Being injured in an accident can be tough for anyone. In a split second, your whole life can change, causing you physical pain for months, years, or even longer. Accidents can also cause mental distress, which can take its toll on your physical health and cause just as many issues as physical pain.
Then you start looking at the time you have to take off work (possibly unpaid) to deal with doctors and lawyers and then the hospital bills. The combined cost of these can throw your finances into complete disarray, on top of your physical and/or mental ailments.
These are all great reasons you need to hire a talented personal injury attorney to fight for you and your case. How do you find and hire a great attorney who can fight on your behalf and get compensation from the party that caused you these problems?
Read on for a step-by-step guide on the process.
1. Determine the Area of Law You Need Representation In
There are many different types of personal injury cases. But most of them will fit under one of these broad categories:
- Auto accidents: These can be anything from a car wreck, a truck accident, or one involving a motorcycle or pedestrian. If you were injured in any type of accident involving a vehicle, you need an attorney who specializes in this arena.
- Workplace accidents: If you were injured at work, you need an attorney who specializes in workplace accidents. These cases can be tricky so you need someone who knows the ins and outs of this area of law.
- Defective products: If you were injured by a defective product, you need an attorney who specializes in lawsuits based on tainted or malfunctioning products.
- Slip-and-fall accidents: Attorneys who specialize in slip-and-fall injuries are best equipped to handle the resulting lawsuits.
- Medical malpractice: If you have experienced negative medical effects due to a doctor or medical facility’s negligence, you will need to choose an attorney familiar with this field of law.
2. Search for Licensed Attorneys
The next step is to start searching for personal injury attorneys in your area. Start by asking friends, family, and co-workers if they know of any good attorneys.
You can also run an online search for personal injury attorneys; a simple Google search will turn up a large number of results. You could also search using attorney directories, such as Avvo and Nolo. These directories will provide you with a list of personal injury attorneys in your area, as well as information on their experience, background, education, and more.
When you’re searching for a personal injury attorney, be sure to confirm that they’re licensed to practice in your state. Each state has its own rules and regulations for attorneys, so you want to confirm the attorney you hire is licensed to practice in your state.
3. Look for Discipline History
Once you’ve compiled a list of personal injury attorneys, start looking into their backgrounds. You want to make sure the attorney you choose to hire doesn’t have any disciplinary issues in the past.
To confirm this, you can check the website for your state’s bar association. Each state has a bar association that licenses and handles attorney issues. The website for the bar association in your state should have a list of all the personal injury attorneys who are licensed to practice in your state.
You can also check out the American Bar Association’s National Lawyer Regulatory Databank, a database of attorney disciplinary records from all over the country.
4. Check Out Past Client Reviews
Next, you should read past client reviews. This is a great way to get an idea of what it’s like to work with an attorney. You can find past client reviews by searching for an attorney online. Make sure to look for reviews not only on the lawyer’s own website but also on third-party websites.
5. Call the Office for a Consultation
Once you’ve found an attorney you’re interested in, call their office for a consultation. Consultations are normally at no charge, but ask when you call to schedule an appointment.
During the consultation, be sure to ask all of the questions you have about the case. You will get a feel for the attorney, and see if you’re comfortable working with them.
6. Come With Questions
Before you go for your consultation, be sure to write out a list of questions. This will help you get the most out of the consultation and make sure you don’t have to remember all of them in the moment. Take notes during the consultation as well so you don’t have to recall everything that’s said but can simply refer to your notes.
Some questions you may want to ask include:
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- How many personal injury cases have you handled?
- What are your success rates in personal injury cases?
- What is your fee structure?
- Have you handled cases like this before?
7. Review Your Options
After the consultation, sit down and review all of your options. You may want to hire the personal injury attorney you met with, or you may want to keep looking.
8. Sign a Contingency Fee Agreement
If you choose to hire an attorney, you will need to sign a contingency fee agreement. This agreement states that the attorney will only get paid if they win your case.
Contingency fees are normally a percentage of the settlement or verdict. For example, an attorney may charge a 33 percent contingency fee. This means that if you settle your case for $10,000, the attorney will get $3,333. If you win a verdict for $30,000, the attorney will get $10,000.
Find the Right Personal Injury Attorney for You
Hiring a personal injury attorney can be a daunting task, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be able to find an attorney who is a good fit for your case.
If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney, contact Warren Allen LLP. Warren Allen LLP is a top personal injury law firm serving Oregon and Washington with years of experience. They have a proven track record of success in personal injury cases.