If you have suffered an injury as a result of another person’s negligence, or due to a defective or poorly designed product, it is of paramount importance that you hire the right personal injury attorney to handle your case. There are a number of things that should be taken into consideration when making this important choice.
Highly qualified personal injury attorneys will devote a majority of their time to issues pertinent to your case. Although attorneys in general practice may be well-trained and highly experienced in multiple aspects of the law, it is critical that the attorney who you choose to represent you is well-versed in the specific aspects of the nature of your case. In addition, you would be well-advised to find out how many cases of a nature similar to yours the prospective attorney has taken to trial and/or settlement. Therefore, make it a point to ask your potential attorney what percentage of their cases they take to settlement and what percentage go to trial. Not only is this indicative of the attorney’s willingness to work on your behalf, but it is also a surrogate of his or her skill and rate of success.
On a related note, it is also advisable to ask a prospective attorney to explain their strategy for handling cases like yours; attorneys who are experienced in a particular type of personal injury law should have a well-established process for doing so. Pay attention to the level of detail provided by your prospective attorney in this instance; it will also serve as an indicator of his or her organizational skills and familiarity with the laws pertaining to your specific case. When discussing strategy, it is also advisable to ask the attorney if they believe that you have a case worth pursing in the first place. Knowledgeable and experienced attorneys should be able to tell you if they think your case is worth pursuing and if so, what the possibility of recovering damages might be.
Be sure to inquire about the role that other attorneys and paralegals at the prospective law firm will play in your case. Since these individuals may be involved in handling certain aspects of your case, you have the right to evaluate their potential and inquire as to the extent of their involvement. Although younger attorneys may be helpful to perform some of the work associated with your case, full case-management should be entrusted to a highly experienced and seasoned attorney with a wealth of experience under their belt. Effective and timely communication between attorneys and their clients is also essential to effective case management. Be sure that you ask your attorney to explain to you their policy with regard to phone calls and emails. A good rule of thumb is to include a 24-hour turn around policy on phone calls and emails in the retainer agreement you establish with your attorney.
It goes without saying that legal matters can be complicating – even overwhelming at times – but you should not accept that reality as a deterrent to understanding the procedures, policies, and costs that will pertain to your particular case. Make certain that your attorney provides detailed explanations of all court procedures that will likely be involved, as well as legal concepts that may play out in their strategy.