Personal injury cases can be tricky, which is why you should seek legal counsel when filing a personal injury lawsuit. These court cases can be quite fraught, as both the defendant and plaintiff have a personal stake in what transpired. Regardless of whether your personal injury suit is about a car accident, medical malpractice, defamation, or a slip or fall, having the right lawyer can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. The following tips are important to keep in mind when seeking out a personal injury attorney.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Although it may be tempting to pick a lawyer based on a television ad or billboard, it is important to take your personal injury case seriously and find an attorney who will do the same. Not all personal injury lawyers have the same track record, and so it is important to dig into any attorney you consider before hiring them to provide you with legal counsel.
The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry is one resource that helps you do this work. Martindale-Hubbell is a leading database for attorneys and consumers, which offers peer-reviewed rankings and information of hundreds of thousands of lawyers across America. If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina, checking registries and reviews from peers and established clients can be a wonderful way to begin or deepen your research.
LOOK FOR A LAWYER WITH A PROVEN TRACK RECORD
Taking a look at a lawyer’s success rate can be a great way to determine whether or not you want to proceed with them in your case. In addition to seeking out an attorney that exclusively practices personal injury law, it’s important to find a lawyer who is willing to take cases to trial. While this is not always necessary in personal injury lawsuits, you want to make sure that you have all of your bases covered before you enter into a legal case.
Depending on the seriousness of your case, you may also want to find out how many cases with high verdicts your lawyer has won successfully. Finding a lawyer who is active within the profession and seeks professional development opportunities through affiliation with state or national lawyer groups can also offer insight into how up-to-date and in-the-know your lawyer is. Hiring an attorney with solid knowledge of the current legal climate and personal injury law can be a major benefit, even in smaller personal injury cases.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Most, if not all, law firms will offer you a free consultation to learn more about your case and discuss legal options with you. While you are “shopping around,” it is best to attend these consultations, and not feel pressured if some lawyers make it seem like you need to make your decision right away. At these meetings, it is important to come prepared with specific questions about the attorney and their firm, as well as about your case itself.
One of the best questions that you can ask any lawyer is how many of their cases get referred to them by other lawyers. A good attorney will have a strong network of respected colleagues who know when they are better suited for a case. Talking to other lawyers you may know in your circle of friends or family can also be a way to solicit information about lawyers who are highly recommended by their peers.
Something else you may want to ask a personal injury lawyer before retaining them is what sorts of fees are associated with your case. The most common type of fee in personal injury cases is a contingency fee, which effectively means that your lawyer will get paid a portion of your eventual settlement, but they will not charge anything if the case fails. Such fees are quite common and help you know as a client that your case will be taken and pursued seriously since your attorney has skin in the game as well.
Another great question to ask during an initial meeting is what the attorney’s normal caseload is, and what percentage of those cases are in the same vein as yours. Sometimes, you will find a great law firm that is understaffed or overloaded, and they may not be a great fit. Other times, the personal injury lawyer you are consulting with may be a slam dunk with cases like defamation, but less experienced when it comes to cases involving car accidents.
Finding a personal injury lawyer can be difficult, but if you keep these factors in mind, you will find someone who can cater to your case’s needs with professionalism and integrity. At Lewis Law, LLC, we provide legal counsel on cases ranging from car accidents and drunk driving to workers’ compensation. When you need a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina, talk to us first.