If you have been injured and want to hire a personal injury lawyer, there are some steps you should take to ensure you’re choosing an attorney who is right for the job. It’s important to do your research. Look around for an attorney with a good reputation and a record for winning reasonable settlements.
Take advantage of free initial constellations, so you can meet with each prospective representative in person. You also need to ask some key questions to make an informed decision as to whether a lawyer is right for you.
1. How Often Do You Go to Trial?
Most cases settle before they go to trial, and many never need to, so why is this relevant? The answer is that insurance companies keep records of attorneys’ performance.
If a lawyer gets a reputation for constantly caving in and accepting low settlement offers, they will use that against them and their clients. They will be slow to make offers knowing that the lawyer will not go to trial or make lowball offers to avoid a larger payout.
If the lawyer has a reputation of taking cases to trial when necessary and pushing for high awards, this worries the insurance companies. They do not want to run the risk of the court awarding a huge verdict to the victim.
Instead, they will try to negotiate a reasonable settlement as soon as possible. This means you will receive a higher settlement offer in a shorter period if you use a lawyer who is unafraid of proceeding to trial when necessary.
2. How Do You Get Paid?
You need your lawyer to be transparent about their fees. When you’re already dealing with medical bills, you don’t need to worry about additional expenses.
Ask if the attorney will take your case on a contingency fee basis. If they will, that means they only get paid if you win your case. There is no financial risk to you when filing a claim if the lawyer works on contingency.
If the lawyer you are talking to is evasive about fees or asks for upfront payments, look for another legal representative.
3. Are You Licensed by the New York State Bar?
You need to ensure the lawyer has been properly admitted to practice law in New York. Each state has its own rules, so a lawyer licensed to practice in one state is not automatically permitted to practice in others.
You need someone familiar with New York personal injury laws and has experience handling cases in the local judicial system.
4. What Awards and Settlements Have You Achieved?
Hire an attorney with a solid record of success in achieving outstanding results for their clients. You do not want a lawyer who dabbles in personal injury on occasion. The legal code can get extremely specific and complicated, and a lawyer who normally deals with traffic court or real estate law is not going to know the specifics of how to file a personal injury claim as well as a lawyer who specializes in that area.
If they can only show one or two successful cases for personal injury claims, your chances of winning your claim with their help are not strong. A lawyer who handles your kind of case every day is the ideal person for your case. If they have a good track record, they will be happy to tell you about their results.
5. Can You Provide References from Previous Clients?
Testimonials and references from former clients are always a good indication of an attorney’s reputation and how they conduct their practice.
Lawyers who can produce references from clients who were happy with the service they received and the settlement they won may be worth hiring. If they can give good service to other clients, they should do the same for you.
6. Who Will Handle My Claim?
Before settling on which lawyer you want to hire, this is an important question to ask before settling on which lawyer you want to hire. The attorney you are speaking to may have a great reputation and be known for achieving great results, but that doesn’t help you if they give your case to someone else at the firm to handle.
You need to be certain the lawyer you are talking to is the person handling your case. If others will be involved, ask to speak with them before making your decision.
Once you have the answers to these questions and have found a lawyer you can work with, it’s time to hire them and get your case started.
The New York personal injury attorneys at Catalano Law are proud of our record of success and the services we provide to clients. If you need a personal injury lawyer, contact one of our attorneys to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.
If you’re unhappy with the service you are receiving from your present lawyer, you have the right to fire them. Catalano Law will be happy to represent you.