5 Tips For Choosing The Right Personal Injury Lawyer

2Choosing a personal injury lawyer who actively investigates and preserves your claim and rights is essential in obtaining the compensation for which you’re entitled. So, how do you choose the right one? Here are five tips that can help:

1. Experience. Never underestimate the value of an attorney’s experience when it comes to assessing and investigating a claim. Hiring a personal injury attorney who knows what to look for, where to look for it – and understands what it means to your case – can make all the difference.

For example, every state has specific laws or standards related to statutes of limitation, negligence, causation, contributory negligence, assumption of the risk and others which might be relevant to your case.

Part of that knowledge and expertise also involves choosing the proper venue for your situation as that can affect how much compensation you receive. While it’s clear that a slip and fall case would be filed where the accident occurred, not all personal injury accidents are that clear cut. For example, if you’re injured by a product in your home that was manufactured in another state, the issues related to where to bring the suit can be complicated and need to be analyzed to best protect your interests.

Hiring a personal injury without experience may mean that you are rolling the dice and taking a chance you simply shouldn’t be taking. So, before hiring an attorney, ask them about similar cases they’ve handled, their success rates and whether they are prepared to take the case to trial if needed.

2. Focus. The focus of an attorney’s practice can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. A personal injury lawyer has unique skills when it comes to determining issues of liability such as negligence and causation – and is probably better equipped when it comes to accurately valuing the compensation for which you are entitled.

Approximately 95% of personal injury lawsuits settle before trial, so knowing how to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement is important as many factors are involved. This is definitely not the time to use your Uncle Saul the real estate lawyer – no matter how nice he might be.

3. Reputation. An attorney’s reputation can go a long way when it comes to resolving your case quickly and fairly due to their previous dealings with insurance companies and other lawyers in the area and in the court system(s) in which they practice.

An attorney’s reputation provides that added value as it will precede him or her – not only from a plaintiff’s perspective, but from the defendant’s perspective and the court’s perspective for handling cases and doing things the right way. It puts a client in the best situation to recover as much as they deserve as a result of what happened to them.

4. Objectivity. Objectivity cannot be understated when it comes to being compensated for your injuries. Make sure your attorney is objective and isn’t looking to settle your case too quickly in order to move on to the next client.

5. Personality. Often the most overlooked factor in hiring an attorney is personality. While you may not be discussing your case together over dinner every night, when you’ve been injured the last thing you need is an attorney who is not going to be there for you to ask questions, give you a status on your case or return your calls in a reasonable time.

Hiring a personal injury attorney to assist you with an insurance claim or lawsuit can go a long way towards getting the money you deserve. As you go through the hiring process, remember, you do not need to rush. Be sure you are comfortable with your lawyer’s ethics and experience, and feel free to talk to multiple attorneys before selecting the right one for you. Selecting your attorney is an important step, and you can take the time to do it right in order to get the right lawyer for your case.

Are Lawyers Optional in a Personal Injury Case?

6From medical malpractice to a car accident case, to a dog bite or intentional tort, you generally have the legal right to recover compensation when you are injured as a result of someone else’s careless action. This compensation can come by settling a claim outside of court, or through a formal court-based lawsuit. If you find yourself in a situation where you may need to make a personal injury claim, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is whether to hire a lawyer.

What Cases Can You Handle on Your Own?

Here are a few examples of cases that you may be able to handle without an attorney:

You Live in a No-Fault State. The no-fault rules do not allow you to sue unless your injuries rise to a certain level (determined either by the nature of the injuries or the cost of treating them, depending on where you live). Since you are limited to recovering damages from your own personal injury protection coverage in a no-fault claim, hiring a lawyer for minor injuries may not make sense here. However, if there is a possibility that your injuries might be “serious” enough to qualify you for stepping outside of the no-fault system, then hiring a lawyer becomes a good idea.

You’re Already Receiving the Maximum Amount Available. Insurance companies will only pay out to their policy limits. This means if the defendant who injured you has a $100,000 maximum insurance policy and you’ve been offered a $100,000 settlement, even getting a larger verdict may not be useful to you. Any additional dollars over what the insurer is offering would have to be collected from the defendant directly. If the defendant has assets or money, then it may be worth it to try to collect additional damages if you believe you deserve them. However, if the defendant has little in the way of assets, then accepting the settlement is probably the best move. See Collecting Compensation Beyond Insurance Policy Limits.

Finding a Top Personal Injury Lawyer

1Personal injury cases are life-changing events that can wreak havoc on your health, finances and family life. Many accident victims are dependent on the damages they are awarded to cover medical expenses and lost income. Choosing the top lawyer is therefore the crucial first step any plaintiff must take so he or she can get suitably compensated.

How to Identify a Top Personal Injury Lawyer

• An attorney who specializes in injury law will be best suited to accurately assess the merits of your case and formulate the best legal strategy for getting the compensation that is due to you. Lawyers who specialize also normally keep up with any updates on their areas of practice. It is harder for lawyers to stay informed if they split their time handling legal cases in a too many practice areas.

• An injury lawyer has years of court experience. Inexperienced attorneys may be at a loss when negotiating with insurance companies and preparing and taking cases to trial when negotiations fall through. Getting a lawyer with a track record of successful negotiations and trials is vital. A well established top personal injury lawyer will be able to efficiently initiate investigations, secure evidence, locate witnesses, file documents, and keep your case moving toward a favorable verdict.

• A lawyer has access to a large amount of resources. Injury cases can be expensive to prosecute. Proving damages requires sometimes requires the expensive services of neurologists, orthopedic specialists, engineers, economists, vocational rehab and life-care planners. Because most personal injury attorneys work for a contingency fee, it is essential for your lawyer to be well-financed in order to secure the services that aid in proving your claim.

• An attorney should be committed to your case. You can get a lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of new york personal injury law, but it’d all be worthless if he or she does not believe in upholding your rights. You should seek a personal injury attorney who will keep you abreast of the development of your case; a true professional who is determined protect your interests.

The legal process can be an excruciating ordeal and you will not be able to properly assess the merits of your case unless you speak with a top personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights. Aside from the traits mentioned above, make sure you feel comfortable conversing truthfully with your lawyer, because even the smallest detail — no matter how painful or embarrassing — may be crucial to your case.

5 Tips to Help You Find Your Personal Injury Lawyer

5Welcome to the second blog in my series called “Choosing a personal injury lawyer”. Today, I look at how to find your personal injury lawyer—the one who is right for you. In my first blog in this series, I answered the question: Why do you need a personal injury lawyer?

So how do you find the right personal injury lawyer for you?

You can approach finding your personal injury lawyer in much the same way you would approach finding any specialist. Try the following 5 tips. As you look for a personal injury lawyer, jot down the name, phone number, and website address of the personal injury lawyers that interest you.

1. Use your network

Ask the people you trust in your personal network for references. Your personal network includes relatives, friends, and work colleagues. Your extended personal network includes the people they know.

If you have used a lawyer for other reasons, such as a real estate transaction or writing a will, you may want to ask for a reference to a personal injury lawyer.

Remember, to achieve maximum fair compensation for your injury, you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, not a good lawyer who occasionally takes on personal injury cases. See my blog Why do you need a personal injury lawyer? on this point.

2. Check law society records

In Alberta, you can find out if a personal injury lawyer is in good standing on the Law Society of Alberta website. You can search the website’s lawyer directory and also find information about any disciplinary hearings and outcomes.

3. Use the Internet

Try some standard web searches.

Go to your favourite search engine and enter a term specific to the type of injury or accident you experienced plus a term like “personal injury lawyer”. Add your location for more accuracy. For instance, your search term might be “spinal cord injuries Edmonton personal injury lawyer”. Your search results will show a series of advertisements followed by websites of lawyers who deal with this type of injury.
If you have already identified possible lawyers, search using each lawyer’s name and a term specific to type of injury or accident you experienced. For instance, if you are searching for me and you have a TMJ jaw injury, your search term could be “joseph nagy tmj jaw injury”. If you were injured in an auto accident and maybe aren’t sure of your injuries yet, you could try searching for “joseph nagy auto accident”. You can also add the location to be sure you get the right lawyer, e.g. “joseph nagy auto accident Edmonton”.
4. Review the lawyer’s website

Your Internet searches should give you the websites of two or three personal injury lawyers you want to consider. Review the website of each personal injury lawyer you are considering to learn more about who they are and their practices. My next blog, “5 Guidelines to Help You Choose Your Personal Injury Lawyer”, will include tips about the kind of useful information you may find on a lawyer’s website.

5. Contact the personal injury lawyer

Once you have narrowed your search for a personal injury lawyer down to one or two candidates, it’s time to contact them directly. You will probably have chosen lawyers who offer free consultations. The lawyer’s website should have a contact form and a phone number. Ask for a free consultation.

In a later blog, I will discuss more fully the kinds of questions to ask during a free consultation to ensure you gain the maximum benefit from the personal injury lawyer’s time.

Prepare a List of Questions For Attorneys

Prior to meeting with attorneys that you feel suit your case, it’s important to generate a quick list of relevant questions to ask them. Their responses can help you decide whether or not they are the right attorney for your needs.

Some important questions to consider include:

How long do your expect my case will take?
Will anybody else be working on my case?
Have you ever been disciplined or suspended from practice?
How will payment work? Do you work on a contingent basis?
What are your specialized experiences?

Make the Most of Free Consultations
Many injury victims seeking to build a case feel the hassle of contacting a professional attorney will either cost too much money or time to be worth the effort, and may abandon their case. Don’t hesitate: almost all personal injury attorneys will offer free legal consultations for your case.

These free consultations will inform you whether or not you have a case worth pursuing, and honest attorneys will tell you how compatible your case is with their previous experiences.

Visit With and Interview Your Attorneys
Use office visits and attorney interviews to make final judgments on personal injury attorney selections. Use the questions previous outlined in this article, as well as any other inquiries specific to your injury case, to judge whether or not an attorney is a good fit for your needs.

Interview numerous attorneys suitable for your case, and weigh their experiences, specializations and responses against one another.

Read Everything, and Gauge Attorney Cooperation
When given an attorney’s legal contract, you’ll need to carefully read every word, and every line with the utmost scrutiny. This isn’t because they may be trying to cheat you with the ‘fine print,’ but because doing so will better help you understand how your case will be handled, and how the legal process will unfold.

If you do not understand something, ask. Understand all terms and conditions, and negotiate anything you don’t agree with. This can also help you estimate a personal injury attorney’s future cooperation with you during your case.

Always Choose Local
Finally, you should always aim to choose a local personal injury attorney. These professionals understand your local environment, and how town or city laws work in that specific area and affect case proceedings.

Typically, local offices are also more involved in individual cases, and handle cases with more passion for success than regional, unattached firms.

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Essentials of Work Injury Claims and Workers’ Compensation Law…

10Workers’ compensation law mandates insurance coverage for on-the-job injuries.

The process for filing a workers’ comp claim varies from state to state, but nearly always involves an employer, the injured employee, an insurance provider, and medical professionals.

All fifty states require employers (of a certain size) to provide workers’ comp coverage for their workers. There’s also a federal layer of workers’ compensation covering many government employees.

It is a no-fault system, designed to provide benefits to employees while protecting employers from lawsuits.

By sidestepping the court system and the need to prove fault, the entire process is considerably streamlined (when compared to other personal injury case types).

Workers’ comp benefits are typically limited to medical costs and partial compensation for lost income (generally 50 to 70 percent of pre-injury wages). Benefits normally don’t include compensation for pain and suffering. Serious injury cases may involve permanent or partial disability, resulting in a permanent stipend and/or a lump sum settlement.

Workers’ comp claims can include:

Aggravation of pre-existing conditions
Injuries sustained on company property or at a company-sponsored activity
Injuries caused by company-owned assets, like mechanical equipment
More serious cases include diseases caused by exposure to hazards, such as benzene, asbestos or silica dust. While mesothelioma is one extreme example of this, a more common example is rashes brought on by exposure to cleaning chemicals or gasoline.

Workers’ compensation typically doesn’t cover injuries resulting from horseplay at work, or injuries sustained while drunk or in an impaired state. Likewise, only a few states provide coverage for employees injured while travelling to and from work, unless that transportation is provided by the employer.

The vast majority of workers’ compensation cases are streamlined, and only involve filing a claim with the workers’ comp insurance carrier. But there are times when it’s necessary to hire an attorney due to coverage limits or denial of benefits.

What You Need to Know About Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

9If you’ve been seriously injured, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate a fair settlement, or to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

But where do you find an attorney you can trust? How much will it cost? What questions do you ask to be sure you get the best attorney for your case type?

Obviously, a good personal injury lawyer brings a lot to the table: knowledge of legal procedure, support staff to process paperwork, negotiating expertise, and more. But they will also take a substantial amount of any compensation awarded to you. This is known as a contingency fee.

You should also know it’s not necessary to hire an attorney for all personal injury scenarios. It really depends on the severity of your injuries and the amount at stake. If your injuries were minor and liability is clear, you might be able to “go it alone.” This approach could save you a lot of money. With more serious injuries, however, you’ll need an attorney.

Personal Injury Attorneys: Tips for Choosing the Right One

8Being injured can mean missing work, having to change your daily life and dealing with medical bills that seem to pile up endlessly. If you’re dealing with a personal injury case and don’t know where to get started or how to deal with the situation, hiring a professional personal injury attorney is worth your time. A free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer from www.sgplaw.com firm is a great first step in making certain those rights are protected, and your consultation is free! By having this professional at your side you will be able to get through the process of your case without being confused or constantly searching the internet for answers.
Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
A lot of experience is what makes an attorney like this truly good at their job. They can use experience from different cases they have dealt with in the past to make sure they are helping you the right way. The longer a person has been an attorney, the more experience they will have. Different types of cases and a lot of them make a lawyer familiar with all the different cases that can arise.
A local personal injury lawyer is going to be able to come and meet you and work with you on a more personal level. If you were to hire a lawyer that couldn’t meet up for appointments, you would end up just talking to them through the phone or e-mails. Location is extremely important especially if you’re dealing with a case that is going to go to court.
Not all attorneys are created equally when it comes to the cases they deal with and type of law they specialize in. You have to look for and hire someone who specifically deals with personal injury cases. Hiring any other type of lawyer could mean not getting the personalized care that you in for your type of case. Personal injuries are a totally different type of law than real estate or accident. Someone who practices personal injury law will have extensive knowledge of the laws in your area that pertain to your case specifically.
Everyone has a budget and that is especially true when it comes to hiring an attorney. Always ask prices when you go in for a consultation and make sure to compare prices for several different people. There are some attorneys that will make it so you don’t pay if they don’t win your case. Not all attorneys offer this, so you should look into your options if you are on a tight budget and just need help with your situation.

What If Your Injuries are Minor?

7Many people are reluctant to hire a lawyer for injuries that seem relatively minor. For example, if you get into a car accident and you bruise your arm and suffer a few scrapes, you may not feel it is worthwhile to hire a personally injury attorney. And if the other driver’s insurance company makes you an offer to pay your medical bills and give you a few hundred dollars extra on top of that, it may not be worth the hassle of finding legal representation.

But there are a few reasons why you might consider making a phone call or scheduling an initial consultation with a lawyer, even for seemingly minor injuries.

Minor Injuries May Turn into Major Ones. If your injuries turn out to be worse than you and your doctor thought, and you have already accepted a settlement offer, there will be nothing you can do about it since you must give up any and all future claims arising out of the accident when you settle. A good lawyer will advise you to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries, and would help you to determine the right time to accept an offer.

You’re Entitled to “Pain and Suffering” Damages. Pain and suffering and emotional distress damages would be considered by a jury if your case went to court, and so a settlement that doesn’t include these types of damages might not be a complete one. Your lawyer can explain all damages you may be entitled to, even for injuries that seem minor, and will advocate on your behalf to make sure you receive a satisfactory settlement.

Small Cases vs. Serious Injuries

Whenever you suffer from serious injuries, you need to get an attorney. That’s because:

Your lawyer can help you make sure you get the full spectrum of damages you’re entitled to.
Lawyers are experts in negotiation and can maximize your recovery.
The insurers and defendants may take your claim more seriously once you’re represented by an attorney.

Finding A Personal Injury Attorney

31.) Identify the Type of Attorney You Specifically Need
If you’ve never had to contact a personal injury attorney before, you may find that ‘personal injury attorney’ is almost an umbrella term, and that there are countless types of attorneys, with different specialties, focus and experience. Some will have particular experience with motorcycle accidents, some with hit-and-run accidents, and some with varying experience in all types of injury, a kind of legal jack-of-all-trades.

The first thing to consider when finding a personal injury attorney is how well an attorney’s previous experiences match up with your case. Have they had many successful cases similar to yours?

2.) Consult Friends, Family and Professional Contacts
Often, close friends and family can be a reliable resource and starting point for finding personal injury attorneys in your area. Consult your close contacts for recommendations, and have them rate their case satisfaction. Were they satisfied with their representation? Why, or why not?

You can also network through your friends and family for any professional legal contacts they may have. These contacts can help you build an ideal attorney profile, and even recommend attorneys in your area that suit your representation needs.

3.) Know What to Look For
When choosing a personal injury attorney, you’ve got to know what desirable traits and behaviors to look for in these attorneys; traits that will help you receive the benefits you need and have the best experience with your case.

Responsiveness and accessibility, as well as passion for your case
Ability to thoroughly outline the entire case process, and explain case development
Ability to explain complex legal terms, matters and charges in an understandable manner
Will only make realistic guarantees on your case
Proactive, and attentive to all of your questions and needs
When choosing a personal injury attorney following an accident or injury, you’ll want someone on your side that is not only compassionate, but also realistic and personable.

4.) Know What to Avoid
Conversely, there are certain ‘red flags’ that should deter you from certain personal injury attorneys. If your personal attorney exhibits any of these traits, you may want to seek out another legal professional to help you following an injury or accident.

Gives outlandish or unrealistic compensation guarantees
Impersonal, and fails to return client calls
Fails or ignores paying court bills
Neglects explaining case proceedings, or providing necessary supplementary information
Your personal injury attorney should be someone you’d want to work with personally, who acknowledges and attends to your needs and keeps your better interests in mind.

5.) Learn Attorney Backgrounds, and Observe Them at Work
Once you have a few personal injury attorneys in mind for your case, you’ll want to conduct a bit of research. Fortunately, state bar associations typically record and file all attorney complaints in a comprehensive database. This includes discipline petitions filed against attorneys, something you’ll want to avoid when selecting a professional attorney.

If you’re persistent, and want to see your considered attorneys in action, you can even observe them in session; courthouses are public places, and you can use them to observe how well an attorney handles cases similar to yours.