You probably see advertisements on television all the time with earnest lawyers begging you not to let yourself get cheated and demanding you call them. “Get the money you deserve,” is a common refrain among Personal Injury Lawyers . Although their approach may be unattractive, these advertising attorneys are absolutely correct when they say that you can benefit from your misfortune.
Many people (including lawyers with other legal specialties) might shake their heads at the “ambulance chasers” who practice injury law, but these injury attorneys have one thing right. U.S. law provides for restitution in cases of harm or injury. In other words, there are laws saying precisely what those ads so aggressively reinforce: you are legally entitled to compensation for your injury. U.S. law makes specific provisions for restitution in cases where another person’s actions have negatively impacted you. If you have been injured, there is no reason for you to refrain from utilizing this approach to collect compensation.
There are four points to consider as you choose your counsel and appoint the personal injury attorney best suited for you and your case.
1. Does This Attorney Specialize in Injury Law?
There is no special certification for personal injury lawyers, per se. Any licensed lawyer is allowed to take on an injury case. However, you want an attorney who is especially knowledgeable about the specific details of injury law. Just because the other guys are permitted to take your case doesn’t mean they’d be the best guys for the job. Think about the skill involved in driving a stick shift truck. There is no separate licensing requirement for someone to drive a manual transmission; anyone with a valid license is allowed to drive one. That doesn’t mean you’d want to put a first-time driver behind the wheel of your new pickup in heavy traffic. Make use of what a personal injury attorney knows that might be of use to you.
2. How Does This Lawyer Get Paid?
For most people, the cost of a lawyer would be a severe obstacle to hiring counsel and going after an injury settlement. Most people can’t afford the steep hourly rates that lawyers generally charge. However, if he or she works on a contingency basis, an attorney knows that you will have money to pay for legal services as long as he or she wins the case for you which is quite the incentive to work hard!
3. Can Payment Wait Until After the Win?
Knowing that a “win” will bring a payout down the road, many injury lawyers will offer deferred payment. They might not take any money from you until the case is won and you get your money. Some of them even promise not to charge you if they don’t win a settlement for you. (Talk about incentive!) If you have believed that you can’t afford a lawyer to represent you, find out which attorneys offer deferred payment. Find an attorney who doesn’t want your money up front, and who will accept a reasonable percentage of the settlement after winning the case for you.
4. What is This Lawyer’s Win Rate?
Finally, you want to pick a lawyer who not only specializes in personal injury law, but who is good at it! Look up what percentage of cases have resulted in positive outcomes for his or her clients. Look for online reviews of personal injury lawyers written by people who were in situations similar to your own. Check the law firm with the Better Business Bureau. Talk to people you know and ask if they have recommendations.
When you have been injured, particularly at the fault of someone else, you do deserve compensation for the ill-effects of the injury. Use these criteria as you choose a firm or lawyer and let them help you claim what is legally yours.