When you’ve been injured on the job, the last thing you want to do is worry about a substandard lawyer. Here are just five tips for making sure that you only hire the best.
1. Find a Specialist
Instead of looking for generic “personal injury lawyers,” seek out someone with skill and experience in your specific type of case. For example, if you tripped at work under hazardous conditions, look for slip and fall lawyers. If you were involved in a pile-up, look for auto accident lawyers. These specialists will handle your case much better than a jack of all trades.
2. Check Their Background
Where did they go to school? Did they obtain a JD or LLM? Have they won any major settlements in the past, and if so, what was their cut? In addition to researching them on the Internet, don’t be afraid to ask them directly about things like their win-loss ratio. If it’s anything less than, say, 70-30, you might want to hire a lawyer with better luck.
3. Talk About Payment
There are many different ways an attorney might expect payment. They may charge you by the hour; they may charge you by the day; they may take a certain percentage of your settlement in the event of a win. Others still might be willing to work out an alternative fee arrangement (AFA) if you’re under a budget. Whatever you choose, it’s important to sit down and discuss payment right away instead of putting it off.
4. Schedule a Consultation
Many lawyers offer free or discounted consultations if you want to sample their services before hiring them full-time. Not only will this allow you to get a feel for their personality, but you’ll also be able to scope out their offices and decides if you like what you see. Are they clean and professional? Are the receptionists friendly? Do you want to be represented by this brand?
5. Read the Fine Print
Never sign a contract without reading it slowly and thoroughly. You’ll want to make sure it reflects the actual agreements you’ve made with your new lawyer, not any regular practices they have in place. You’ll also want to double-check things like fees, rates, retainers and times of availability.
These are just five tips for choosing a personal injury lawyer. You deserve both relaxation and compensation after your accident, so make sure you hire a lawyer who can deliver both.