At the Injury Law Education Center, we believe that every victim involved in a personal injury case has the power to get the settlement that they deserve. Even cases that seem simple at the outset can become complicated and confusing. It can be difficult for victims to accurately evaluate their own cases and effectively negotiate settlements. When your injury case becomes overwhelming, it may be the right time to retain a personal injury attorney to handle your claim. However, finding a personal injury attorney can be daunting in itself. Here is some information to consider during your search for representation.
Make sure you’re in the right place
Different attorneys practice different types of law – no law office will be a one stop shop for legal needs. You may have a great divorce attorney that you trust, but that person will probably not be the best representation in a personal injury claim. Start your search with attorneys who specifically practice in injury matters. Once you have narrowed your search to the appropriate category of lawyers, keep narrowing until you have found one with experience with your particular type of injury case. As we emphasize at ILEC, all injury cases are not alike. If you were injured in a car accident, your attorney should be well versed in car accident cases.
Now you have to do your homework. Look at attorney backgrounds to see what other qualifications they have besides experience. Did the attorney attend a strong undergraduate institution? Was he or she educated at a prestigious law school, and did the attorney graduate with honors? Name-brand education is not the only criterion – you should also research community involvement and other awards. Strong attorneys will be acknowledged by their peers. Check out google and other website reviews as well. Great feedback from clients is an indicator of a great attorney. Finally, find out how long the attorney has been practicing, generally and in your area. You may not want to entrust your injury claim to a green attorney.
Most attorneys now offer free initial consultations or case evaluations. There is no reason to pay a fee to see if an attorney will take your case. The initial consultation is an important first step to figure out if you think the attorney is the right one to represent you. Besides education and experience with your matter, your attorney should be a person that you trust to take care of your claim. Call attorneys you are interested in and ask if they give free consultations to potential clients.
As with any service provider, there are fees associated with legal representation. Often, personal injury attorneys will work on what is called a contingency fee. This means that you do not have to pay out of pocket – instead, the fee will be recovered from your settlement. Fees vary based on the prestige of the firm and location as well. They also vary based on the extent of your case. For example, if your case is settled with the insurance company before it goes to court, the percentage taken from your settlement will be smaller. Once a case goes to litigation, the percentage goes up as well. Get fee quotes from several firms to get an idea of prices.
If you are dealing with a personal injury matter caused by an accident, medical mistake, or other negligence in Washington D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, call the experienced attorneys at Cohen & Cohen, PC for your free case evaluation.