5 Things to Know When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
For many injury victims who have been in an accident for the first time, choosing a personal injury lawyer can seem like a daunting endeavor. To simplify the process, know that you should be looking to hire a personal injury attorney who treats both you and your legal claim with respect by keeping your best interests in mind at all times.
Here are five things you should know and look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent your legal interests.
The Overwhelming Majority of Personal Injury Claims Do Not Go to Trial
Based on the best available data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the vast majority of personal injury claims do not go to trial. In fact, more than 9 out of every 10 personal injury claims end in out-of-court settlements.
Settling a claim can be beneficial for several reasons, including:
- Protecting the privacy of both the defendant and plaintiff involved
- Eliminating the stress and increased uncertainty of a trial
- Better predictability over the damages and compensation that can be recovered
On the point of compensation, studies have found that most plaintiffs who pass on a settlement offer actually end up receiving less money than if they had taken a fair settlement offer.
Some Claims Can Be Settled Without Filing a Lawsuit
One of the benefits of settling a personal injury claim is that a lengthy trial can be avoided, which leads to a more expedited timeline for a victim who needs compensation for their injuries.
However, even the process of filing a lawsuit may be unnecessary depending on the circumstances surrounding your legal claim. Depending on the facts involved, your attorney may be able to deliver all necessary information to the insurance company for a fair settlement negotiation without filing a lawsuit at all. If possible, avoiding lawsuit filings saves time and money for victims who deserve legal compensation after an accident.
Most Personal Injury Lawyers Do Not Get Paid Until You Do
Most personal injury lawyers do not receive payment until you, the injury victim, have been paid. This payment structure is known as a "contingency fee", meaning the lawyer receives payment only if your legal claim is successfully settled or you win at trial.
Contingency fees give accident victims the confidence to choose an excellent personal injury lawyer without worrying about upfront costs.
For Personal Injury Claims, Patience Is a Virtue
Even when a case is settled, it takes time for a personal injury claim to result in compensation. As such, be wary of attorneys who guarantee fast results and quick cash in your pocket.
An ethical personal injury lawyer has your best interests in mind, meaning no shortcuts will be taken to help plaintiffs obtain the most compensation possible for a particular legal claim.
Be sure to ask your lawyer how long your case should take since an ethical lawyer will provide you with an honest, realistic timeline for your claim.
Qualities to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are a number of key qualities you should look for when choosing a personal injury lawyer to represent your case, such as honesty and transparency. Your lawyer should provide a transparent fee structure (contingency fee), an assessment of your claim, and a realistic estimate of the timeline.
Also, choose a lawyer who prioritizes your claim by providing quality communication and working to be available for you. Direct, personalized communication with your lawyer will provide you with peace of mind and confidence that your claim is in reliable hands as the case progresses.
Keeping these tips in mind will prepare you for the legal process that awaits and help you find a lawyer who increases the likelihood of a beneficial outcome for your claim.