The world is a dangerous place. You’ll never know what will happen to you at any given time. One moment you’re in Watertown, New York just typing away at your work computer, then the next a loose overhead lamp suddenly falls on your head. When you get seriously injured because of other people or anything they own, you have rights to sue.
For you to have a successful claim, you need to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle it. But, before you hire one, here’s a few things you need to consider:
1. Do Your Research
Law services, as well as other businesses, now have an online presence which makes it easier for anyone who needs to contact them. You’ll find lots of reputable lawyers online.
You can look through Watertown, New York’s local bar association and check the attorneys who are in their databases. You can find out if they’ve ever had any disciplinary actions filed against them or even their bar status. It’s also helpful if you find reviews online about the attorneys you’re considering.
If you’re still skeptical, ask your family and friends for recommendations. Sometimes it’s difficult to make your decision using the numerous search results you’ll find online. So, hearing from someone you trust might help.
2. Know the Attorney’s Experience
As part of your research, you should also know the background of your attorney. You can ask them questions such as:
- Where did you study law?
- What areas of law do you specialize in?
- How long have you been practicing?
- How many similar cases have you handled?
- What percent is your success rate?
- Can you give me some references?
It’s vital for you to ask these questions because it will help you determine whether that person is the right personal injury attorney for you. It’s especially crucial that they specialize in personal injury cases because even if they are seasoned criminal attorneys, if they don’t have any experience in personal injuries, then there’s a low chance of you winning the case.
Know the attorney’s background. You may find some competent lawyers there who may have attended better law schools in other cities but decided to settle down in Watertown, New York.
3. Learn to Listen to Your Gut
During discussions and interviews with the attorney, trust your gut. If you believe the lawyer, then that’s a good sign. However, if you’re even a tiny bit suspicious, you might want to meet with others first before hiring anyone.
Pay attention to how your attorney handles the case. You’re better off with someone who genuinely cares about your well-being than the value of the case. Take note that you should be the one to seek out for an attorney. If someone calls you and wants to represent you in a lawsuit, don’t entertain that person. Those attorneys are ambulance chasers, and their actions are illegal.
4. Understand the Fees
When you meet with your chosen attorney, you should know that most consultations are free. Whatever your case is, discussing it with a lawyer shouldn’t cost you anything. After going over the details, they should be able to tell you whether or not your case is viable.
You should also know that personal injury attorneys in Watertown, New York usually work on contingency fee bases. It means that you shouldn’t have to pay any upfront costs and no bill should be sent to you unless you win the case.
If you win the case, then that’s the only time you get to pay the lawyer. Around a third of what you’ll get will be deducted as payment for them. If you’re unsure, make sure you discuss fees before signing anything.
5. Communicate Honestly
If you want to win the case, you and your attorney should be honest with each other. Seek the necessary medical care you need and be transparent with the medical records, bills as well as any insurance concerns. Update your lawyer about the progress of your recovery.
Likewise, your attorney should also be completely honest about the possibilities of the case. He may not be able to give you exact dates, but he should at least give you an estimated timeline of how long the trial might last, or if it’s even necessary at all.
When you’re seriously injured, you don’t have to suffer in silence and be miserable with all the bills you have to pay. Take action immediately because there’s a statute of limitations where there’s only a limited amount of time when you can file a lawsuit. Hire a personal injury attorney but make sure to consider the things above.