If you have been injured due to an accident, someone else might be at fault for your injury. If you think this is the case, you need to take steps to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries. To do this, you will have to file a personal injury claim in order to sue the at fault party. In order to support your claims, it is in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer. This is your best bet if you want to get compensation for your injuries.
But, understanding at what point to retain such a lawyer is not always easy. You might wonder if it would be best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Or you might wonder if you should wait until after you file your claim, or when you have to go to court. Knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that your case goes smoothly.
When to Hire
In general, you should get legal advice about a personal injury claim as soon as possible. This can help you determine how severe your injuries are and what you are entitled to. It can also help you understand if you have a chance at getting compensation. Before you file, you should make sure that you have a case. Consider hiring a personal injury lawyer if:
- You have injuries that require physical therapy or surgery.
- You have permanent impairment due to injuries.
- Your injury has prevented you from working.
- You have sustained a brain or head injury.
- You have been contacted by the at fault party’s lawyer to discuss a settlement.
If you fit any of the above criteria, you will want to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Keep in mind that if a lawyer offers a free consultation, you can get legal advice before retaining them.
Hiring the Right Lawyer
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just hire a personal injury lawyer and be done with it. Not all personal injury lawyers are the same. Some are highly professional and passionate, but some are mediocre. Some are affordable, while others are unreasonably expensive. Fortunately, there is one way that you can sort through the good, the bad, and the ugly at no cost to you. Before you hire a lawyer, you can meet for a free initial consultation to decide if they are the best lawyer for you.
Lawyers understand that trusting someone to represent you can be a big decision. For this reason, many lawyers offer a free consultation. During the consultation you can meet with a lawyer and discuss your case. At that time, you can explain the situation that you are in to the lawyer. You can ask any questions that you have about your case. If you want to know how experienced a lawyer is, ask them about cases they’ve worked on. Also consider client testimonials when trying to determine a lawyer’s knowledge and experience. Some lawyers have a page on their website dedicated to client reviews. If this is the case, chances are that that lawyer is experienced and dedicated.
Another great thing about a free consultation is that you can ask about the lawyer’s fee. If you ask about fees and the lawyer says something like, “We can discuss that later”, proceed with caution. You don’t want to get stuck paying hidden fees. If you meet with a lawyer that is upfront about costs, they probably don’t have hidden fees. You can get a pretty good idea of what you will pay and if you can afford it. Some lawyers are also flexible about payments and payment method. You also want to try to find a lawyer that charges a flat rate, as this means that you won’t have to pay by the hour. Instead, you just pay one fee for the whole process, which will cut down on costs.
If you got injured due to an accident that was not your fault, you might want to sue the at fault party. You can do this to recover compensation. But, deciding to file a personal injury claim can be confusing and frustrating. Most of all, it can be expensive. The whole point of your personal injury claim is to get compensation for your injuries. You don’t want to spend more money on filing fees and hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Luckily, almost all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that your lawyer only gets paid if they win your case or you settle and are compensated for. Using a lawyer that is paid based on the outcome of your case can save money. But, it is important that you discuss the contingency fee that your lawyer charges. This will make sure that you can keep as much of the compensation money as possible.
Compensation and Contingencies
Nearly all personal injury lawyers work for a percentage of your compensation money. The good thing about a contingency fee is that a lawyer is paid based on their ability to win your case. If they do a good job, you will win your case. Then the lawyer will be paid based on an agreed upon percentage of your compensation. But, if you lose your case, your lawyer won’t charge you anything. The contingency fee seems like a perfect way to make a lawyer affordable. But, you need to take into consideration how much the contingency fee that your lawyer asks for is.
During the first meeting with your lawyer, you need to discuss specific fees. A lawyer can’t just tell you that they work based on a contingency fee. You need to know the specific percentage of your compensation that the lawyer will get if you win your case. A large chunk of the money that is supposed to go toward paying your medical expenses and compensating for loss of income could instead go to your lawyer.