An injury can turn a person’s world upside down. Between having to deal with the actual injury, medical treatment, work, and other issues, it can become overwhelming. Among the biggest hassles will be dealing with insurance companies, doctors, and responsible parties not wanting to pay, which is only made worse by dealing with the injury at a time when you’re most vulnerable.
This vulnerability can also impede making a rational decision when you have to make vital, prompt choices that may affect your entire future well-being. This is a time when having experienced representation can save you from being taken advantage of or missing out on treatment that may have been offered by the opposing party’s doctor. You’ll want an expert helping you to handle such an important matter during this phase of your life. The trouble is, how do you choose a personal injury attorney who will get the best outcome for you?
Injury Attorney Shopping 101
Keep in mind that experience is crucial. Your friend’s nephew or your father’s attorney’s son may not be specialized enough to know the intricacies of your situation. Much like you wouldn’t want a foot doctor to perform brain surgery, a bankruptcy attorney will not be as inundated with the most recent laws as an attorney who focuses on the subject matter.
What Is the Subject Matter?
Injuries are not always handled the same, even if circumstances may be similar. Generally, a regular injury incurred on premises—is referred to as Personal Injury, while injuries incurred in a car crash would be handled as Auto Liability unless either happened in the scope of performing a job, then it may be handled as Worker’s Compensation. Usually, an attorney who handles any of these areas handles all of them, but it is good to know that if you have an employment injury and a prospective attorney mentions focusing on property or auto injury only, you may wish to review a few other options who specialize in the matter you need.
What Are the First Steps?
While seeking an attorney, assemble all of your records. Gather any documentation that is even slightly relevant, as the attorney will be best equipped to determine if something belongs or does not. Gather and summarize dates and communications. Do this while contacting local bar associations, legal aid societies, or friends and relatives to see if they can recommend an attorney skilled in injury cases.
Once you have some names, do some online research. Not just on their own websites, but see if they’ve been named in any articles, for good or bad reasons. Have an elevator pitch of your situation ready and be prepared for screening questions. You’ll also want to have any questions that you’ve thought of on a compiled list so as not to forget to ask them while speaking with the attorney’s office. Know, going in, that you’ll not likely be talking with the injury attorney, directly, but an intake specialist trained to handle initial evaluations and field questions from this early stage.
Be prepared to answer some of the following intake questions before getting to speak with an attorney. Be sure to answer them honestly, as it will only hurt your case to have contradictory information come up during the trial, even if it would not have been an issue if disclosed in the beginning.
What happened? Give the elevator pitch.
Were you responsible, in any way, for the events leading up to the injury? Be honest. A little contributory negligence may be no big deal but lying and being caught can change that.
Have you signed anything? Again, be honest. An experienced attorney may know of alternative means to combat previously-executed agreements.
Once they have received the general information from you, you may be permitted to ask your questions, since they now have a better understanding of your situation. Questions that you may wish to consider could include:
Do you think I have a case? If not, they may be able to answer this, here and now, saving everyone time. Naturally, getting a second opinion is your prerogative.
How are you compensated? Most injury cases are considered “fee-generating” cases, which means that the attorney is paid a percentage based on any amounts awarded. Some attorneys, or situations, may be handled hourly, or even on a flat fee basis. You’ll want to know this before choosing an attorney.
How can you help? This may seem direct, but it serves a purpose. You need to know how retaining this attorney will help make things better for you versus handling this alone. Different offices offer different services, so you’ll wish to know what the attorney you are considering will bring to the table.
Contact Leybe Defence
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s actions or negligence or were injured on someone else’s premises, you may be entitled to coverage and compensation under the law. Our firm has several years of experience in these matters. To find out if we can help you, please contact us to schedule a free consultation, today!