Lawyers Tips for The Average Joe

Choosing a Good Personal Injury Lawyer Hiring the right lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of your personal injury claim, which makes picking the right lawyer a critical decision. Most attorneys specializing in personal injury law are inclined to represent but one side of these types of cases – the plaintiff (the person who has been injured) or the defendant (the person or entity who allegedly has caused the injury). Personal referrals and word of mouth are usually the best place to begin when you’re looking for an attorney. Online is also a great place for putting together your initial list of prospects. Whittling It Down Regardless of your source, you need to trim down that list to three or four candidates with the help of these criteria:
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> Biographical Information – Know the background of the lawyer. Does it seem like he has expertise in your type of personal injury claim? His profile must offer a picture of the types of cases he often handles (and which side he’s on). If it’s hard to tell, just call the office and ask directly. Check for other information that you can in these lawyers’ websites. The more informed you are, the better you will be able to decide.
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> Professional Associations – Find out if the attorney belongs to any national, state or local trial lawyers’ associations. > Location – If you have a working relationship with a lawyer whose practice is based in another area, ask for names of some good local prospects. > Professional Standing – Get in touch with your state bar association or check out their website to see if the lawyer you are eyeing is in good standing. Conflicts of Interest Does the lawyer represent anybody who might be affiliated with any of the parties you are planning to sue, or anybody who may have an interest in the result of the case? Once you’ve trimmed down your list of prospects, ask them each about a consultation . You don’t have to cross a lawyer off your list simply because he doesn’t have the time for an appointment with you on short notice. It’s natural for good personal injury lawyers to be busy. Money Issues In most personal injury claim situations, a lawyer can be hired on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that the lawyer will be get a portion of any court award or settlement you receive – typically around a third – and if you don’t receive anything, neither does your lawyer does get paid legal fees. In any case, it’s a must that you read the contract before affixing your signature, and understand that you may still have to pay for some “costs” (separate from legal fees) like photocopying fees, expert witness fees, court stenographer fees, and the rest.