Sadly, accidents happen – and they’re not always our fault. It could be that you were given broken equipment or a nurse made a mistake. Whatever the cause, it may be that you can gain financial compensation for your pain and suffering. For this reason, many people employ personal injury lawyers to help them prove negligence.
Choosing the right lawyer to represent you can be one of the most important decisions that you make. Whether your case is big or small, you’ll need to hire the best person possible. If this is a subject that’s relevant to you right now, read on because this article will provide you with some tips to help you choose wisely.
Hire A Specialist
Some attorneys involve themselves in everything from tax mitigation to criminal law, and from medical malpractice to wrongful death. The first tip is to hire someone who specializes in personal injury law – and your situation in particular. Go online and search for attorney websites mentioning car collisions, truck accidents, slips and falls, motorcycle incidents, dog bites, etc.
As of 2021, statistics indicate that Ohio, USA has a population of around 11.75 million people. There are many websites for personal injury attorneys in Ohio, and they can advise you which damages you could recover and what you could be compensated for. There may also be information explaining the Statute Of Limitations, and helpful FAQ pages too.
Check Their Qualifications
By visiting each lawyer’s website, you can often learn about the qualifications they hold. You should make sure your lawyer has:
- – At least three years experience practicing law
- – Membership of the American Bar Association (ABA) or other state bar association
- – A license to practice in their jurisdiction and courts, such as those held by members of the Virginia State Bar
You don’t want someone who’s just passed their bar exam handling your case, or who is more at home with family law or some other topic. Check out how long they’ve been operating, as it’s a case of ‘the longer, the better. It can be a good indication that they have good negotiation and communication skills, and a host of other necessary qualities.
They may post some of their previous claim successes on their website, including details of how much money they were able to recover. Their web pages may also tell you about any accreditations (E.g. Super Lawyer) or affiliations (e.g. forum memberships) they have.
Get A Case Evaluation
The initial consultation is when you and your potential personal injury lawyer first meet. It will often be free, but you should find this out before proceeding. During this meeting, the attorney should be given the maximum information on the injury sustained and the circumstances surrounding it.
By using their knowledge and experience, they should be able to advise you on two things:
- Your chances of winning the legal case
- How much compensation you may be able to get
If the lawyer is happy to take you on, it would be a good indication that they believe you have a chance. If you’re not happy or relaxed with this individual, go elsewhere because the initial chat would be non-obligatory.
Ask About Costs
The fees charged by personal injury lawyers can vary widely, depending on where you live and the type of case. For example, a lawyer who specializes in representing workers’ compensation claimants will likely charge lower fees than one specializing in insurance claims.
Ask about billing practices and if appropriate, inquire if they offer any discounts to clients with low incomes. Many lawyers feature a ‘no win no fee arrangement. Make sure of all the costs – including hidden ones! – are documented in advance. If the person is cagey and not transparent on the issue, this should be a cause for concern.
Be Comfortable With The Person And The Locality
The relationship between a client and an attorney can be delicate. This is because you could be discussing personal medical details or providing sensitive financial information. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person, the chances are that they won’t be able to serve you well. Make sure they are personable and good listeners during your initial discussion – otherwise, move on.
It’s also worth choosing someone local, so it’s easy to have face-to-face discussions and drop off important documentation. They’ll also have an understanding of local state laws, including the timescales for the Statute of Limitations.
Once you’ve made an informed choice, you’ll have the best possible chance of winning your case. You’ll hopefully gain justice and obtain a fair financial settlement.
Published on Holr Magazine