You may think that the process of hiring a personal injury lawyer is as simple as finding someone who specializes in the area of law you need help with. However, there are a few things you should take into consideration before making your final decision. This blog post will cover various mistakes to avoid when deciding on your personal injury lawyer. Take a look.
Not Checking Their Reviews
When looking for a Chicago injury attorney to help you with a specific problem, online reviews are the first places you turn to. The same should be true when looking for a personal injury lawyer. Checking online reviews will give you an idea of what other people’s experiences have been like and whether or not the lawyer was able to help them win their case.
Some popular places to look for reviews include:
- Reddit: Check the personal injury lawyer subreddit for reviews of lawyers in your area.
- Google: Use Google to search for reviews of specific personal injury lawyers.
- Facebook: Look for relevant Facebook groups where people discuss their experiences with personal injury lawyers.
Not Checking Their Credentials
To practice law, lawyers must go through a rigorous educational process and pass a difficult bar exam. Once licensed to practice, they must adhere to their state’s strict code of ethics. When you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer, check that they are licensed to practice law in your state. You can search for their name on your state’s bar website.
Failing to Ask for Recommendations
Ask for recommendations from family and friends. If somebody you know and trust has had a positive experience with a personal injury lawyer, that’s a good sign that you will too.
Hiring the First Lawyer You Speak To
It’s important to consult several different lawyers before making your final decision. This will allow you to see how well you communicate with each one and get a feel for their personality. It’s also an opportunity to ask questions and get more information about their experience and success rate.
Signing Without Reading the Fine Print
Before signing any paperwork, make sure that you read and understand everything that’s in it. This includes the fee agreement and any other forms that need to be signed. Pay close attention to deadlines and ensure they work with your schedule.
Ignoring Your Gut Feeling
You know yourself better than anyone else, so if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Even if a lawyer has good reviews and comes highly recommended, it’s probably best to move on and find someone else if they make you feel uncomfortable.
Relying Solely on Ads
Just because an attorney has commercials on TV doesn’t mean they’re the best option for your case. In fact, many times, these lawyers aren’t even taking new clients because they already have too many cases on their plates. Do your research, and don’t rely solely on TV ads when making your decision.
Not Knowing About the Compensation
Before even considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, you need to know what kind of compensation you’re entitled to and what your case is worth. This will prevent you from being taken advantage of by attorneys who might try to get you to settle for less than what your case is worth.
Generally, there are two main types of compensation in a personal injury case. These include:
- Compensatory Damages: These are used to compensate for the losses caused by your injury. They can be further broken down into special and general compensatory damages. The special compensatory damages consist of out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. On the other hand, the general compensatory damages include non-economic losses, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive Damages: These are awarded to punish the person or organization that caused your injury. They aren’t awarded in all cases, and they’re typically only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly dreadful.
The amount of compensation that you may be entitled to in a personal injury case will depend on the specific facts of your case. For example, if you’ve been severely injured in a scaffolding accident, the amount of compensation may be higher. Depending on the impact, it can result in more severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and amputations.
Therefore, if you want to get the most out of your compensation, it’s important to speak with an experienced legal professional like a scaffold accident lawyer to discuss your case and get an estimate.
Not Being Prepared For Your Consultation
When you visit an attorney for a consultation, they will ask you questions about your case to get more information. To make the most out of your consultation, you must be prepared with answers to these questions ahead of time so that the attorney can get all the information they need.
Moreover, before you meet with a lawyer, take some time to research the legal issue you’re facing. This can help you understand the basics of the law and ask informed questions. You can find legal information online, at your local library, or by talking to a trusted friend or family member.
If you have any documents relevant to your case, bring them with you to your free legal consultation. This could include things like contracts, medical records, or police reports.
Not Having Realistic Expectations
Don’t expect your case to be settled overnight—or even within weeks or months in some cases. These things take time, so it’s important to have realistic expectations about how long it might take to resolve. If your lawyer tells you that your case will most likely drag on for years, believe them!
Not Following Your Lawyer’s Advice
Just because you hired a personal injury lawyer doesn’t mean you can start ignoring their advice entirely. Even though it might be tempting to go off on your own and do things your way, it’s important to remember that they know what they’re doing and you don’t—so try to follow their lead as much as possible.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, avoid making these common mistakes! Do your research, ask for recommendations, and ensure you’re comfortable with the lawyer and the terms of the retainer agreement before moving forward.
Still have any questions or concerns? Ask us in the comments!