Accidents can often result in life-threatening injuries, or it can leave the individual with a debilitating and permanent injury, which is usually just as devastating. And in cases where the the result of the accident is not as extreme, then there will very likely be other minor inconveniences or disruptions to the individuals activities of daily living. Including things like being unable to work, go to school, partake in everyday family activities, or simply being in constant physical pain.
Besides the above mentioned inconveniences, there are also the various medical bills, which may be quite significant, that the person will likely be faced with for however long into the future until he or she is fully recovered. With all these disruptions and difficulties that the person is almost certain to face after a serious accident, it is safe to say that everything that can be done for the person, must be done to ensure that these difficulties, inconveniences and disruptions are as minimal as possible.
One resource that will play a pivotal role in helping the injured person during this period is having access to money. This is because having access to some needed finance can help alleviate some of the previously mentioned difficulties.
Having said that, a good personal injury lawyer is the one resource that can greatly increase your chances of getting access to this much needed money, by way of an insurance payout. Whether the insurance in question is that of the injured individual, or the at-fault party to the accident.
It is therefore very important to ensure that the “right” lawyer is retained to take on your personal injury case. Which consequently means that adequate preparation and thought must go into this process of finding a lawyer
Below are a few points to consider while on the search for a lawyer to potentially handle your case.
Questions to Ask During Initial Consultation:
Your initial appointment is obviously very important in determining the rest of your relationship with the lawyer, should you end up retaining him or her. This is why you should be as prepared as you can be before that initial consultation, or even for a second conversation or meet, should things progress to that stage.
Some of the important things you should consider doing before you speak to a lawyer are; reading up on the general process that personal injury case goes through, doing some basic research on the attorney you will be speaking to, especially reading up on any reviews he or she may have, and where possible, speaking to someone who has suffered a personal injury and has gone through the process you are about to go through.
The main thinking behind doing any of these things is to ensure that you are as informed and knowledgeable as possible, so that you can ask the right or important questions and to be able to spot any potential red flags that you might hear from the lawyer.
You will then want to know as much information about the lawyer you are speaking to, being sure to find out things like the length of the time he or she has been practicing in the personal injury space, as well as how many similar cases the lawyer has handled so far, and what their success and failure rates are.
You can ask about how often the lawyer tries personal injury cases in court and what his or her approach and attitude towards mediation and negotiation. Although most personal cases often get settled out of court, or don’t even go to court in the firs place, you need to be confident that your lawyer will have the experience and wherewithal to take the case to the court should it be absolutely necessary.
Discussing Legal Fees:
Although talking about the lawyer’s fees can often seem intimidating, this is obviously a very important subject that should be discussed thoroughly. While it is generally acknowledged that lawyers are expensive, the good thing about personal injury cases, is that lawyers almost always take on such cases on a contingency fee basis. Meaning you will not have to pay them anything until and unless they win the case, and in return the lawyer will take a certain percentage of your settlement payout, after deducting certain fees and disbursements.
This without a doubt will be a huge relief to the accident victim who is seeking compensation, as they will not have to be burdened with having to cough up what potentially could be several thousands of dollars before a lawyer will take their case. The downside, however, to a contingency fee arrangement, is that this percentage of your settlement payout that the lawyer will take can often be quite substantial, sometimes in the region of 33%. Sometimes, this contingency fee might be on a sliding scale, such as: 50% of the first $100,000 recovered; 35% of the next $50,000; and 15% of everything else.
It is for this exact reason that the issue of the fees must be thoroughly discussed so that you are 100% certain what your financial obligation to the lawyer will be, especially as it concerns the contingency fee and what fees and disbursements will accrue to your account.
Preserve the Information about Injury and Claim:
Preserving information is of crucial importance. You must preserve any and all information regarding your injury like police and medical reports, pictures of any sustained injuries and of the accident scene, contact details of any witnesses to the accident and their statements, all correspondences with any party to the case, including the insurance company.
Your lawyer will almost certainly require all these pieces of information and/or evidence and it will form an integral part of his case, whether it is the negotiations with the insurance, or in the rare occasion that the case goes to trial.