The aftermath of a personal injury is often overwhelming.
Many victims don’t know where to start or whether they need an attorney for their claim.
Here are some tips for hiring a personal injury lawyer and some information on why you need one for your case.
How Much Does it Benefit You to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The benefit of retaining a personal injury lawyer depends on the unique circumstances of your case. Typically, it’s best to consider an attorney when a case is complex or difficult to manage during recovery.
For example, if you only had a few bruises or cuts, it might not be necessary to hire a lawyer.
However, if your injuries are significant and result in extended recovery time, multiple medical appointments or treatments, continued therapy, or life-long complications, we recommend contacting an attorney.
Here are some of the immediate benefits that a good personal injury attorney provides to their clients.
Identifying Legal Options
When you contact an attorney for a consultation, they usually evaluate your case to determine if hiring a lawyer is necessary.
Afterward, they identify factors that may impact your case and estimate your potential compensation.
For example, they may check to see if your claim is within the statute of limitations for your state.
Gathering Evidence Related to Your Injury
Your attorney will start gathering evidence soon after being hired. So, if you were in a car accident, they may ask for medical treatment records, photos of the scene, accident reports, etc.
This helps establish a timeline of the events leading up to the accident as well as the defendant’s liability.
Managing the Claims Process
The process for making a claim with an insurance company or taking a negligent party to court is complex. Filing timely documentation is difficult, especially when you’re trying to recover from your injuries.
To help make things less stressful, your attorney will handle every aspect of your case and keep you updated. They also translate any technical information so that you can make informed decisions regarding your claim.
Finding Good Medical Treatment
After an injury, you may have trouble finding proper medical treatment. A good personal injury attorney helps their clients find adequate care to meet their needs.
They can set up a payment agreement with your medical provider and find specialists who thoroughly document your treatments.
This creates a paper trail that your lawyer will use to prove the extent of your injuries and the proper amount of compensation required from the defendant.
The damages you sustain after a personal injury include things like medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, disability, mental stress, and more. When you hire an attorney, they take all of these losses into consideration to calculate the full extent of your damages.
An attorney can properly calculate recoverable damages and even estimate your future medical costs so you can include these in your settlement demand.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Once you report your injury to the applicable insurance company, chances are they’ll want to speak right away. Regardless of how friendly they may sound, keep in mind that the insurance adjuster is not looking out for you—they are looking out for their company’s bottom line.
As a result, they will use any statement you innocently make against you in any way they can to minimize your compensation.
Attorneys understand these tactics and will communicate to the insurance company on your behalf. This reduces the risk of having your claim reduced or denied.
How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer may seem like a simple task at first, but there are a few aspects that may be intimidating.
How do you know your lawyer has the experience necessary for your case? Do they actually care about your wellbeing, or are they just in it for the paycheck? Will I end up paying too much for their advice?
These are valid questions, and it’s important to know what to look for in a personal injury attorney.
1. Look for Attorneys with Industry Endorsements and High Ratings
When considering how to hire a personal injury lawyer, the first step is to look for firms with awards for ethical practice and excellence.
Specifically, identify any awards that come from a third-party organization that has weight within the legal profession.
For example, awards from Super Lawyers®, The National Trial Lawyers, and The National Advocates are high honors in the field of personal injury.
2. Read Testimonials and Reviews
Once you find an attorney with many endorsements or honors, look at reviews by past clients.
Reviews give you a good idea of an attorney’s professionalism and attitude. Website testimonials, Google reviews, and Avvo reviews are all great sources.
3. Ask Questions About Their Experience and Methods During Your Consultation
After you find a few lawyers who are great candidates, ask them questions about their legal experience during your free consultation. Some good questions to ask include:
- Do you have experience handling cases like mine?
- Do you have any conflicts of interest?
- Besides a law degree, what specific knowledge or training do you have that could apply to my case?
- How often do you communicate directly with your clients?
- What is your strategy for a case like mine?
- What is the potential outcome of my case?
- How much will you charge for your services?
- If I lose my case, do I have to pay for any costs or fees related to my case?
This information helps you identify if an attorney is a good fit. In some cases, an attorney may be qualified to handle your case, but they may not have a strategy you agree with.
That’s okay! The goal of this step is to find the best representation possible for you.
What Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. Can Do to Help
We know that figuring out how to hire a good personal injury lawyer can be tough, especially when there are so many out there.
However, few in New Mexico have the experience and knowledge of our attorneys at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. We have decades of experience advocating for personal injury victims across the state and have received numerous recognitions from professional legal organizations.
We also work on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us nothing unless you win your case.
If you’d like a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact us online or give us a call.