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How to Hire a Lawyer

Updated: January 8, 2013

Many people do not have an attorney until they or a loved one has been seriously injured. There are many situations in which a person needs to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent them, including auto accidents, medical malpractice accidents, slip and fall injuries, and product liability injuries. Following a personal injury accident your life may change drastically, such as a temporary or permanent inability to work, physical and emotional pain, and expensive medical bills.

You have a lot at stake when you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case. Choosing a lawyer is an important decision, as it can make the difference between a successful outcome and an unsuccessful outcome. This page is provided to give you some helpful hints on hiring the personal injury attorney that is right for you.

What to avoid when you need to hire a Personal Injury lawyer:

Many people do not know where to find a skilled and qualified attorney who can aggressively represent their case. The following are some common mistakes that people make when choosing a personal injury attorney:

Personal injury lawyer referral from a friend.
Your friend probably had a different legal situation compared to yours, requiring different attributes in an attorney, which may not be what you need to recover monetary compensation for your injuries.
Finding a personal injury lawyer in the yellow-pages.
Yellow pages are impersonal and do not give you the background information that you need to hire a competent personal injury attorney.
Choosing a personal injury attorney because the office is local.
Convenience should not be more significant than skill, professionalism, compassion, and the ability to effectively represent your case. You should find an attorney who has all of the qualities that are needed for a successful outcome in your case.
Choosing an inexperienced personal injury attorney.
Your attorney should be up to date with current laws and cases regarding all areas of personal injury law. Your lawyer should have the knowledge to answer questions quickly and effortlessly.
Choosing the first lawyer that you speak to.
Give yourself a chance to speak to a few different personal injury attorneys and see what they have to offer. Choosing a personal injury lawyer is an important decision that needs to be made with a lot of consideration, you do not need to settle on the first lawyer with whom you speak.
How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney:

When you are involved in a legal matter you should hire an experienced attorney that you feel meets your needs. The personal injury attorney that you choose should be a person that is experienced and that you feel comfortable with. Remember that you and your personal injury lawyer will be spending a great deal of time together, so compatibility is essential. The following are some characteristics that you should look for when choosing a personal injury attorney:

Choose a lawyer who has experience in personal injury law.
Choose an attorney who has successful case results.
Choose an attorney who has the time and resources to represent your personal injury claim.
Choose a lawyer who takes continuing education classes.
Choose an attorney who provides aggressive representation.
Choose a lawyer who will meet with you personally for the initial consultation.
Choose an attorney with reasonable fees.
Choose a lawyer that you are confident will represent your case with the necessary skills, and has all of the characteristics that you think are important in a personal injury attorney.
9 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer before Hiring:

When you are choosing a personal injury lawyer you may ask case-related questions that will help you decide if this is the right attorney for you. He or she should be willing and able to answer your questions and inform you of any pertinent issues that may help your case.

Does the attorney practice personal injury law?
Does the lawyer have experience successfully representing cases that are similar to my case?
How long has the attorney been practicing personal injury law?
Is the lawyer associated with any reputable law associations?
Has the attorney successfully settled many cases on behalf of his or her clients?
Does the lawyer provide a free initial consultation?
Will the attorney explain the legal process and all aspects of your case to you?
Does the lawyer have the time and staff to adequately represent your legal matter?
Does the attorney typically represent the plaintiff (injured party) or the defendants (the accused)?