Know These 8 Things before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer for Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death
This legal guide was provided by the Weaver Injury Law firm, a national law firm based in Dallas, TX for victims of serious and catastrophic personal injury from car accidents, defective products, and defective drugs.
Keep These Eight Points in Mind When Hiring an Attorney for Serious/Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death
1. Remember, initial case reviews are typically free.
Some people do not call an attorney because they think there will automatically be a cost. Good lawyers are willing to consult with you to determine the merits of your case and help you look at your options without charging you a fee for the consultation.
2. Experienced Attorneys Lead the Pack.
Successful lawyers typically limit the types of cases they take to be able to focus on specific areas of law. Those attorneys who are in general practice, doing all types of law, may not have the focus necessary to handle a personal injury case in the way that will be most advantageous to you. There are numerous attorneys who may be willing to help you with a serious auto accident, but some of these attorneys have been practicing all types of law just waiting for a big case to come along. They may not be qualified to handle the case in a way that will get you the best results. If they do not have the experience necessary to handle cases in a superior way.
3. You May Not Need to File a Lawsuit, But your Attorney Should be ready.
Most accident and injury cases settle with the insurance company prior to the point at which you would need to file a lawsuit. Yet other cases need the threat of a lawsuit or a lawsuit to be filed before the insurance company comes to the table with a fair offer for settlement. Other cases have settlement offers which are too low and necessitate a lawsuit. An experienced attorney can provide insurance company representatives and their attorneys with enough information packaged in a compelling way that encourages them to settle without requiring you to file suit. Because this option tends to involve less expenses and to get you results faster, it needs to be an option that you consider strongly if the situation is right.
4. Know the Attorney Fees.
When hiring a good attorney, you will realize that his or her services will provide you a value and that they will need to be paid. But the majority of car accident lawyers work through contingency which means they do not get paid unless you get paid. This means the attorney does not receive a fee for the legal work before you are paid. If you have a good attorney who is looking out for your interests, they will automatically be aligning their interests with your interests to get you the maximum settlement possible. What this also means is that you can hire an incredibly great lawyer without paying incredibly high fees up front. Often contingency fee arrangements involve the attorney receiving 33.3% of the amount of the settlement. Often this amount goes up to 45% or 50% if the case requires a lawsuit or requires going to trial. Because of the greater expenses and intense legal maneuvering required in a trial, the fees generally increase if this is necessary. However, when a trial is necessary, this can result in a larger jury award than you would have received in a settlement in many cases. This is something that a trusted, experienced accident attorney would be able to determine in order to decide whether to settle or reject a settlement offer in favor of going to trial.
5. Expenses Not Included.
Attorney fees are often a settlement percentage, but these attorney fees pay an attorney’s time. When the attorney must pay a legal expert, medical expert, or other people who must work on your case to help you get the best possible outcome, these other people who handle certain aspects of your case fall into a category known as expenses for the accident case. The majority of lawyers will not require you to pay these expenses up front, but rather bill you once the case is completed and these expense come out of the settlement you receive. It is wise to discuss these expenses with your attorney to make sure you are clear about what they will be and what you can expect when the case is complete.
6. Insurance companies may need to be repaid if they have paid for portions of your medical bills.
The #1 most misunderstood aspect of injury cases revolve around the concept of how insurance works with your case. If your health insurance has covered our injuries, paid out your bills, and then you receive a settlement later, they may need to be paid back for what they have paid out to cover your medical expenses from your injuries. Good injury lawyers have the ability to work through these issues with you to get the most possible amount of money in your pocket after all of these required expenses have been paid.
7. You May Need to Be Patient, Because Cases Can Take Time.
Every accident case will take some time to get to the finish line. Prepare yourself for a process that will take a long time to complete. A good lawyer will stay with you and help you through the process. They may not be able to speak to you at all hours of the day, but their team will consistently keep in contact with you and return phone calls and emails when you have questions. If they spent all of their time talking to you, they would not have time to get you the results you need, so understanding this balance is important and if you hire a great lawyer, they will be working for you in your court, even though there are periods of time when both your attorney and you must wait for certain things to happen. As the process unfolds, you will reach certain milestones and ultimately as you prepare to get to the completion, you will obtain the goal you are seeking which is the best possible outcome for the case.
It may be a good idea to ask your lawyer how long they expect this type of case to take. Good attorneys can provide you with a realistic estimate or range of time which they think the case could last. Beware of lawyers who talk about quick settlements and fast cash. While it would be nice if this were always the case, if this were the case, then you might not even need an attorney.
8. Attorneys Cannot Make Guarantees
If an attorney is telling you that they will guarantee a specific result, you shouldn’t walk away, you should run! Good lawyers offer honest opinions about cases, but they do not make guarantees. It is not ethical for an attorney to make promises, but when you hire a powerful attorney from a respected law firm, you can trust what they have to say. This is why it is so important to hire a lawyer who is trustworthy, experienced, and compassionate. They do not need to make guarantees because they have the track record to back up their statements and you can be assured that they are looking out for your best interests.
The Weaver Injury Law Firm is a personal injury law firm serving clients nationwide, with a focus on catastrophic injury, handling the most serious of cases. The Dallas based auto accidents law firm focuses on victims of defective products such as failed deployment airbag lawsuits and more.
For victims of car accidents, hiring an attorney can become important in making sure that your bodily injury claim is properly addressed and that you are given the full and fair amount to cover your medical bills, lost wages, or loss of quality of life. To assure that your case is handled effectively, you can keep these points in mind.
Make sure that the law firm handling your case has the experience necessary to take you to the finish line. Many law firms focus on the type of cases which they can win without going to trial. By choosing a law firm who is prepared to litigate your case, you will be in a position where you won’t have to switch your attorney midstream. Many attorneys do a fine job of settling cases when there is no fight, but when you need to take your accident and injury case to trial, the rubber meets the road and you need a law firm that you can trust. The Weaver Injury Law Firm has trial attorneys who litigate cases and has an exceptional record of success for clients. While no attorney can guarantee you an outcome based on past success, the truth remains that a pattern of successful outcomes for clients will give you a much greater chance of success than hire an untried and inexperienced firm.