Most large cities have ample opportunities to hire a variety of personal injury lawyers. How do you know when they have your best interest in mind? Which law firm is in business to serve their clients instead of their own personal gain? I’d like to discuss eight tips to consider when you need a injury attorney that will work for you; not for a high turnover and big paycheck.
Quick Response: This tip covers two things; your ability to quickly find a personal injury lawyer and their ability to quickly respond to you. Ideally, you should begin your search within the first week after your accident. Two weeks is acceptable but one week is ideal. If your injuries prevent you from contacting an attorney personally, ask someone for help.
Experience is a Plus: Look for a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer who has experience with your specific type of case. Ask for references and examples of cases similar to yours. Ask them about the timeframe and settlement awards they got in previous cases.
Face-to-Face Meeting: Telephone conversations only go so far in conveying your wishes and needs to your attorney. A face-to-face meeting is imperative to build the relationship of trust with your lawyer. Most Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so don’t be afraid to interview more than one.
Contingency Fee Basis: The last thing you need is to pay lawyer fees if your case is dismissed or you don’t win. Contingency fee basis pay simply means if you don’t win, your lawyer doesn’t get paid. Expect your attorney to request about 30% to 35% of your final settlement amount. Read your retainer agreement thoroughly so you understand how and when your attorney will be paid.
No Ambulance Chasers: Quick turnover isn’t the type of attorney you need. Ambulance chasers earned their reputation and nickname by the fact that their average case is evaluated and completed in a very short amount of time. Many of these cases are handled in a sloppy manner and the injured do not receive the maximum payout.
High Martindale-Hubbell Rating: Martindale-Hubbell is a peer-based review system that evaluates law firms in the United States and Canada. Their detailed rating system helps you find the best personal injury lawyer in your area.
Honesty is the Best Policy: Never, ever, be dishonest with your attorney. Always be perfectly honest and try to remember every detail. Share all photos and documentation so your attorney can properly evaluate your case and advise you to the best of their ability.
No Recorded Statements: Never give a recorded statement until you’re directed to do so by your attorney. Simply state, “I am not prepared to give a statement yet.” You may overlook very important details and these will be pointed out during negotiations and in the courtroom.
Hiring a Philadelphia Injury Attorney
These eight tips are simply a starting point for your search for a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers aren’t difficult to find; a great personal injury attorney may be more difficult to pinpoint. Do your homework and find a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer who will work hard to meet your needs. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.