When you’ve been in injured in an accident, you might want to file a claim against a negligent party to cover damages incurred after the incident. You’ll have two options: file the paperwork on your own or contact a personal injury lawyer. Although the web has made some of the mundane legal work easier to do by yourself, being your own lawyer has huge limitations and is not recommended. That means you’ll need to hire a personal injury lawyer. If you’re not sure how to do this, consider these easy steps to follow:
- Do Your Research
There are thousands of lawyers. Some are considered general practice lawyers and others have experience in certain areas of the law. When it comes to personal injuries, it’s advisable to seek out a lawyer who handles these specific cases. Use the web to search for a personal injury lawyer in your area and click on several different sites to get to know the firm better. You can also take advantage of online resources that rate lawyers on a scale. Finally, check with the bar association in your state to confirm whether or not a lawyer is licensed to practice.
- Make a Shortlist
After you’ve done your diligent research, make a shortlist of lawyers which stand out to you. Keep in mind that larger law firms may be more suited to handle large scale claims, while smaller firms may be more suited to claims that are simpler and less complex.
- Schedule a Consultation
At this point, you’ll want to call the law firm to schedule an initial consultation. In general, these consultations are free. Some firms offer case evaluations over the phone and others may require you to meet the lawyer at his or her office. During this time, you’ll be able to discuss your questions or concerns and get a better idea of what your legal options are.
- Ask About Fees
Lawyers typically charge by the hour, through a one-time fee, or on contingency. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you may only pay a lawyer after you’ve won your claim. If you don’t win, you don’t pay. Hourly rates vary, as do contingency arrangements, so make sure the structure is laid out before agreeing to anything.
- Sign an Engagement Letter
When you’ve confidently decided on a lawyer, an engagement letter may be drawn up. This is your working contract and may describe your legal matter, the terms and conditions, expenses, and any other matters you’ve agreed to. Once you sign it, you will be bound to it.
Ready to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Listens?
It might seem overwhelming at first, but finding a great lawyer doesn’t have to be impossible. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced lawyer near you for more information about personal injury claims.