How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer: and if you should
Personal injuries typically cause accident victims pain and considerable financial stress. Fortunately, many victims can seek compensation by bringing a personal injury claim, and they should hire the best attorney to represent them. If you are wondering how to hire a personal injury lawyer, you can book a free consultation right away.
But many people ask, “Do I even need to hire a lawyer?” It’s a good question. In some situations, an accident victim can negotiate their own settlement or file a lawsuit on their behalf. But when injuries are serious, they should search for the best personal injury lawyer they can find. Read on to learn how to hire a personal injury lawyer and why you should.
Should You Manage Your Own Case?
There are some situations where you can represent yourself in negotiations or in court. However, we still recommend meeting with an attorney for a free consultation, just to check whether you might benefit from legal assistance. This is a good first step for how to hire a personal injury lawyer.
You Suffered Property Damage
Property damage cases are different from those involving bodily injuries. When it comes to car damage, for example, you take your car to a body shop and get an estimate. You then submit the estimate to the insurer for the driver who hit you. They should usually cut a check, or they might ask you to take your vehicle to a mechanic in their network.
Either way, there won’t be much of a dispute about how much your claim is worth, and you should receive a check in a reasonable amount of time. By contrast, bodily injuries raise different questions, such as how much your pain is worth. In this case knowing how to hire a personal injury lawyer is important.
You Are Comfortable Advocating for Yourself?
This is a key consideration. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters aren’t generous when it comes to offering settlements, regardless of how much pain you feel. To really get the maximum compensation available, you need to be a strong advocate.
Your Bodily Injuries are Minor
You might be able to negotiate a settlement if your bodily injuries were truly minor. For example, you might have suffered a strain that kept you out of work for only a day or two and cost less than $1,000 to treat medically. If so, negotiating a settlement on your own is an acceptable choice, and you can probably file a lawsuit in Magistrates Small Claims Court if settlement negotiations falter. However, speak to someone at Surasky Law before making this choice.
When Does Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Make Sense?
We recommend hiring a personal injury attorney if any of the following apply to your case:
You have suffered serious injuries, such as fractures, burns, back injuries, neck injuries, or a concussion. If you had to go to the emergency room, then there’s a good chance your injuries are serious.
Your injuries cause pain and emotional distress. Some injuries might not be dramatic, but they nevertheless cause considerable distress. Think pinched nerves or cuts on a visible part of the body, such as the face. A personal injury lawyer can aggressively negotiate compensation for pain and suffering, which can increase the value of your claim.
You are not a good advocate for yourself. In this situation, an attorney can serve as your voice in the negotiation process.
How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Now that you think you need an attorney, how do you go about finding one? South Carolina has thousands of lawyers who could possibly represent you, but not all lawyers are the same. At Surasky Law, we recommend that accident victims follow these steps to find the best lawyer:
Gather recommendations. You can ask family or friends, or you can do an online search for personal injury lawyers in your city.
Review websites. Most lawyers have websites now, where they talk about their experience and representative cases. You can gain some understanding of whether the lawyer has handled personal injury cases and how long they have practiced.
Look for personal injury experience. Some lawyers only help with criminal or family law cases and handle a personal injury matter maybe once every year. You should find an attorney, such as us, who dedicates a large part of their practice to personal injury. This way, the lawyer stays up to date on developments in the field.
Schedule a consultation. A lawyer should offer a free consultation for potential clients. We do and you can book one here. This consultation serves several purposes, but one is to give you a chance to explain how you were injured. Based on what they hear, a lawyer can analyze whether you have a legitimate claim for compensation.
Ask questions. Getting information is another purpose of a consultation. Ask whether the lawyer has handled cases like yours. How many cases go to trial? Do they think your case can settle?
Analyze your comfort talking with the attorney. You should hire someone you feel comfortable conversing with. Did the lawyer explain things in a way you understood? Were you confused or afraid to ask follow-up questions?
Go with your instincts. There is no fail-proof way to guarantee you have hired the right lawyer. You should feel comfortable with your choice. If not, start the process over and get more recommendations.
Before agreeing to represent you, a lawyer should describe how he charges fees. He should also provide a written fee agreement, which you will sign. Ask any questions you have about fees now before you agree to form an attorney-client relationship.
Call Surasky Law to Schedule a Free Consultation
We are happy to meet with anyone looking for a personal injury attorney in Aiken, SC. We have decades of experience and understand the claims process for personal injuries inside and out. Book a free consultation today.