In the personal injury arena, people are often turning to an attorney during a very difficult time in their life. Whether you have been in a car accident or lost a loved one in a workplace incident, the road ahead can be rough. The attorney that you hire should be there to help make life easier. Take your time hiring an attorney and find one that you feel comfortable with. That may not be the attorney with 30 years of experience or the “Big Firm” lawyer. There are many things to consider when hiring a personal injury attorney who is right for you.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
More often than not, personal injury matters are handled on a contingency fee basis. This allows those who could not afford high priced hourly lawyers to have their day in court. Contingency fee contracts must be in writing and typically involved a sliding scale fee that adjusts with the degree of work and skilled involved. Contingent fee contracts include:
- No hourly fee for the attorney’s work.
- The attorney is compensated with a percentage of the money you obtain through a settlement agreement or by a winning verdict at the conclusion of your case.
- The attorney will not recover a fee unless they secure a settlement agreement or verdict in your favor.
- The attorney also, typically, covers the costs associated with the lawsuit. Those costs are taken out of any settlement or recovery separate from the attorney’s fee.
As stated above, a contingent fee agreement must be in writing. The fee that the attorney will recover depends on the complexity of the litigation and may vary if the plaintiff is a minor.
Experience matters when hiring a personal injury attorney.
It is important to hire an experienced attorney. The size of the firm isn’t necessarily telling of the experience of the individual attorney that you are hiring. Investigate the individual attorney that you are looking to hire and ask questions specific to your case. For example, you may ask:
- How many years of experience does an attorney have for my type of case?
- Do they have a successful track record for winning verdicts?
- Is there a successful track record for securing settlements?
Ask the questions that you need answered to feel comfortable with the attorney. This will likely be a long relationship as most cases take a minimum of a year to run their course.
Trust the lawyer you hire, a lot is at stake.
When hiring an attorney, you need to decide what makes you feel comfortable. Do you prefer someone local or do you want someone outside of your area. This often comes up in the case of small towns where clients prefer an attorney unfamiliar with the potential parties.
Also, when hiring an attorney inside of a firm, find out which attorney will be handling the matter. If a partner is going to sign up your case and hand it off to an associate, learn about that associate’s qualifications. Ask questions designed to find out who will be working your file:
- Will the case be handled by a partner in the firm, an experienced attorney, or an associate?
- How many different people will be assigned to my case?
- Who will be the main point of contact?
- Who will be handling depositions and hearings?
Take your time hiring an attorney. Make sure you feel comfortable with who you hire and how your case will be handled. Chelsie King Garza is an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact her today.