If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, and you are considering securing compensation, you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
However, victims of personal injury can find it hard to hire lawyers: it is overwhelming, potentially expensive, and many believe the lie from insurance companies that hiring a lawyer is not necessary.
The main challenge is getting the best Chicago personal injury lawyer from the hundreds available. You can find more about this on www.lane-lane.com. That said, we will highlight common mistakes you should avoid when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
What to Avoid When Hiring an Injury Attorney
1. Hiring Without Proper Research
No matter how good the lawyer referred to you is, research your options. You might get referrals from your sister, best friend, or your doctor, but you should not hire them before you get to know them.
Thanks to the internet, you can get all the information you want from the comfort of your home. Visit their website and go through the review section. Check online lawyer directories. Last, but not least, go through your local online forums and see other people’s experiences with the lawyer.
Please do this for at least three lawyers and make your choice depending on their experience and results.
2. Hiring a General Practice Lawyer
There are many sections of law. That said, you are better represented by lawyers specialized in personal injury. You cannot hire a family lawyer for your car accident claim and expect a win.
Working with a personal injury lawyer puts you at an advantage because they have built a reputation with local judges, insurance adjusters, and they have access to expert witnesses.
3. Hiring a Lawyer Who Never Takes Cases to Court
While it is true that many injury cases are settled outside the court, it will be a failure if you hire a lawyer who cannot take the court route. Such a lawyer will force you to agree to less money.
You hired a lawyer to get rightful compensation by all means. Therefore, ask them during the first meeting if they are willing to take the lengthy court route if need be. The right lawyer for you should be ready to do whatever it takes to see you get fair compensation.
4. Paying Upfront
Paying a lawyer from your pocket is expensive, and in many instances, it means that your case is weak. The lawyer is not sure if they can win you compensation. Many personal injury lawyers work under contingency fees, where they get a percentage of the compensated amount.
If a lawyer insists on upfront payments or asks you to cater for all legal expenses, something is not right. A genuine lawyer will advise you to stop pursuing the case instead of risking time and money on a weak claim.
5. Insisting on Large Law Firms
Some clients will never work with a lawyer unless they are from a large law firm. However, big is not always the best in the legal field. The large law firm might not give your case enough attention because they have better-paying lawsuits than you offer them.
Whether large or small, the best law firm should prioritize your case by allocating enough time and resources to earn you fair compensation.
6. Making a Desperate Decision
Before planning to take a case to court, you should be aware if your proposition makes a solid case and would stand the legal proceedings. Just taking a case to court without proper grounds or evidence may result in a pitfall. In such cases, it may get challenging for even the best lawyers to get your case across.
Avoid making rushed decisions. Most personal injury cases include common cases like slip and fall accidents, injuries at work, or abuse at nursing homes. You should hire attorneys that can handle these types of cases. They can also extend the scope of their practice to medical malpractice or injuries due to product malfunctions or vehicular accidents.
7. Hiring Lawyers with Exaggerated Promises
A common mistake you can make while hiring a personal injury lawyer is falling for one who promises successful outcomes for your case in court. This can be taken as an over-exaggeration as in the legal world, nothing is certain. No one can predict the outcome of the case, no matter how solid the preparation is.
Your lawyer should be able to offer sound advice and set expectations in the right direction. You should be aware of how strong or weak your case is before you move with the proceedings.
8. Insufficient Probing
Probing calls for asking as many questions as you can relate to your case, its presentation, and the supposed outcome. Of course, as the one hiring a lawyer, you have every right to ask questions or seek information from your attorney where you feel doubtful or just curious.
Your attorney should be able to answer all your questions and handle queries to your satisfaction. The communication should be logical, transparent, and honest, without the need to misinterpret or hide facts. If you are not comfortable with your lawyer, it may lead to issues later on.
9. Hiring Lawyers that offer Discounts
Financial assistance would be the first thing you may seek when struggling with personal injuries and already piled up medical bills. While most lawyers work on a contract basis, some lawyers offer discounted fees to take up your case.
You should be careful in hiring such lawyers as discounts may seem alluring but they are not always worthy of the cause. Mere discounts are not sufficient to make you win your point in court. A lawyer needs to be discreet and expert at what he is doing, rather than just offering some discounts.
10. Hiring a Lawyer that Lacks Transparency
Transparency is crucial when hiring a lawyer. Your lawyer should be able to win your trust in the right way. He should be able to represent you throughout your case and not just in the courtroom. Stay away from lawyers who are difficult to communicate with and charge you for claims.
Sometimes, senior attorneys may promise to take up your case and later on pass it to their assistants. Or, they may be hesitant to explain the entire fee structure. Do not go ahead with a lawyer you find hiding facts or sharing incomplete information.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer needs proper research and analysis on your part. Get the best lawyer that you think has the proper skills and expertise to handle your case. Talk to different lawyers and assess their skills and fees before making your final choice.
Hire a Lawyer You Can Trust
Despite the many lawyers available, finding the best for your case is not an easy task. However, if you stay away from the five mistakes above, you will hire the lawyer you deserve.