If you have been injured in an accident and were not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, physical pain and mental suffering, permanent partial disability and other damages. To get the compensation you deserve, however, you should hire a personal injury attorney. This article will serve as a guide as to how to find the best personal injury attorney for your case.
Understand the Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Dealing with insurance companies without the benefit of a lawyer is time-consuming and complicated. A personal injury attorney will help you understand the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you at trial if necessary.
Determine What Type of Personal Injury Attorney You Need
There are many different types of personal injury cases, involving car accidents or collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists, slip and falls, dog related injuries and wrongful death. Each type of case requires a specific set of legal skills and knowledge. Before you start your search for an attorney, determine what type of personal injury attorney you need.
Look for Attorneys with Experience in Personal Injury Cases
When considering a personal injury attorney, it is important to find someone with experience handling cases similar to yours. An attorney with experience in your specific type of case will be familiar with the legal process, know what evidence is needed to prove your case, will be able to negotiate effectively with insurance companies and will be able to represent you at trial.
Check the Attorney’s Reputation and Track Record
Before hiring an attorney, research their reputation and track record. Check their website, online reviews, and professional memberships to see if they are known and well-respected in the legal community. Call and ask the attorney if he/she has a history of successful verdicts in personal injury cases.
Schedule a Consultation
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential attorneys, schedule a consultation with each one. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. During the consultation, ask about their experience, strategy, and how they plan to handle your case.
Ask About Fees and Costs
Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means they get paid only if you win your case. However, it is important to clarify the attorney’s fee structure and any additional costs associated with your case, such as filing fees, service of process fees, deposition transcript costs, mediation expenses and expert witness retainers.
Evaluate the Attorney’s Communication Skills
Communication is essential when working with an attorney. You want someone who is responsive, who will promptly return your calls, and will explain the legal process in terms you can understand. Pay attention to the attorney’s communication skills during the consultation and the manner in which they answer your questions. Personal injury claims can take a long time to resolve, so it is important to find an attorney you can work with during the duration of the litigation process.
Consider the Attorney’s Availability and Accessibility
It is important to find an attorney who is available and accessible when you need to speak or meet with them. Ask about office hours, response time to emails and phone calls, and identify the individual who you will be working with to prosecute your personal injury claim.
Ask About the Attorney’s Strategy For Your Case
During the consultation, ask the attorney about their strategy for your case. A good attorney should have a clear plan of action and be able to explain how they will handle your case. They should also be able to identify any potential obstacles and explain how they plan to overcome them.
Review the Attorney’s Fee Agreement/Contract
Before hiring an attorney, review their fee agreement/contract carefully. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, including the fee structure, the allocation of costs, the attorney’s responsibilities, and your responsibilities as the client. If you have any questions or concerns, ask the attorney to clarify them in writing.
Trust Your Gut
Ultimately, the decision to hire an attorney should be based on your comfort level with them. If you feel like you cannot trust or communicate effectively with an attorney, it may be best to look for someone else. Trust your instincts and choose an attorney who you feel confident will represent your best interests.
Understand the Statute of Limitations
Personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of injury. This means, you must file a lawsuit within three years of the date of loss or you will forever time-barred from pursuing a claim against any potential defendant or defendants. An experienced attorney recognizes that he/she must comply with the statute of limitations to ensure that your case is timely filed.
Prepare for Your Initial Meeting with the Attorney
Before your initial meeting with an attorney, prepare a list of questions and gather any relevant documents related to your case, such as insurance declarations pages, personal injury protection benefit (PIP) application and other insurance information, police reports, citations, witness statements, as well as medical bills and records. This will allow the attorney to evaluate your case and provide you with a better understanding of the legal process necessary to prosecute your claim.
Follow-Up on Your Case
After hiring an attorney, it is important to stay involved in your case and to follow-up regularly with your attorney. Provide your lawyer with the status of your medical condition, the names of your medical providers, and when you are scheduled to finish treatment. Your attorney cannot resolve your case until you have reached a medical end result. To stay informed about the progress of your case, call your lawyer and ask them about discovery deadlines, deposition schedules, pretrial conferences and trial dates.
Finding the best personal injury attorney for your case should not be a daunting task. By following these tips, you can ensure that you will find an attorney who is competent and who will get you results when it matters most.
If you need a personal injury attorney in Mashpee, on Cape Cod, contact The Snow Law Firm. Attorney Steven Snow offers free consultations and works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay anything unless he wins your case. With years of experience in personal injury law, Attorney Snow will obtain results when it matters most to you. Contact The Snow Law Firm today to schedule an appointment.
Steven Snow worked his way through law school as a retail stockbroker with Merrill Lynch. After earning his law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1988, Attorney Snow worked for a Boston law firm that represented insurance companies. This experience provided him with an understanding of exactly how insurance companies value personal injury claims, and how they prepare for trial. He uses this knowledge to anticipate and counter his opponent’s defense strategies ensuring his clients obtain a judgment on their behalf. Attorney Snow bodily injuries and wrongful death claims through mediation and arbitration and trial.
Regardless of the type of injury you may have sustained, or the obstacles you may be facing, Attorney Steven T. Snow has the experience and skills to secure the best possible results in your case.