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A good injury lawyer is worth his or her weight in gold. Not only will a good one fight for you, a good injury lawyer will maximize the amount of money you receive. Unfortunately, like many professions, there are a lot of bad injury attorneys, and so anyone looking to hire one needs to do their research and determine what they need. Without further ado, here are four things to ask an injury lawyer before hiring one - trust me, you want know this information!!
Naturally, you will want to know how much they charge. For injury cases, many lawyers will charge a contingency fee based on the money they win in the courtroom. For example, if you have a settlement, the lawyer will may charge 33%. You will want a lawyer who works on contingency, they will be much more likely to fight hard for you. Also, ask what costs you may be responsible for - some lawyers charge small fees that can add up quickly. Remember, a strong case should demand a lower contingency fee.
Ask the attorney what you will need to do on your end. To win a lawsuit, it is all about teamwork. Find out how much participation the attorney requires from you, because some lawyers are more hands off, while others love the participation. Make sure it is a good fit, no matter what your preference is. Ideally, you would have a lawyer that wants to participate with you while at the same time handling all the (difficult-to-understand) legal stuff.
When discussing matters of law, it is a good idea to understand how well a lawyer understands it. The longer an attorney has been in practice in your area, the better grasp they will have of all the intricacies of your case Of course, there are solid attorneys that have not been in practice as long, but it would be prudent to know how long they have been working personal injury claims. Many lawyers switch their field mid-career, and this can be okay, but make sure any personal injury lawyer you hire has enough experience that you are more than confident in their abilities to win your case. A Google search can help you to figure out whether or not your area is more plaintiff-friendly or defendant-friendly, and this can have a huge impact on a newbie's ability to win.
Ask your lawyer how communicative he or she is with clients. Many lawyers are notorious for ignoring their clients while others seem to love constant contact. Choose what is right for you - most people should seek a lawyer with good communication skills, especially since the legal process is intimidating and confusing to the average person. Remember, good communication in any relationship is vital, a client-lawyer relationship is no different. You don't want to be stuck talking to a receptionist, but if you are, make sure that at they are at least happy to work with you!
In most cases, the amount of money you receive comes down to the competency of the lawyer. A good lawyer is worth his or her cost, as in the end, he or she can get you a sizable settlement. Remember to not only to ask these questions, but note how you feel when sizing them up - intuition goes a long way.
Amy Rydell writs about law, consumer advocacy and more. Her favorite piece is on the Top 10 Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs.