How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for You

You suffered an injury from another party in a car accident recently. Between not working and paying medical bills, making ends meet is hard. It doesn’t have to be like this. You can receive compensation when you prove another party’s negligence triggered the accident. Reach out a seasoned Booneville car accident attorney near you for assistance.

A licensed personal injury attorney may secure compensation for your injuries and other losses. Learn more about choosing the right personal injury attorney for you below.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law covers a variety of tort cases that arise when someone’s wrongful act or negligence causes harm to another person.

The most common personal injury cases are:

A personal injury law claim aims to compensate you for your losses, such as medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Receiving compensation in a personal injury claim involves proving the following to the insurance company or civil court:

  • The defendant had a duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty of care to obey traffic laws and not injure others.
  • The defendant violated their duty of care by running a red light.
  • You suffered harm from the breach of duty of care, such as broken bones and lost income.
  • You can receive compensation for your losses through monetary damages.

Most personal injury claims settle out of court; the lawsuit process is time-consuming and expensive, and both sides often are motivated to avoid litigation. But if the plaintiff and defendant cannot agree to a settlement, your attorney may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Why Is Choosing The Right Personal Injury Lawyer Important?

Finding the right attorney out of hundreds or thousands may appear daunting and confusing, but it’s one of the most critical choices after an accident. However, choosing the right personal injury attorney is worth the time and trouble.

They will advocate for your rights and ensure you get the most money for your losses. Your attorney will also ensure that you receive justice for the wrongful actions taken against you.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Personal Injury Attorney

A lawyer writing notes on legal pad with pen during a court hearing

There are thousands of personal injury lawyers, so how do you know which one is right for you? When selecting a lawyer, you should strongly consider the following factors:

What Cases Do They Handle?

One of the most important factors in choosing the right personal injury attorney is their practice areas. Just as physicians practice certain areas of medicine, attorneys practice in certain areas of the law.

You will not go to an orthopedic surgeon for your brain surgery. Nor should you rely on a real estate attorney to represent you in a car accident claim.

Depending on the type of personal injury claim, you should look for an attorney skilled in one or more of these categories:

  • Auto accidents
  • Workplace injuries
  • Slip and fall
  • Nursing home and daycare abuse
  • Wrongful death
  • Medical malpractice
  • Product liability
  • Construction accidents

An experienced personal injury attorney has deep knowledge of your state’s personal injury laws and regulations. They also are known to insurance companies and local courts, which can help get a better settlement or favorable jury verdict.

It also helps to have an attorney with even more focused experience. For example, did a drunk driver hit and seriously injure you in a crosswalk? You may want to retain an attorney who has secured favorable settlements and verdicts in DUI cases.

Do They Have Experience?

When you have a lot of money on the line after a serious accident, do you want to use an attorney with two years of experience or 20? Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you is usually wise, especially in contentious cases. What is a contentious case?

Generally, cases that are more difficult to settle have these features:

  • The contestation of fault occurs
  • Multiple plaintiffs are involved
  • Multiple insurance policies are involved
  • There are catastrophic or long-term injuries

You always want a more experienced personal injury lawyer. They may charge a higher contingency fee than a less experienced lawyer, but it will usually pay you back with more compensation.

How Are They Paid?

The vast majority of personal injury lawyers operate by contingency agreement. A contingency agreement states that the attorney is paid a portion of your settlement or jury award if you receive compensation at the end of the case. If they don’t win your case, you shouldn’t need to pay legal fees, but attorneys seldom take cases in which they aren’t highly confident will lead to compensation.

Before signing a contract, ensure you understand how your lawyer will receive compensation. You should understand their fee if they front all legal expenses and if you must pay anything out of pocket. Usually, your settlement or award deducts legal fees and expenses. The remainder goes into your bank account, or they issue you a check.

Are They Determined?

An experienced personal injury lawyer will represent your interests until the last person stands. Complex personal injury claims can take months or years to complete. Many cases end with a settlement, but your attorney must be committed to going to trial and winning if needed.

Some well-known law firms nationwide are settlement mills. They may make many fast, low settlements to keep their income flowing. You don’t want to give your business to a settlement mill; you have only one chance to maximize your compensation, so you want an attorney who will do so.

Do They Have Deep Resources And Support?

Complex personal injury claims often require extensive financial and legal resources to build the strongest case. If necessary, check that the law firm is large enough to handle the case through a trial.

Your attorney may need to hire accident reconstructionists, financial analysts, economists, and physicians to provide professional testimony in your case. That only happens if the attorney has enough pockets to cover these expenses.

Most plaintiffs lack the financial resources to cover these expenses, so your attorney usually pays them and gets reimbursed afterward.

Who Will Handle Your Claim?

Have you ever seen national personal injury lawyer advertisements? These law firms advertise all over the state or country. It can be a good firm, but you generally don’t know which personal injury lawyer will handle your case.

Unless you have a multi-million dollar claim, it’s unlikely that the attorney in the advertisements will handle your case.

This isn’t to say that a junior attorney cannot do a good job; they can. However, you should know the attorney working on your claim. Different attorneys have various knowledge and skill levels, and one may be easier for you to work with than another. Always ask who will work on your case.

Do They Have Good Client Reviews?

When considering a personal injury lawyer, see what previous clients say about them. Good attorneys should have plenty of five-star reviews on their website.

Also, check Google Reviews, Avvo, and Martindale-Hubbell. Always go with an attorney with a lot of strong reviews. If there are negative reviews, observe how the attorney responded and if they addressed any concerns.

Where Are They Located?

Laws and regulations differ by county, city, and state. If you suffered an injury in an accident in one state, you usually want a lawyer based in that state. They know the laws and the local insurance companies and courts. In larger cities, hiring a personal injury lawyer who works primarily in that city may benefit.

Will the Attorney Come to You?

If you suffered a severe injury, hiring a lawyer to come to you at home or in the hospital is helpful. It helps to meet with a prospective attorney at least once to get a feel for their personality and knowledge. Subsequent meetings may often occur via phone or video call, but selecting an attorney you can meet in person is advisable.

Do They Have Trial Experience?

Most personal injury claims end with a settlement. At-fault insurance companies want to avoid the risk of a large jury verdict, and plaintiffs usually need money sooner rather than later.

However, there are times when the insurance company may balk at a fair settlement. Perhaps your injuries are severe, or the insurance company is contesting liability. If that happens, you want to have a personal injury lawyer who is skilled in the courtroom.

Effective personal injury litigation is a separate skill from insurance company settlement negotiations. Many less experienced attorneys may persuade you to take a smaller settlement to avoid trial uncertainty and higher legal expenses.

When you hire a personal injury team with extensive trial experience, they will be ready to go to war for you in court. One way to check for these attorneys is to see if the law firm employs lawyers from state and national trial lawyer organizations. You also should look for large jury award cases on their website.

Do They Communicate Well With You?

A strong personal injury claim or lawsuit requires a lot of planning and communication. Some of this communication will be with you. You need a high comfort level with your personal injury lawyers. You should speak the same native language and have a good rapport for the strongest communication.

You also should feel comfortable in how the attorney communicates with you. Do you prefer email, text, or phone updates? Or do you want to stop by the office occasionally to get updated? Your attorney should be willing to communicate with you in your preferred ways.

Also, the chosen personal injury attorney should be easy to contact. Good attorneys are busy with full schedules, but they should build in time every week or two to touch base. Or, they should contact you whenever a significant case update occurs. An attorney who won’t communicate with you portends trouble.

Do They Make Guarantees?

You want to find another lawyer if the attorney guarantees a certain outcome. No matter how strong the case and attorney are, no attorney with their salt will guarantee a high settlement or favorable verdict.

They can offer an approximate settlement range based on your type of case and injuries, but there are no guarantees.

So, You Have Chosen a Personal Injury Attorney….

Now, how do you get the most money in your settlement? Your experienced personal injury lawyer gives you a good chance of a favorable outcome.

But there are several things you can do to improve the outcome potentially:

  • Present strong evidence. Insurance adjusters and juries will look at the strength of your evidence that another party was at fault. They also will look at your medical records and treatment plan to determine the severity of injuries and that you deserve compensation. So, keep detailed records of your injuries, pain, police records, medical bills, lost earnings, eyewitness information, and video photos from the accident scene. The stronger the evidence of fault and damages, the more likely you will get fair compensation.
  • Get a full claim valuation from an attorney: Few plaintiffs know what their personal injury claim is worth; many assume they are only entitled to current medical bills. Most valid claims involve current and future medical needs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Your attorney cannot guarantee a case result, but they can give an approximate case value based on their experience.
  • Remember future damages: If you feel tempted to accept a quick settlement a week after the accident, resist the urge. You may not fully understand the type and severity of your injuries. The adjuster may offer to “pay all your medical bills,” but that statement means little. They may fight essential future treatments, so you should have an attorney involved to get a firm, legal settlement offer.

Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Few things are more upsetting and traumatic than being seriously injured in an accident. The situation becomes more complicated when you’ve suffered an injury through no fault of your own.

When another person or entity causes an accident, you have the legal right to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. You can achieve the most favorable case outcome possible by having personal injury lawyers at Langston & Lott, PLLC represent you, so contact an attorney today.