10 important things to know when hiring a personal injury lawyer
If you have an injury case and you are thinking about hiring or not hiring a lawyer then think twice after reading the following important points:
- What an injury lawyer can do for you?
An injury lawyer is a legal professional who provides legal services to people who have been injured because of someone or some company or some entity’s negligence. The injury can be physically or psychologically.
- Would it make sense to pay for a personal injury lawyer?
Initiating a personal injury lawsuit needs a deep knowledge of the legal system and some special skills. Most probably, hiring a personal injury lawyer will be worth the fees you may pay. You should consider hiring a lawyer before filing a lawsuit.
- How does a personal injury lawyer get paid?
Personal injury lawyers usually work on contingency fees, which simply means a percentage of the money, you receive after court or in a pre-trial settlement, is paid to the lawyer. So if you do not win the case and not get paid, you owe nothing to the lawyer.
- What are the most important factors when choosing a personal injury lawyer?
Location: The lawyer must be licensed to practice in the state that you were injured.
The focus of Practice: The lawyer is focused on Injury cases
Reputation: The lawyer has good reviews or references
Years of practice: The lawyer is in business for at least several years
Disciplinary record: The lawyer has a clean disciplinary record
Trial experience: The lawyer has a reasonable number of trial experiences
Winning record: The lawyer has some winning cases
- What is called a personal injury?
Personal Injury claims have always two basic elements, no matter if it is due to negligence or intentional: liability and damages. Is the person or entity who caused the damage liable for your damages, and if so, then what is the impact and extent of the damages?
- How can you quantify the pain of your personal injury claim?
It will be your or your lawyers’ responsibility to use the best judgment to quantify the pain and suffering. However, to estimate a reasonable cost for the pain and suffering, Insurance companies usually ask for the cost of medical bills and then multiply that cost to a number between one and five. If the injury is more severe and permanent they will use the higher multiplier in their calculation.
- Can I claim for emotional distress?
In a personal injury case, an emotional distress can be a major element of a claim and you can ask for compensation for your emotional pains and sufferings in addition to any tangible economic damages like medical bills, hospital costs, lost wages, therapy payments, etc.
- Is it possible to claim for post-traumatic stress disorders in the court?
A medical diagnosis may suggest that you have PTSD. One important sign of PTSD is a continues struggling with psychological or social consequences of a painful incident which happened in the past. You can definitely file for an injury lawsuit against the person or entity causing you to develop the disorder If you are diagnosed with PTSD.
- How much an Injury lawyer may ask as part of a settlement?
In some states, lawyers cannot ask for contingency fees more than the state’s statute limits. Most of the times these limits are somewhere around 33 to 40%. However, practically, in most cases, lawyers will be paid one third (around 33%) of the settlement. Saying that, it is always possible to negotiate with lawyers to decrease or cap the payment or arrange an alternative agreement with them.
- Do you need to pay a lawyer if she/he loses the case?
This is a tricky question and it mostly depends on your contract with your lawyer. If you agreed to pay on the pure contingency basis, then you do not owe any fee to your lawyer except for any out-of-pocket costs that your lawyer may have paid for. However, If you agreed to pay your lawyer on an hourly or daily fee basis, then, of course, you are responsible to pay as agreed on, no matter she or he wins the case or not.