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Top 10 Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury

A personal injury attorney can help you in the event of an accident or injury. Read on for the top 10 tips for hiring a personal injury attorney

  1. Contact the American Bar Association (ABA) for referrals: If you don't know where to start in looking for a lawyer, this professional association of attorneys can help by providing you with a list of members in your local area.
  2. Check with professional organizations in your area- Attorneys often join professional organizations and groups within their field. You can look up any professional groups in your area to find lawyers who are involved; this will help ensure you get a lawyer who is passionate about what he does.
  3. Obtain referrals- Friends, family or co-workers may have worked with a personal injury attorney before. They may be able to refer you to someone who helped them to recover damages in their time of need.
  4. Make sure your attorney is experienced in the type of injury you suffered- Medical malpractice injuries are different than product liability injuries or car accident injuries. Each type of injury is different, and you want a lawyer that knows how to prove the particular kind of injury you suffered.
  5. Find out how much experience your attorney has- An attorney who has been practicing for a long time may have a better grasp of what a fair settlement is, or of how to present a case to a jury to help you win.
  6. Ask about past verdicts and cases- While every case is different and your recovery will depend on your personal situation, a strong history of wins and of large damage awards or settlements can indicate that your attorney is good at what he does.
  7. Ask your attorney how many cases settle- Most personal injury cases settle out of court with a lump sum settlement, so your attorney may not have handled that many cases in an actual court room. If you are committed to going to court and not settling, you want an attorney that has actual courtroom experience.
  8. Understand your attorney’s plan for the case- Your attorney should be able to lay out the elements you have to prove to win, and should be able to give you some idea of how he plans to investigate and prove those elements in court.
  9. Understand the fee structure your attorney uses to charge- Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. That means your attorney does not collect payment from you unless he wins the case. If you do win, your attorney will take a portion- usually 1/3- of the money you receive in the settlement or as damages.
  10. Know what court costs you will be responsible for- Often, you are responsible for paying actual costs and court fees even if you lose the case and have a contingent fee attorney. Make sure you understand those costs that you will have to pay.

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