Are you planning to file a personal injury lawsuit against someone? Well, then, you should know that thousands of cases are filed annually in the United States, but only a few go to trial since most personal injury cases are settled outside of court. Only 3 – 4% of personal injury cases go to trial, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
In both cases, however, the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit depends upon hiring a seasoned attorney to handle your case properly.
When lawyer-hunting in America, you should successfully navigate the selection process by following all the tips mentioned here. So, here’s how you can choose the best lawyer to represent you:
- Proper credentials
Ask a lawyer about their qualifications and references. A capable, reliable lawyer never hesitates to show you their credentials and tell you a little bit about their expertise.
On the other hand, incompetent attorneys will get defensive about sharing their credentials with you. In any case, you should make sure your attorney is licensed to practice in your state.
- Practice area
Make sure your personal injury lawyer specializes in your unique situation. You wouldn’t hire medical malpractice lawyers to deal with a motorcycle accident lawsuit, right? Similarly, if you’re suffering from a unique condition such as mesothelioma, you must hire a lawyer who specializes in such cases. Mesothelioma is a rare disease, affecting less than 3,000 people every year. It’s caused by prolonged asbestos exposure, so patients can file claims against their employees or companies that use asbestos in their products.
Victims or their loved ones can file mesothelioma lawsuits with the help of asbestos attorneys.
- Legal Reputation
Look into a lawyer’s reputation. Are these lawyers highly recommended? Have they gotten astounding reviews from past clients? Can they present positive testimonials from their past clients? Schedule a phone interview with different lawyers and ask them these questions.
Ask for awards and recognition from state legal groups. Make sure your lawyer has proper references from agencies like Better Business Bureau and other professional organizations of lawyers.
- Web presence
Never disregard a lawyer’s web presence when evaluating their credibility. It’s an important factor to consider when ascertaining a lawyer’s trustworthiness, as over 90% of law firms have websites now. A lawyer’s website should be your go-to source to find all the information on their qualifications and experience. These sites also display reviews and testimonials from past clients, contributing to the lawyer’s successful track record.
Moreover, many law firms punctually update their blogs with informative content showing their deep understanding of the legal world.
- Trial experience
As explained before, most personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court and never go to trial. This is true for mesothelioma lawsuits, too, since less than 5% of them will be presented before a jury or a judge. However, you shouldn’t take the risk of working with a lawyer who doesn’t have any trial experience. Simply put, accepting a settlement offer means you have a 100% chance of getting the required compensation, but going to trial reduces these chances to 50%.
Going to trial is a gamble; you might get a higher compensation, but you may also get no compensation at all! So, ensure you have a lawyer with enough trial experience to argue your case before a jury and win a favorable verdict.
- Success rate
Even though personal injury lawsuits mostly end up in an out-of-settlement, not all plaintiffs receive enough money to cover all of their losses. An incompetent lawyer convinces you to accept a lowball settlement offer, while a smart one negotiates with the guilty party to make sure you get the best offer possible. So, you should work with a lawyer who has won their clients a large sum before.
Look into your lawyer’s track record and check how much compensation their previous clients have received. For instance, mesothelioma patients get $1 to $1.4 million in compensation on average. It makes sense to prioritize hiring someone who has obtained a bigger amount.
- Payment schedule
Ask your lawyer about their payment schedule before signing any contract. Hiring a personal injury attorney can be costly, especially if your case requires extensive investigation. Fortunately, however, many lawyers in this field will take on your case on a contingency basis. It means the lawyers get paid if they successfully negotiate a settlement offer. When the settlement money comes in, the lawyers will take a substantial percentage from it as their payment.
Working on a contingency basis creates a win-win situation for the client and the lawyer. So, you won’t have to pay them anything upfront or out of your pocket.
- Friendly personality
Despite all their qualifications and experience, if the lawyer doesn’t have a cordial personality, avoid working with them. You need a personal injury attorney who spares time for your concerns, attends to your case personally, and is easy to work with. If they’re seldom available or don’t return your calls, you should look for legal counsel elsewhere.
Many accomplished lawyers will dump you into the hands of inexperienced interns. So, make sure that doesn’t happen. Similarly, refrain from hiring a lawyer who already has a lot on their plate; make sure your personal injury lawyer has ample time to focus on your lawsuit.
- Trust your instincts
Ultimately, it’s all about your ability to recognize honest, capable lawyers from scammers. Trust your gut when dealing with an attorney and look into the small verbal/non-verbal cues to evaluate their character.
Data shows that just 35% of Americans trust lawyers. So, you shouldn’t be too quick to trust one too. Do ample research before trusting a personal injury attorney with your future.
In this blog, we have discussed a few simple ways to hire the best personal injury attorney to represent you. You must evaluate different factors before choosing an ideal lawyer. Assess your lawyer’s expertise, consider their experience, look into their success rate, and appraise their personality.
Most importantly, however, check their area of expertise, especially if you’re looking for a lawyer to deal with your mesothelioma lawsuit. That’s how you can have the right person to fight your case.