By Pendergast Law on December 26, 2018
After someone else hurts you by being careless, you need a good personal injury attorney to fight on your behalf and get you the compensation you deserve. But choosing the right lawyer is not always an easy feat.
Often times, you will be going after insurance companies, who have the money to employ very good and specialized legal teams. Therefore, your lawyer will need the skills to put up a fight and not just settle your case for the first amount the insurance company offers.
In order to get the best results, it’s important to do your homework. Here are our six tips for how to find the personal injury attorney you deserve.
1. Look to the Experience
Experience isn’t just how long a lawyer has been licensed or passed the bar — it’s also how long he or she has been handling different types of cases, and where. For example, if your opponent refuses to give you an offer you think you deserve, you may have to try your case in court — and you’ll need a trial lawyer. Not every lawyer is comfortable in front of a judge and jury, and not every lawyer is familiar with the particular courtroom you’ll be in. If you’ll be filing a case in the King County Courthouse, it would help to have an attorney who knows those judges, clerks, and local rules.
It’s not bad to have a young lawyer, as long as they are backed by a seasoned firm that can guide them.
2. See What Other Clients Say
Another good measure of a law firm is their client testimonials. People have strong opinions about lawyers, and it’s good to see exactly what they have to say. Lawyers spend a considerable amount of time with their clients, so client testimonials are an important measure of the kind of lawyers they are.
3. Check the Dollars and Sense
It’s always a good idea to check out a firm’s previous verdicts and settlements. Though one case result cannot guarantee another, and any lawyer worth his salt would warn you that he cannot promise you success, a law firm that has a history of good outcomes for clients probably knows what it’s doing.
4. Find Out If They Handle Your Type of Case
Another important factor when picking a lawyer is their practice areas. Every attorney has an area of law that he or she focuses on. You wouldn’t want a divorce lawyer handling your personal injury case, even if he’s a good friend-of-a-friend. It’s a good idea to pick a legal team that handles cases similar to yours. There are laws, statutes, rules, regulations, and common practices in every state, county, and local courtroom. Lawyers are most up to date and comfortable helping you with their area of the law.
5. Have a Sit-Down
Picking a lawyer is like interviewing someone for a job. You want to make sure they will be a good fit for you and what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s important to meet face-to-face to discuss your case and get your potential lawyer’s take on it. Ask how they plan on handling the case, and what they believe the outcome will be. Are they looking for a settlement, or are they willing to go trial? It’s also helpful to discuss your attorney’s style. Are they good about regularly communicating with you, or are they comfortable with you checking in? You only want to work with people who are comfortable answering your questions and who can speak with you openly.
6. Discuss Payment
It’s critical to be on the same page regarding payment, and to understand what services your lawyer offers and at what price. A lot of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t receive payment until the case it settled, then they take a percentage of your final settlement — usually between 33% and 45%. It’s important to know what percentage they will charge and if there will be any additional fees.
Almost every personal injury case has expenses that the lawyer might charge separately for, such as the costs of medical experts and accident reconstructionists. Definitely discuss this and any other details in advance to make sure you have a firm understanding of how the finances will work.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
After a traumatic incident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need a legal representative who will keep your needs in mind and go after the maximum compensation. Narrow down your lawyer by their experience, practice area, client testimonials, previous verdicts, and personal style. Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., has over 40 years of Seattle-area experience, a no-fee promise, and a record of getting great results in personal injury cases.
At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we focus on vehicle accidents and medical malpractice, and we’re good at them. This means that if you have a car accident or suffer injury in a hospital, our lawyers are up to speed on all the latest law in those areas, and feel confident we can get you the best possible compensation.
If you or someone you love has suffered and wants to speak to a personal injury lawyer, Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., is here to help. Call 888-539-9211 to speak with us for free.