There are times when it will be necessary to have a professional lawyer defend you in a court of law. These instances usually occur after you have been wronged by another party or have suffered a loss that is not your fault. At these times, you will not want to rely on the advice of a friend, co-worker, neighbor, or family member. Read more about the five things to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer below.
Sorry, Your Friend’s Case is “Not the Same” as Your Present Case
Even if a friend of yours went through the same or similar loss, every case is still different and will be considered independently on the merits in a court of law. Also, remember that most cases will settle long before going to the trial or court stage. This is because it is in your best interest to settle the claim as equitably as possible. The courts may already be booked solid, and your case may not come up for months or even years. Why wait that long for the recovery of compensation that you deserve now and need today? For these reasons, hiring a personal injury lawyer is your best choice.
There are five factors to consider before hiring a personal injury lawyer. They are listed here in no particular order, and each is as important as the next.
1. Has the lawyer handled this type of case or claim in the past?
This would seem like an obvious question, but you will need to ask if this lawyer has argued this type of case in the past or has experience negotiating this time of claim. It can happen that a lawyer is working in a similar or ancillary field and does work on a new type of claim but will have success from having worked on similar cases. But it is not a good idea to hire a lawyer to work on your case in a field that that individual is entirely new to or who has never even had success in this type of claim.
For example, if you are working with a lawyer who focuses on accounting, you don’t want to hire this lawyer to help you with a personal injury case. The lawyer may not be familiar with what it takes to win this claim. You don’t want your lawyer “cutting teeth” on your case, and for that reason, find a personal injury lawyer who focuses on these types of cases day in and day out.
2. Before you sign a statement of representation, ask about the lawyer’s cut of the winnings.
All lawyers will have an idea of what they will charge you after the case if you win, plus any agreed-on expenses for managing the case, as well as phone calls and other billable hour incidentals related to working on your personal injury case for you. There may not be one pat answer about the exact and final number of compensation dollars meant to go to the lawyer. Still, an estimate and agreed-on percentage of the winnings of the case can be listed that will go to the personal injury lawyer at the end of this arrangement.
You can even get several personal injury lawyers to give you a ballpark range of how they manage personal injury cases. Hopefully, you will get similar answers. However, if you get high or low answers on a general scale, you might want to keep looking until you get the answers that will meet your needs for the specific personal injury case you are interested in pursuing.
3. Ask the question, “Who exactly is working on my case in your office?”
It is imperative and cannot be stressed enough that you need to know who will be working on your personal injury case in the lawyer’s office that you chose to represent you on your personal injury claim. Some lawyers have severely cut back their staff in many offices, especially after the pandemic. As a result, legal aides, interns, and paralegals may be doing the bulk of the research for a personal injury lawyer who has a small office right now.
That is not to say that these individuals are not highly qualified to research your case because most of them are highly trained and will know how to present information to their managing lawyer to help you win your case. But, you may want to know the strategy in complex cases. The strategy discussion and ideas will need to come from the lead lawyer on your claim or case.
4. Regarding contingency fees, ask about these details before the work starts.
If your lawyer is going to work for you on a contingency that the case is won and then payment is made, you need to work out the percentage of this contingency fee arrangement or contract. For example, if the lawyer wants a fee of 35% of the recovered compensation on the case, you will take the won settlement and multiply it by .35 to get the lawyer’s fees. So if you win $100,000 on a case, the lawyer fees are $35,000.
Let’s keep going with our example of contingency fees that will go to the lawyer at the end of the case once it is won and settled in your favor. If you win $1,000,000 on a case, you can expect that if you owe the lawyer 35% of this compensation recovery, your lawyer will get $350,000 on that case recovery. And if you are granted recovery of $7,000,000 on a case, then your lawyer at a 35% contingency fee will be given off the top $2,450,000, and your final recovery and take-home money for the case will be $4.22 million.
5. Why Do Lawyers Take Contingency Fees in Every Case They Handle?
The lawyer you hire to manage your personal injury case is embarking and agreeing to a business relationship with you. This lawyer may be an old family friend, someone you knew from your childhood, someone you went to school with, someone you know of the family well, someone who is highly regarded in the community, or someone with a very good track record for winning these types of cases in your jurisdiction. Either way, the lawyer you hire for your personal injury case is working for you in a business relationship, not for free. Lawyers are professionals who provide professional services to the public and community. These services are unique, distinct, and meant to be of high advantage to win your case. This is why lawyers take contingency fees on every case they handle.
More About Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you are suffering from a severe injury that has come as the result of a car accident or from the actions of a third party, give us a call at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. Our injury and accident attorneys are here for you and will help you get the recovery you deserve. We will provide you with peace of mind to know that your concerns are being heard, and we will get you the compensation that you should have as a result of being injured from the wrongful actions of other parties. So give us a call today at (833) 254-2923 right now.