5 Tips For Choosing Your Personal Injury Attorney
If neglect by another person or entity appeared to play a role in an injury you suffered, you can pursue financial compensation for medical bills, lost income and intangibles such as pain and suffering. But, like any case, the burden of proof will be on you, not the defendant. The representation you choose will be paramount to mounting a successful case. Here are some important considerations when choosing a personal injury attorney.
Choose a Plaintiff’s Lawyer
Defendants in personal injury suits need lawyers too, and when choosing an attorney to represent you, you should not pick one who focuses more on defending claims rather than trying to win them for the plaintiff. He is more programmed to go against you, and on a subconscious level, he may not work as hard for your case.
Use Referral Services with Caution
Referral services can be helpful when looking for an attorney, but use them cautiously. There can be big money in personal injury law, considering the litigious nature of our society. Not everyone trying to get a piece of that pie may be fully qualified to handle your case. Some are more stringent, and will only list lawyers with certain degree of experience and qualifications, while others may list any lawyer who is in good standing with his state bar association and maintains liability insurance. This basic requirement does not speak much to quality.
What is Their Focus?
Some attorneys focus on one specific area of law, while others are a bit more eclectic. When it comes to finding representation for a personal injury suit, you do not want one who practices in a garden variety of niches. First, you want to focus on lawyers who only practice personal injury cases; but, then you need to take it a step further. The scope of personal injury law is wide, from medical malpractice to car accidents. Look for lawyers that handle your type of case frequently. The more specialized the practice area, the more in-depth knowledge the attorney will have about it.
Consider Trial Experience
The reality is, many personal injury cases eventually settle at some point in time, even if they end up going to trial. But, it might be worth your while to choose a lawyer who does have experience with trials. If an insurance company knows a lawyer does not have trial experience, they may be more willing to take their chances in bringing the case in front of a jury or judge.
General Rapport and Impressions
You will be working very closely with your attorney; while you are not looking for a buddy, it is important that you like the lawyer and feel that you have a good rapport with him. Does he seem willing to answer your questions and explain things in terms you can understand? Can he speak intelligently about your case and what the defendants should have done in your circumstance? What is your gut feeling about him? This is not something to be ignored.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things law; she recommends visiting chicagopersonalinjurylawyer.com for personal injury cases in Illinois.