Choosing a lawyer is essential to your personal injury case because you rely on the guidance of that lawyer through each step of the process. However, finding the right legal expert to take on your case after an accident can be challenging. If you make any errors while doing so, it can drastically impact your case, including getting your claim denied. Here are five common mistakes you should avoid when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Assuming All Attorneys Are Same
Legal processes for personal injury cases are often complicated. Unfortunately, one major mistake many people make when looking for an attorney is assuming they are all the same. This is not true, as attorneys can specialize in various fields of law. If you hire a lawyer who does not have experience in personal injury, you might undermine your case.
For example, dealing with the insurance company is one of the major aspects of a personal injury case. If you hire a lawyer who does not have experience in settlement negotiations, you could either get a low settlement offer or get your claim dismissed by the insurance company.
Relying on the Reference from a Friend
While finding a lawyer through a personal reference is a great start, it’s not enough. You need to do your own research on the lawyer and meet with them in person to decide if they are the right choice for your case. It might help to get multiple testimonials. Your friend probably means well and might have had a positive experience with the lawyer, but you need an attorney who meets all your criteria, such as experience in similar cases, good communication skills, and expertise in personal injury law.
Hiring a Lawyer with No Trial Experience
While it is true that most personal injury cases settle out of court, some cases do go to trial, and hiring a lawyer who does not have trial experience could be a drawback for your case. A good lawyer would be willing to take your case to court if your case requires it. Sometimes, insurance companies or defense attorneys push the case toward a trial because they want the judge and jury to decide how much compensation the plaintiff deserves for their damages.
Trials can be time-consuming and expensive, and it may be in your best interests to avoid a trial. However, if the lawyer is reluctant to take the case to court, that is a red flag. Discuss the option of going to trial before choosing an attorney, and stay clear of lawyers unwilling to take the case to trial.
Choosing the First Attorney You Speak With
Always interview a few lawyers before deciding who to hire and trust with your case. Rather than rushing into the decision by choosing the first attorney you speak with, take your time with the process. Try to meet a few different personal injury lawyers before making the decision. It is best to ask questions such as how an attorney will communicate with you and whether they will be your primary point of contact.
Hiring a Lawyer that Guarantees an Outcome
Each personal injury case is based on the available facts and evidence, which is why no case has a similar outcome to the other. Therefore, even if your case is supported by strong evidence, there is no guarantee that you will get the desired result.
Some inexperienced attorneys can promise higher personal injury awards to get more clients, so if a lawyer predicts the outcome of your case or guarantees the amount of compensation you can receive, it is a sign to avoid hiring them. On the other hand, experienced personal injury attorneys would inform you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case by evaluating the facts and evidence rather than predicting an outcome.