Personal injury is an area of legal practice that has seen quite an explosive growth in the last 10 years. It’s not surprising because there are many opportunities to make money by representing people who have suffered serious injuries because of another person’s (or company’s) carelessness or indifference.
It must be stated, however, that there are some pitfalls for someone new to this field. This article discusses some important issues so you may avoid these pitfalls and find the best personal injury lawyer.
There are two main types of personal injury lawyers, those who only represent the victims in criminal cases against drunk or reckless drivers, for example.
The other branch represents people with injuries that do not involve any criminal activity.
The complexities of this area are enough to make your head spin. There are many laws that apply to civil cases, but just as important is knowledge of local practices and procedures in the courthouse where you plan to file your claim. For example there might be a limit on the amount of money you can seek for certain types of injuries in one state and not in another.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your prospective attorney has seen the inside of a courtroom. You don’t want to hire someone who only does paper shuffling for insurance companies or other attorneys. The best personal injury lawyer is someone who has tried cases, won cases and experienced the pressures that come with trying personal injury cases for several years.
You want to hire is one that represents people much like yourself, not just about making money for his law firm.
The second thing is to ask your attorney what percentage he gets from the final settlement. You need to know this because this will directly affect how much you get, and if all goes well, it should be fair compensation for your injuries and suffering.
Contingency fees only come into play if your case is successful. They are popular because they allow poor people to hire a good attorney to represent them. However, there is always the danger of losing the case and not getting paid for their valuable time.
A flat fee means you will pay an agreed upon sum of money whether you win or lose the case. This is more common when the attorney does not think you have a strong case, but he takes it anyhow just to get some experience in this type of litigation.
A final question is how much will it cost for me to hire my own lawyer. A lot has been said about contingency fees, and too many people sign contracts without knowing much about them. It’s an important factor in hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Make sure to find out what you’re signing up for and not commit yourself until you understand the terms of your agreement with this legal representative.