What to Know Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Not every personal injury is the same – and the same thing goes for personal injury attorneys. Before you just hire any personal injury attorney that might come across Google, and may not be the best fit for your situation – here’s what to know before you hire a personal injury attorney.

SPECIALIZATION
A personal injury attorney focus on situations that involve negligence or reckless acts of other people; so if you try to hire your family lawyer that dabbles in personal injury, it’s not going to be beneficial for you. You need to seek out an attorney that handles personal injury almost exclusively, and has a niche for your specific situations. One attorney may be more versed on car accident personal injury, where another has more experience with medical malpractice, etc.  When looking for an attorney, be sure to find out what their experience is in, and hire accordingly. Some offices like Kinney, Fernandez & Boire have multiple attorneys on board who may specialize in several different niches which can be beneficial.

CONSULTATION
Before proclaiming “You’re hired!” meet for a consultation to make sure that the lawyer is not only specialized in your specific situation, but is a fit for you. The consultation is usually free, and can also help you determine if you have a good case.

AVOID AMBULANCE CHASERS
You know all those letters you get in the mail after a car accident? AVOID THOSE ATTORNEYS! A good attorney will not try and take advantage of someone who just went through a traumatizing situation.

THE COST
When hiring a personal injury attorney, you usually enter a contingency fee agreement – what happens is lawyers know that most people that have these unexpected cases have limited funds to put towards the litigation. So many personal injury attorneys will agree to devote their time and work into a case in exchange for receiving a percentage of whatever is awarded in the settlement. However, you can still have upfront fees associated with a personal injury claim such as researchers, filing and discovery costs. Some lawyers will pay this upfront IF they are pretty confident in a settlement , however, a lot of lawyers will require you to pay these on your own, which can be a high amount for an out of pocket expense.

THESE CASES TAKE TIME
While some personal injury cases settle quickly if its an ‘open and shut’ type of case, many others are way more complex and take a lot longer to settle. If you hire a lawyer with enough experience, they should be able to give you a good estimated wait of how long a case may take – but even that isn’t guaranteed. Some lawyers will suggest taking a lawsuit loan to help handle expenses while you may be recovering from an injury – but  keep in mind this comes with additional expense too. There is also NO GUARANTEE that a personal injury case will ever be paid!  While most personal injury attorneys are able to make a reasonable assessment based on their experience, there are way to many variables to have a guaranteed result.

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