When a person gains a debilitating injury due to negligence on the part of another individual or a business that results in an inability to work, high medical bills or both, it can be a good idea to engage in a personal injury lawsuit. This is especially true in cases where an insurance company has refused to honor a policy with shady reasoning.
However, it is not in the best interest of winning a case to simply flip open a phone book or do a quick 10 second search online for a lawyer and pick the one at the head of the listings. Not every lawyer can successfully represent a person in a personal injury suit. Lawyers may dabble in several legal areas, but those that focus solely on personal injury cases tend to make for better representation overall. Avoid lawyers that claim expertise in more than one or two areas because it usually means they are mediocre lawyers, at best.
It is vital that lawyer has knowledge of the medical issues at hand. For instance, people who have injured arms may still be able to perform work tasks without hindrance. However, a person with a back or neck injury, even if slight on the surface, could be affected in a multitude of seemingly strange ways. A lawyer that doesn’t know the nuances of how injuries affect performance is not the best choice for out-of-court settlement talks, and certainly not during court proceedings.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Find out how when the practice was established and if the potential attorney works solo or if there is support staff helping ensure top-notch representation. It is important that the lawyer be experienced: Ask how many cases the lawyer has won and if it will be acceptable to agree to a settlement, even if it’s lower than what the lawyer thinks can be awarded in a trial. Also, ask if there are any up-front fees and what the success rate is against insurance companies.
Many personal injury lawyers work harder to get a client a good settlement or a favorable trial outcome because they work on the basis that they only get paid when the client gets paid. Be wary of a personal injury lawyer that expects traditional fees, retainers and a part of any potential settlement money or awards from a trial and be sure to negotiate a reasonable percentage of any settlements or court-issued rewards.
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