5 TIPS ON FINDING A LAWYER FOR YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE
Personal injury lawsuits can be remarkably intimidating for plaintiffs to begin, in part because they are in fact so personal. Those who begin personal injury lawsuits do so because they have been physically or financially injured in some way; quite often, those two injuries go hand in hand. Some of the most common reasons why people pursue personal injury lawsuits include car accidents, slip and fall injuries, and medical malpractice. It can be difficult to physically recover from such incidents, never mind pursuing legal action afterward.
But it's important that you work with personal injury lawyers to receive the compensation that you deserve. Hiring an attorney could mean the difference between being saddled with medical bills for years — as well as the burden of lost wages — and being able to move on after your accident. Depending on how deep the effects of the accident are, you may have to live a different lifestyle following the event. But no matter what, you shouldn't have to deal with the consequences of another person's actions. With that being said, let's explore a few of the things you should do before hiring an attorney for your personal injury case.
1. SHOP AROUND
One thing to keep in mind as you explore hiring an attorney is that you have the right to shop around a little. You don't need to commit to the first attorney that you consider, and different lawyers and law firms will offer different strengths. Of course, shopping around requires a certain degree of efficiency. You don't want to delay too long before deciding who to work with. It's a good idea for you to do your research online at first, but narrow your list down quickly. Once you're down to a few lawyers or law firms, you can start interviewing them.
2. HAVE A CONSULTATION
This interview will be a part of your initial consultation. A lot of lawyers offer free consultations, in which you'll get to know them and they'll hear more about your case. A good attorney will interview you as much as you're interviewing them and won't take on your case unless it's valid and offers a potential win or settlement.
3. DISCUSS YOUR GOALS
What do you want to come from your case? Some people simply wish for a settlement that will help cover their medical bills. Others are looking for more long term results. They may recognize that there won't be legal justice sought over their injury, but they want the person that injured them to face consequences. It's important to be honest with an attorney about your goals, in part because most personal injury cases don't make it to trial. Most of them are settled in the pretrial phase, which is great if you're pursuing compensation. But if you're looking to make a point, hiring an attorney who pursues settlements over wins may not be in your best interests. Consider too the attorney's case history; this could arguably say more than what they could tell you.
4. ASSESS YOUR CASE
As previously mentioned, before hiring an attorney you need to have a frank discussion about your case and its potential. If you didn't act quickly enough, you could be dealing with an issue regarding getting it off the ground in the first place. Nevada has a statute of limitation on personal injury lawsuits. Legal action cannot be taken if more than two years have passed since the incident occurred. Furthermore, just because you feel that you have a case on your hands doesn't mean that you do; a good attorney will be upfront about this.
5. ASK ABOUT PAY STRUCTURES
Different lawyers will require different types of payments. Some will have a smaller hourly fee and take a percentage of your settlement, while others will bill solely by the hour. Though there isn't much space for negotiation, typically, your consultation should give you an idea of your attorney's value.
There are a lot of issues that can come up as you search for a lawyer. But once you have the right one on your side, you'll feel better knowing that you don't need to pursue your case on your own.