the statute of limitations in medical malpractice claims might be short, a claim must be filed as soon as possible. The statute of limitations and the rules for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit vary significantly by state.

If you have been hurt as a result of a doctor’s or other medical professional’s acts, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

So how do you find a good lawyer for a serious personal injury lawsuit?

You should do some “research” on the lawyers in your area, as you do with any major decision. When you meet with an attorney to discuss your case, you must ask the correct questions to determine whether the attorney has a successful track record.

The goal of this free paper is to give you information about personal injury lawyers that most injury victims are unaware of.

Following the advice in this report could mean the difference between winning your case and walking away with nothing or far less than your case is worth.

1. There are sources that rate personal injury lawyers based on what their colleagues say about them.

For a significant personal injury case, how do you discover a top-notch lawyer? There are certain sites you can look into before picking which lawyer to meet with for a consultation. Checking sources that rank personal injury lawyer reviews based on what their fellow lawyers (and competitors) think about them are one of the most trustworthy ways to study a lawyer’s qualifications.

Please remember that, except for peer review by other lawyers, there is no other formal “rating” system for personal injury lawyers. You should look into the following peer review rating systems:

  • More than 1 million lawyers across the country are rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry (www.martindale.com).It features brief biographies of these attorneys. Martindale-Hubbell has been the most trusted source of authoritative and trustworthy information about members of the legal community in the United States for over 130 years. The ultimate expression of competence, experience, integrity, and overall professional quality is an “AV” grade, which distinguishes a lawyer and a firm with very high to superlative legal abilities. “Clearly shows a demonstration of the highest professional and ethical standards,” according to Martindale-Hubbell, which is created by attorneys for attorneys.
  • The Best Lawyers in the United States (www.bestlawyers.com) In 57 disciplines, including personal injury and medical malpractice law, the lawyers featured in Best Lawyers have been picked by their peers as “the best.”
  • Lawyers with superpowers ( www.superlawyers.com) Super Lawyers is an annual list of exceptional lawyers from more than 70 practise areas who have achieved a high level of peer recognition and professional performance. In a process meant to identify lawyers who have earned a high level of peer recognition and professional performance, Law & Politics conducts polling, research, and selection of Super Lawyers. Only 5% (5%) of the lawyers in each state are designated as Super Lawyers.

2. Ask the lawyer, “What percentage of your cases are referrals from other lawyers”?

If you want to find out who the best personal injury lawyers in your area are, talk to the local lawyers. It’s critical to learn if a large portion of a lawyer’s caseload is derived from referrals from other lawyers. Professionals in any field or career usually have a decent idea of who is good and who isn’t.

It might be a good idea to start with an attorney or a friend who practices law. Even if he or she does not handle personal injury or malpractice cases, they are likely to have colleagues who are familiar with the personal injury or malpractice lawyers in your town who are regarded as the best by their peers.

3. Be careful about lawyers who send “solicitation” letters to your home following an accident.

A growing number of personal injury lawyers are engaging runners or “gophers” to get traffic accident records from local and state police officers. Once the accident reports have been collected, a member of the law firm’s staff will search through them to identify the accident victim’s name and address.

The law firm will next send the injured victim a “solicitation” letter alerting him or her that the firm is ready and eager to represent him or her in a personal injury lawsuit. It is not uncommon for an accident victim in our neighborhood to receive fifteen to twenty solicitation letters from law firms.

A law company in southern Indiana sends a solicitation to every single traffic accident victim in the state where a police report is available. Some law firms may continue to send solicitation letters after the initial letter has been issued, and will even have a staff member call the accident victim to inquire if the solicitation letters have been received.

The great majority of law firms that rely on solicitation letters run on the principle of “high volume, quick turnover.”

They are having trouble getting referrals from satisfied clients or other lawyers, so they resort to sending out hundreds (and often thousands) of solicitation letters in the hopes of receiving responses. It’s safe to assume that injury victims who choose an attorney based on a solicitation letter they received in the mail haven’t done any research on the business they’ve chosen.

Many states are working on guidelines and legislation to prevent lawyers from sending solicitation letters to accident victims.

4. Virtually all personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation and will not charge a fee unless there is a recovery.

Anyone who has ever seen or seen any form of advertisement from a personal injury company (TV commercials, yellow pages, internet sites, direct mail solicitation letters, etc.) quickly learns that all accident lawyers make the same offers:

  • “If there is no recovery, there is no cost.”
  • “There is no charge for the initial consultation.”
  • “We’ll pay you a visit at home or in the hospital”.

“A lawyer who offers you a “free consultation” and tells you that he or she will not charge you a fee until your case is successful (a “contingent fee” arrangement) is not providing you with anything unusual. Almost every lawyer who focuses on personal injury lawsuits will make a similar offer.

5. What does it mean when a lawyer says “no fee if no recovery”?

Almost every personal injury lawyer works on a contingency fee basis when it comes to injury matters. A “contingent” fee is one in which the attorney does not get paid unless the case is won, and the fee is a percentage of the sum won. (in most cases, 33.33 percent of the total amount recovered).

That implies the lawyer will not charge the client a fee unless and until the case is successfully resolved. Isn’t it straightforward? Not so fast, my friend. Before selecting a lawyer for their case, personal injury sufferers should exercise caution in this area.

If a lawyer accepts your injury case on a contingent fee basis and loses, there will be no question about whether you owe the lawyer anything for his or her legal services.

Nothing is owed to you. Nothing is one-third of nothing. Consumers should be aware, however, that there is a significant distinction between legal fees and case “expenses.” Almost every personal injury case has some “expenses” that must be paid in order to effectively prepare the case.

Expert witness fees, court reporter fees, charges for medical records, charges for physician reports, filing fees, and the many other expenses that go into a personal injury lawsuit are all examples of case expenses.

Different law firms handle case expenses in different ways. In a typical car accident lawsuit involving a settlement of less than $100,000,

However, litigation costs in a major personal injury lawsuit involving permanent or catastrophic damage, or in a medical negligence case, can exceed $50,000. Different firms handle these ongoing legal expenses in different ways, which is largely determined by the firm’s ideology and financial resources:

  • One method is to ask the client to pay all or a considerable portion of the litigation costs upfront or on a regular basis. A client’s financial situation may be jeopardised as a result of this strategy.
  • Another option is for the lawyer to pay all expenses as the case progresses, with the client reimbursing the lawyer from any recovery after the lawyer’s contingency fee is reduced. For example, if the recovery is $270,000 and the lawyer and client have agreed to a one-third contingency fee plus reimbursement of the lawyer’s expenses advanced, and the lawyer has advanced $10,000 toward the case expenditures, the settlement’s final distribution will look like this:
  • You will be compensated $170,000
  • The attorney will be paid $90,000 for his services;
  • A total of $10,000 will be returned to the lawyer as reimbursement for fees.

What happens if the case isn’t successful? Some lawyers have a policy of not requiring their clients to reimburse them for “out-of-pocket” fees. Other lawyers anticipate that if the lawsuit is lost, the client will reimburse the law firm for all expenditures.

As a consumer with options, you should learn about the lawyer’s policy on refund of expenses in the event that the case is lost. Don’t accept a lawyer’s remark that says, “Don’t worry about it; I’ve never lost a case.” Even the finest personal injury attorneys lose cases now and then.

6. Does this lawyer have the financial and staffing resources to take on my case?

As previously stated, bringing a claim involving serious or catastrophic bodily injury to court can be exceedingly costly. A typical medical malpractice lawsuit, for example, may involve three, six, or even more medical specializations, each of which requires the hiring of an expert witness to deal with concerns specific to that profession.

Accident reconstruction specialists and trucking safety experts, as well as experts who will be needed to testify regarding the type and extent of a client’s injuries, may be involved in a major injury case against a trucking firm (treating physicians, life care planners, vocational experts, economists, etc.).

If a lawyer lacks the financial means to properly support a case, he or she may cut corners at the expense of the client’s case. Alternatively, a customer may be persuaded to accept an inadequate settlement. It pays to employ a lawyer with the financial means to take a matter to trial if required.

7. What kinds of cases does this lawyer handle on a daily basis?

Some lawyers are “general practitioners,” meaning they handle a wide range of legal issues, including personal injury lawsuits on occasion. If you have a significant personal injury claim, you should hire a lawyer that deals with these types of matters on a daily basis.

The practice of law has gotten so complicated that it is nearly impossible for a general practice attorney to keep up with all of the changes in personal injury and medical malpractice law.

The majority of lawyers recruited by insurance companies to defend personal injury lawsuits are seasoned professionals who focus solely on personal injury defense. A general practitioner will almost certainly be at a significant disadvantage.

8. How long has this lawyer been handling personal injury cases?

Injury victims are typically charged the same “contingent” fee by lawyers who handle personal injury or medical malpractice claims, regardless of how long they have been practicing.

If a lawyer with only three years of experience charges the same fee as a lawyer with 25 years of experience and 100 personal injury jury trials under his or her belt, you should strongly consider selecting the more experienced lawyer. Your lawyer’s experience can make a significant impact on the result of your case.

9. Does this lawyer actually try lawsuits in court?

Most lay people believe that all personal injury lawyers regularly attend court and try cases. The opposite could not be further from the truth. A considerable number of lawyers claiming to be “trial lawyers” or “personal injury lawyers” have or little jury trial experience.

One of the first questions you should ask is whether or not the lawyer has ever tried a case in court, and if so, how frequently. This is a crucial subject that many ordinary people seldom consider.

Lawyers who defend personal injury cases are aware of the difference between injury lawyers who try cases and those who don’t. That information is used by insurance firms to assess their risk.

When an insurance adjuster receives a significant claim, one of the first questions he or she will ask is, “Who is representing the plaintiff?”

There is only one method to receive top dollar in a settlement for your case. Your lawyer must convince the insurance company that he or she is ready, willing, and able to take the case to court. Be prepared to accept a significant discount on your case if you pick a lawyer who always settles and never goes to court.

10. Does this lawyer teach other lawyers?

Lawyers who frequently speak at legal education seminars (also known as “CLE” – or continuing legal education) are respected by their peers. Other attorneys want to hear what they have to say, therefore they are asked to speak at legal education seminars.

Lawyers who publish articles for legal magazines on a regular basis are usually experts in their fields and know what they’re talking about. On their websites, many personal injury lawyers will mention the topics of their speaking engagements or books.

If you want to discover if a lawyer teaches other lawyers about personal injury law or produces articles on personal injury litigation, look into it.

11. Is this lawyer a member of legal organizations that specialize in representing injured people?

There are national and state organizations made up of lawyers that specialize in representing accident victims. These groups fund legal publications as well as legal education activities. They also engage in lobbying on behalf of consumer rights.

The American Association of Justice is the most well-known national organization (AAJ). The Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) is a statewide association of plaintiff attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights of injured people in Indiana.

You can find a lawyer who isn’t a member of any of these organizations, but why would you want that lawyer to represent you in a serious injury lawsuit?

12. Is this lawyer a “board-certified” civil trial lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy?

The medical profession has used a system of examination and peer evaluation known as “board certification” for many years. Board certification is used to identify doctors who are experts in a specific field of medicine or sub-speciality. In recent years, the legal system has begun to imitate the medical profession’s board-certification process.

The Nationwide Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is a national organization that provides a board certification process for civil trial lawyers. The National Board of Trial Advocacy is part of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification, which is a broader lawyer certification body.

Only attorneys with substantial experience in the courts and in the preparation of cases for the trial are eligible for NBTA accreditation as a “civil trial attorney.” Before gaining board certification as a civil trial attorney from the NBTA, an applicant must pass an all-day examination in addition to having courtroom experience.

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