When you are injured, your first call should always be to a medical professional in order to get the treatment that you need – but your next call is just as important. Calling a personal injury lawyer is a necessity. Without legal representation, you may miss out on the financial compensation you deserve. Receiving proper compensation is crucial in order to pay for the medical care you need to get better and to support yourself and your family.
Not all personal injuries are the same, and neither are all personal injury lawyers. Avoid making these five common mistakes when hiring a personal injury lawyer:
Don’t work with an inexperienced lawyer
Personal injury law is a very specialized field. Finding an experienced lawyer will help you navigate the legal system, and ensure you receive the highest level of representation available. You don’t want to find yourself being represented by a rookie, when the other team is a field veteran in their prime. Experience also indicates quality. You don’t get very far in personal injury law unless you can produce results. You don’t gain experience, you earn it. Experienced personal injury lawyers have proved their mettle time and again.
Don’t hire a lawyer who hides their fees
Your lawyer should be 100% honest and upfront about their fees before you retain them. Any lawyer or firm that tries to hide their fees doesn’t have your best interest at heart, and when you are the victim of a personal injury you need all the help you can get.
Don’t underpay or overpay
Don’t hire a lawyer that hides their fee structure, but also don’t balk at a large fee. The cost of losing a case is often higher than any legal fee. If you want the best representation, be prepared to pay for it. Of course, the best personal injury lawyers won’t take a penny (or won’t make the bulk of their fee) unless you win. Your lawyer must always represent your best interest, but having some money on the line is excellent extra motivation. It also shows you, the client, that they have faith in themselves and your case.
Don’t retain a lawyer you don’t like
Lawyers may not have the best public perception, but the truth is if you don’t feel comfortable with your lawyer you shouldn’t retain them. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with your lawyer, but you must have confidence in them. If you don’t then your case is in jeopardy.
Your case depends on you being confident enough to tell your lawyer everything, openly and honestly. If you don’t feel comfortable being honest, which is most important for your case, then maybe they aren’t the right lawyer for you.
Your lawyer should keep you informed, and answer any questions you may have. The law can be complicated, and moreso if your lawyer is not keeping you in the loop.
Don’t use a trial-shy lawyer
Most personal injury cases never go to trial. It is often in the best interest of both parties to reach a settlement, but that doesn’t mean your lawyer should be afraid of a courtroom. Finding a lawyer who is confident about winning a trial will put you in a better negotiating position. If your case does go to trial you’ll need a lawyer who can win.
Call the right lawyer
Don’t just call a lawyer, call the right lawyer. Hiring the right lawyer can be the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve and finding yourself unjustly buried in debt, or even slapped with a counterclaim.