Hiring a lawyer can be overwhelming after an accident. You’re injured, money is a problem, and you probably have no idea how to file a claim or escalate one to trial. Fortunately, that’s where a personal injury comes in.
Below, you can find 5 of the most important things to consider before you hire a lawyer. We also go into when you should hire a lawyer and when you likely don’t need to.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
Never hired a law firm before? No worries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you from the get-go and win the compensation you deserve.
Here are 5 major considerations when you’re deciding which law firm to hire:
- Clear Payment Structure — Does a prospective lawyer have a retainer? Do they charge on contingency and only take a percentage if you win the case? You need to ask this right away since money will be an ongoing concern after an injury.
- Presence — Is the firm you’re looking at virtually unknown on the Internet? This could be a bad sign. Modern firms will have reviews, a decent website to showcase their abilities, and will be able to contact with a quick search.
- Experience — Ask a prospective lawyer if they’ve handled your type of case before and how often they go to trial (only about 5 percent of claims actually get tried). Ask to see reviews, case results, testimonials, and so on until you’re comfortable.
- Communication — Does the firm have strict limits on communication? Scrappy personal injury lawyers who are actively fighting to win your case tend to be available via email, text, or phone call close to 24/7. Make sure you can get in touch in case there is a development with your claim.
- Size — This one can go both ways. On one hand, a massive firm might just sweep a smaller case under the rug and call it a day, but may have more resources to dedicate to a big claim. A smaller firm will likely be easier to communicate with and you’ll be in contact with actual partners.
Another small consideration is knowing where the firm is located. You’re going to want to meet in-person if possible. A lawyer from the area your accident happened in is beneficial because they know local legislation.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer?
You should hire a lawyer if and when you’ve suffered financial hardship due to an injury caused by someone else. The cornerstone of any lawsuit is proving both negligences and that there are objective financial damages.
You should probably call a lawyer if…
- You were in a car accident that likely wasn’t your fault.
- If you’ve lost a family member in a traffic, work-related, or some other accident.
- If an injury causes you to limit your earning potential and ability to work.
- When an injury negatively affects your economic status and comfort.
- If another party showed any hint of negligence.
- If the incident was avoidable but someone else’s negligence led to the outcome.
- If an insurer offers you an inadequate claim and you’re unsure what to do.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you in a number of ways. First off, attorneys know how to communicate with insurance companies, submit demand letters, and negotiate counteroffers. They will also help you collect evidence like personal testimonies, police reports, medical records, and other proof that will help you settle for a higher amount.
When Shouldn’t You Hire a Lawyer?
Every circumstance is different, but everyone has seen the scenes in movies or perhaps have had the same gut reaction after they’ve been wronged: “I’m going to get a lawyer and sue you!” This very well may be the best solution, though it might be a drastic overreaction.
The cornerstone of any lawsuit is being able to prove both negligence and monetary damages. If your neighbor doesn’t mow their yard and it causes you emotional distress to the point where you want to sue them as a matter of principle, you’re going to have a hard time winning a case. If you stub your toe at an outlet mall and complain that the clothes rack was too close to the wall, you’re going to have a hard time convincing anyone it’s A) a big deal or B) anyone’s fault except your own.
Another reaction is after you’ve been fired from a job. Our firm does workers' compensation on contingency, meaning you don’t pay for our legal services unless we recover damages, but that doesn’t mean every employment termination has grounds for additional compensation. Contacting a local lawyer, however, is essential if your case shows signs of unpaid wages, discrimination, injuries caused by negligence, and other monetary damages. You can reach out to the Dixon Injury Firm today and we’d be happy to help you decide if you have a case or claim and how best to pursue compensation.
Still Need a Lawyer?
The Dixon Injury Firm is dedicated to helping injured victims and their families in the Greater St. Louis area. We specialize in a number of areas, including workers' compensation, personal injury, vehicle accidents, and helping our clients deal with insurance claims to ensure they get the most compensation possible. You can view our results and recent cases and contact us for a free case review and consultation.