What to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer
Avoid These Red Flags When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
After suffering a personal injury, you need to trust and feel confident in your attorney’s ability to pursue the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Unfortunately, not all attorneys are created equal. Some may not have the experience or skill necessary to handle your personal injury case. Choosing the wrong one could even hurt your chances of receiving compensation.
Before you retain any lawyer to handle your personal injury claim, get to know the following red flags, and keep an eye out for them as you evaluate your attorney options.
Lack of Experience
Would you give the keys to a $100,000 sports car to someone who only just got his learner’s permit? Of course not. You only put that kind of a vehicle in the hands of someone with the skill and experience to take care of it, and who knows how to get the most performance out of its high-end features.
Think of your personal injury claim like that sports car. It may have a significant dollar value. Can you trust someone who has not handled lots of cases like yours before to make the most of it? Definitely not. You want someone who knows exactly what it will take to get you the maximum compensation for your claim, because they have done it before for other clients like you.
How do you know if a lawyer has the kind of experience your case needs? Check the lawyer’s website to see what kind of cases he handles, and what his former clients have to say about him. When you sit down with him for a free consultation, ask about his track record in cases like yours, and how he sees your playing out. If the lawyer cannot point to significant experience, then that’s a red flag.
Lack of Resources
You could be the best lawyer in the world, and it wouldn’t matter if you did not also have the team and financial wherewithal to make the most of your talents.
In selecting an attorney to handle your personal injury claim, look for one who has a knowledgeable, professional staff, a track record of success that gives the lawyer the financial resources to stay in cases for the long-haul, and access to a network of experts who can help him build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Avoid, at all costs, a lawyer who appears to operate on a shoestring, seems overwhelmed with work, or who does not appear familiar with the role experts might play in your case. Those are red flags.
It might feel good to have a lawyer tell you in your very first meeting that you have a slam-dunk case and that he can get you a million dollars in damages. But, beware.
Experienced lawyers know that you can never promise the moon to a client in a first meeting. Personal injury claims can take unexpected twists and turns. They always have ups-and-downs. You want the lawyer who keeps your expectations grounded, but who also seems confident in his ability to meet any challenges that arise.
In other words: a lawyer confident in his abilities at the beginning of a case is good. A lawyer over-confident in how a case will end…red flag.
Virtually all personal injury lawyers represent their clients on a contingent fee basis. That means they do their work in exchange for the client agreeing that they get to keep a percentage of the money they secure for the client. They do not charge clients money up-front. And, they do not charge clients by the hour.
In a contingent fee representation, lawyers bear on the risk of failure. If they do not deliver results, then they do not get paid.
If a personal injury lawyer proposes to take your case but to bill you by the hour for his services, that’s a major red flag.
It could mean one of several things, none of them good:
- The lawyer does not practice personal injury law enough to know that’s now how it works;
- The lawyer does not feel confident in his abilities; or
- The lawyer does not think you have a winnable case, but still wants your money.
Never agree to pay a lawyer by the hour for a personal injury case.
A Bad Feeling
You trust a personal injury lawyer with detailed information about your life, your health, and your finances…the sort of information you do not share with strangers or people you do not trust.
You also trust a personal injury lawyer, in some respect, with setting the course for your financial future. Again, not something you put in the hands of someone you feel unsure about.
Finally, you trust a personal injury lawyer to communicate with you in a clear, straightforward, sensible, way. You have no time for legalese and double-talk, especially not when you must heal from a serious injury.
In picking a lawyer to handle your personal injury case, trust your instincts.
- Does this feel like someone I can trust with personal information about my life?
- Does this feel like someone who will put my future interests first?
- Does this feel like someone who gives it to me straight, in language I can understand?
If you answer “no” to any of these questions, then that’s a red flag. You will find the right lawyer eventually, but that feeling in your gut tells you that the person sitting in front of you is not the one.
Start Your Search for the Right Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The right lawyer to handle your case is out there. Avoiding the red flags above will help you find that lawyer as quickly and confidently as possible.
Get started right away. You have only a limited amount of time to take legal action seeking compensation for your injuries. If you wait too long, you could lose your rights.
So start your search by calling a skilled, experienced personal injury lawyer today. Contact The Law Offices of George Salinas for a free consultation today.