Groups » Six Tips to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

Personal injury occurs when you suffer an injury due to the negligence or carelessness of another person. The injury can be caused to your body or mind. Personal injury also includes wrongful death, where the victim dies due to the injuries suffered.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, you have every right to claim compensation. Monetary compensation, termed as damages, will not mitigate your sufferings entirely, but it will help you bring your life back on track and offset the heavy medical costs incurred as a result of the injury.

One of the first and most important steps towards making a personal injury claim is to find the right lawyer to represent you. Make sure to conduct thorough research before zeroing in on your lawyer, because he or she can mean the difference between winning and losing your case.

Ask for References

The simplest way to start searching for a personal injury lawyer is to scout in your familiar social circles. Your friends or colleagues may have experienced working with lawyers. But, it will be best if you do not make your decision solely on the basis of someone else’s recommendation. Personal opinions may be biased or completely off the mark. Ensure you meet up with the lawyers in-person and find out who you will like to work with.

Check Online Reviews and Ratings

Make use of the numerous review sites to get a fair idea about a lawyer’s skills, reputation, and success. But, keep in mind the rating programs are only objective indicators – you should also conduct a personal evaluation of the lawyer. Online lawyer directories will also help you reach professionals in your area, and reduce your confusion regarding how to choose a personal injury attorney.

Some sites to refer to include Avvo Ratings, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review, Nolo Lawyers Directory, Super Lawyers, LawyersRatingz,, and CertifiedLawyer.

You will be able to shortlist the names of a few attorneys based on the recommendations you have received and their ratings on reliable sites.

Check the Experience and Specialty of the Lawyer

Experience and specialty will determine the efficiency with which your lawyer will be able to handle your case.

Ensure that you work with a lawyer who is specialized and experienced in the area of personal injury litigation. Experienced lawyers will know about the tactics involved in fighting cases and will have the right approach toward insurance defense.

Check the percentage of the lawyer’s practice that comprises personal injury cases. If the practice is dedicated to other areas of specialization, like DUI or drug possession cases, then the lawyer may not be a good fit for your case.

Often, victims seek lesser claim than they deserve or show willingness to settle for meager compensation. When you work with an experienced lawyer, however, he or she will help you make a proper claim that covers your losses and provides for current and future medical needs.

Lawyers experienced in personal injury litigation will have experience in negotiating with insurance companies. They will know the manner in which insurance companies evaluate and estimate damages in personal injury cases. Experienced attorneys will also have goodwill and integrity among insurance companies, increasing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Understand Billing and Fee Structures

Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency basis. This means that you will have to bear the cost of litigation and pay the lawyer’s fees only when you win a favorable settlement or verdict. In the majority of cases, the lawyer’s fee will be a percentage of the compensation amount. You will have to enter into a contract stating the percentage that will be paid as remuneration when you get a favorable result.

It is important that you are aware about fees and billing structures prevalent in your area to understand litigation costs. Typically, lawyers charge about 1/3 of the settlement or compensation amount that they win for the plaintiff.

Meet Your Lawyer in Person

Busy personal injury lawyers will have paralegals and secretaries to attend to clients. But, do make sure that you meet your lawyer in person and speak to him or her about your case. This will give you a better idea about the capabilities, experience, and attitude of the lawyer.

If the lawyer has no time to meet you in-person, the chances of a personal meeting afterwards are also slim. You will either have to deal with junior lawyers at the practice, or the lawyer will assign your case to someone else at the practice. If that is the case, do ensure to meet the lawyer who will be working on your case, as well.

Do not choose a personal injury lawyer who does not have the time to meet you or understand your case.

Discuss Your Settlement Goal

During your initial consultation with the attorney, discuss your case and the negotiations you are having with the insurance company. He or she will go through your records – including medical reports, bills and other expenses, and the police report – to verify the merits of your case. After that, the attorney will be able to give you a rough estimate of how much your case is worth and how much compensation you will be able to win.

The lawyer will also discuss with you your expectations regarding the settlement and whether you would prefer to settle for a certain amount as soon as possible, keeping costs low. You can also opt to fight for maximum compensation if you are not worried about the litigation stretching on for a long time.

Your personal injury lawyer will be able to win the compensation you deserve and will be able to tilt the case in your favor using smart tactics. So, take your time to decide and only work with a lawyer whom you are comfortable with and are sure will be the best fit for your case.

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