Suffering a personal injury can be devastating. Medical bills and insurance issues can mount, and a whole ream of legalese is slung in your direction. If your injury is serious, you could be out of work for a while, which is another complication. And of course, you're hurt and possibly in pain, which just makes everything worse.
One way to help alleviate these frustrating and difficult problems is by hiring a personal injury lawyer. However, there are so many out there, and many of them have the reputation of being greasy ambulance-chasers. The last thing you want to do, after being compromised with injury, is to get mixed up with the wrong kind of attorney. That's why you want to take several steps to ensure that you're dealing with a trustworthy, experienced, principled lawyer.
First, you have to find some names. The easiest way to do that is by looking them up online. Find a few that are associated with the type of injury you've suffered. For example, if you suffered from asbestos exposure, you might want to look for lawyers who have some expertise successfully dealing with asbestos-related cases. If the injury was at work, try to find lawyers specializing in work-related accidents.
After you have a list of lawyers, look them up. See what sort of associations they are involved with. The more associations they're a part of, the better—that means they're active and, by extension, respected within the law community. Extra points for those who are ranking officers or who have founded respected institutions. Also contact the Bar Association in your state to verify that the lawyers you're looking up are in good standing.
Once you've conducted some preliminary research, it's time to make some initial contact. Find out how their fees work. Are they paid on a no win, no fee basis? That might be a good thing. Also take the time to conduct a brief interview with the lawyer, if possible. Your gut reaction, paired with the facts you collected from your research, can be more valuable than you'd think. At this point, you'd be ready to narrow your decision and hopefully make an educated hire.
Granted, this is just a rough outline of how to approach hiring a personal injury attorney. Nevertheless, following this guide will certainly help smooth the process—and that's a very important thing when you're laid up in a hospital bed.
By: Franklin Mowshowitz
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