If a family member is a victim of medical malpractice, dog bites, assault, car or workplace accidents, or any intentional or negligent acts, it’s a smart move to hire a personal injury lawyer. Children and adults alike can be victims of a tort. While you’re not legally required to hire a lawyer to handle a personal injury claim, you get the maximum compensation you deserve by having an experienced personal injury attorney, such as those from https://greenereid.com/, as your representative.
In this post, you’ll learn some helpful tips when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Know the Lawyer’s Educational Background and Credentials
Violence-related injuries and unintentional injuries can be caused by physical assault, motor vehicle crashes, negligence, and other similar events. That’s why it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer who is qualified and experienced in handling your case.
Aside from a bachelor’s degree, a personal injury lawyer should have a Juris Doctor Law degree. The common majors for an undergraduate degree may include political science, history, English, and social science. While you might get some suggestions or referrals from family, relatives, and friends, it’s a good idea to check the credentials of a prospective personal injury lawyer.
Here are the other career requirements of a personal injury attorney:
- Certification or License Bar exam: There’s no specific bar examination for personal injury law. It’s the same for all legal specialties.
- A lawyer should pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination or MPRE, which is required by many states, to become a personal injury attorney.
- A personal injury attorney should take a continuing education course through the Center of Professional Development.
- Ask your prospective personal injury lawyer about practical experience or number of years handling personal injury cases.
Assess the Best Qualities of a Personal Injury Lawyer
The key skills of an excellent personal injury attorney include strong speaking, organizational skills, and analytical skills with in-depth knowledge of state and federal laws about personal injury. On your free initial legal consultation, ask the right questions to assess the lawyer’s qualities, character traits, and communication skills.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask a personal injury lawyer:
- How long do you think does it take to resolve my case? A good lawyer can provide a rough time estimate regarding when your case will be solved.
- Have you tried handling personal injury cases like mine? If you or one of your family members got injured in the workplace, you can hire a personal injury lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation cases.
- Will you be the one who will directly handle my case? Law firms usually have a team of lawyers and associates handling different cases, so it’s necessary to ask early on who’ll be directly handling your case.
- What is the success rate of my case at trial? While you may resort to the fairest settlement negotiation, a personal injury lawyer can’t tell early if a case is going to settle or proceed to trial. A personal injury attorney should expect that every case should go to trial for proper preparation.
- What is my injury case worth? Your personal injury lawyer should provide a rough estimate and explain the different factors that can affect a settlement offer or a verdict, such as liability and pre-existing medical issues.
Talk to Previous Clients or Get References
No matter how experienced or well-educated the personal injury lawyer is, it’s still best to know what previous clients say about your prospective attorney. Get references or talk to the lawyer’s past clients to get an idea of how the lawyer handles the case, including the approach, skills, and fees.
Know the Professional Fee and Case-Related Costs
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. It means that you don’t need to pay a fee unless you have fully recovered your compensation or the money damages. Usually, a personal injury lawyer takes 25% to 40% of the award.
Some lawyers charge for case-related expenses plus the contingency fee. So, it’s better to ask your lawyer early who will be responsible for the case-related costs or “out-of-pocket” costs if the lawsuit is unsuccessful.
Here are some of the case-related expenses for a personal injury case:
- Expert Witness Fees: These are the fees you pay to multiple experts, like engineers and automobile experts, to testify about cars or auto products in a car accident, or a medical professional to prove your injuries in a medical malpractice case.
- Administrative Fees: Lawsuits involve tons of paperwork, including transcription services and copies of transcripts, and messenger, delivery, and copying costs.
- Court Filing Fees: These are for the filing and court fees.
- Miscellaneous Expenses: These are out-of-pocket costs, like travel costs for witnesses and lawyers.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is easier if you know the right questions to ask and conduct thorough research. If you, your child, spouse, or any family member is involved or a victim of harm, an accident, or medical malpractice, it’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer as early as possible.