Accident victims often turn to a personal injury lawyer after being hurt by a careless driver. It's the best way, after all, to ensure they are paid the money damages they deserve. When considering what personal injury lawyer is best for your situation, it's important to do things the right way. That way, you can be confident in your attorney's representation and advice. Read on for some tips on getting this important action right.
The Focus of the Lawyer's Practice
You will notice that lawyers work in a myriad of different fields. You would not choose to work with a divorce lawyer if you were arrested, for instance. Many personal injury lawyers, however, work also in related fields. It's not a bad thing if your personal injury lawyer also helps people with their Social Security or workers' compensation issues. In some cases, these issues intertwine with each other. For instance, a hurt worker may also sue their employer in certain circumstances. A badly injured car accident victim may need to also seek Social Security help.
- Ask the attorney about their auto accident experience when you meet them for the first time. Most are happy to tell you what you need to know.
- Ask for recommendations from friends, coworkers, and relatives. Word of mouth is an excellent reference.
- Don't be surprised if you speak to a paralegal, legal assistant, or other team members when you first call. All lawyers screen clients that way. You can trust anyone who works in the same office as the lawyer to help you and maintain confidentiality.
Understand the Fee Structure
Lawyers practicing personal injury law and a few other forms of law may use a contingency fee plan. That means their fees are contingent on the outcome of the case. If you don't win any money from the settlement or the court case, you don't owe the lawyer anything either. Be sure you go over the details of the agreement and understand what you are signing. In most cases, the lawyer is paid a percentage of any money you win.
Though less common, you might also encounter a lawyer who charges by the hour. In that situation, you pay the lawyer a set amount to get the case started (the retainer). The lawyer's time is billed by the hour against the retainer. You may have to add more money to the retainer if it runs out. The other way to pay a lawyer is by a flat fee. That means they will represent you for x amount of dollars.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer to learn more about any of the above.