Picking the Perfect Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been hurt because someone has been wrongful or done negligent acts, there is something you can do. By investigating your case and hiring a good personal injury attorney, you may be able to receive money for medical bills resulting from your injury and afterwards, time you’ve missed at work, and pain and suffering. In order to get the money you deserve, searching for a personal injury attorney is an important factor. Believe it or not, a good personal injury lawyer has a direct effect on how much money you end up receiving.
The first thing you can do is ask around for personal opinions about personal injury attorneys. The best information comes from personal experience, and this will probably end up being more helpful than online reviews or commercials on TV. Take a little while and flip through the phone book and online for attorneys that are local. See if a free consultation is a available, because many law offices offer one. While you talk to your potential personal injury attorney, make sure to assess him thoroughly. Good impressions are vital, and if you get a bad vibe from him in the beginning, chances are the relationship won’t get any better.
Questions are very important for your case, so come armed with some general as well as specific ones. Inquire as to how long he has been practicing law and if he’s had much experience. Don’t base your final judgement on only experience, because oftentimes this isn’t a good way to assess potential success. Also, as a quick sidenote, although the final cost of your case is important, don’t avoid someone because the cost is too high, and don’t hire someone because their services are cheap. The most important factor is the outcome of your case, so keep that in mind. Ask if he has many clients with cases like yours, and see how they’ve turned out. See if there are certain types of cases he focuses on. If other lawyers are going to be helping with the case, ask how much they will be involved and if you can meet them. Make sure you get a time frame to when he’ll return your calls.
Sometimes people are intimidated by the legal process. Lawyers and judges and legal jargon can be pretty overwhelming. Here’s a quick lesson in legal vocabulary 101. Liability simply means responsibility, and negligence means carelessness. So to provide an example, if you are hit by a drunk driver, their negligence makes them liable for your injury. Negligence is calculated by comparing someone’s behavior against what a “reasonable person” would do. That is, our drunk driver’s behavior is below expected standards, so this qualifies their actions as negligent. “Duty” refers to the “reasonable person’s” job to not in any way threaten the safety of those around him. The terms “comparative” and “contributory” are used to qualify a degree of negligence. Contributory negligence assesses how much you might have been responsible for your injury while comparative negligence assesses how much the offender is responsible.