If you’ve been injured in an accident and you’d like to file an injury claim or lawsuit, finding an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential. Hiring the right lawyer will not only ensure you file your claim correctly—but a good lawyer can also help you increase your chance of winning your case and getting the maximum compensation. But how do you know which lawyer is the best for you, and what should you consider when choosing an attorney for your case?
We know choosing a lawyer can be overwhelming, but the great news is that we can help! Here are five essential things to remember when looking for a personal injury attorney:
1. Check Their Experience
When choosing an attorney, one of the first things to consider is whether they have any experience representing (and winning) similar cases. Just like you wouldn’t hire a French chef to cook you American food, in the same way, you wouldn’t want to hire a general attorney to represent your workers’ compensation case. That’s an extreme example—but you get the point.
Be sure to hire an attorney who is experienced in personal injury cases, knows the ins and outs of the laws that pertain to your case, and knows your geographical location like the back of their hand. A lawyer specializing in personal injury will have more insight and pull with insurance companies—not to mention hold more weight in compensation negotiations.
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2. Read Their References & Reviews
When searching for a lawyer to represent you in your personal injury case, it’s absolutely vital to check out their references and reviews. Pay attention to what people say about how they treat their clients or their attention to detail. How do they respond to negative reviews? Do you know other people who your potential attorney has represented? Ask them about their experience. These questions will help you paint a better picture of what your experience could be like. Hiring a lawyer isn’t the same as online shopping, but if you wouldn’t buy a purse without checking reviews, you sure as heck shouldn’t hire a lawyer without doing it either!
3. Make Sure They Have Successful Experience in Litigation
With most personal injury cases, lawyers will have to go head-to-head with insurance companies that want nothing more than to push for the lowest settlement possible. In cases like these, you’ll need an experienced attorney who isn’t afraid to dig their heels in the ground on your behalf, even to the point of litigation. Insurance companies know many lawyers are afraid of or inexperienced in litigation, which affects the level of their offer. If your potential attorney does not have a record of fighting aggressively for their clients, you may want to rethink your choice as they may not have the grit necessary to win your case.
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4. Review The Lawyer’s Credentials & Track Record
Practicing law requires a lot of time, diligence, and a particular score on the bar exam—but additional criteria for practicing law will vary from state to jurisdiction. You never imagine your lawyer fudging their credentials, but the truth is, it happens all the time. Here are some good questions to ask when researching your potential personal injury attorney:
Have they completed and passed the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) before entering law school?
Have they graduated from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association?
If they practice in multiple states, have they taken the Bar exam in each state?
Are they up-to-date about legal developments that affect their area of practice?
Are they board-certified in personal injury litigation?
The end goal of taking your case to court is to win, so your lawyer must have the licenses needed. If not, the other side may find out and use it against you.
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5. Find Out Their Fee Structure
Different law firms will have different fee structures; that’s why it’s essential to clearly understand your lawyer’s pay structure to avoid surprise fees down the road. Most personal injury law offices work on a contingency basis, meaning you only have to pay the lawyer’s fee if you win your case—with the fees coming out of your settlement amount. Keep in mind that not all firms are created equal. It’s important to know if your lawyer loses your case, there may still be some fees you’ll have to pay, like expert witness and court-related costs. Again, if you’ve been in an accident, you’ve had enough surprises—so clarify your financial responsibilities before signing agreements with your potential lawyer.
A car accident, slip-and-fall, or work injury can be a stressful experience, and looking for a competent personal injury lawyer to represent your case can add to your stress and frustration. But the last thing you need is more stress. With the extensive knowledge of personal injury laws and the necessary experience in trial, a skilled South Carolina personal injury attorney at the Hammack Law Firm can sort out all legal matters while you focus on your recovery. We will provide excellent service through attentive and diligent legal practice while fighting for the settlement you truly deserve!
Find out how hard our personal injury lawyers fight for you by calling one of our team members today.