Seth Milbauer, an injury lawyer in New York City, would likely tell you that you must act in order to receive any compensation at all. Therefore, please do not wait until it is too late to start the search for a lawyer.
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Hiring a lawyer at the right time ensures that you meet the statutory limitations for filing an injury claim and gives them time to collect evidence and look into other details of the accident to build a strong claim against the defendant.
While there are thousands of certified personal injury lawyers out there, finding the best one for your claim is not easy. To help you with your search, follow the guidelines below:
How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Reviews from Fellow Lawyers
In a highly competitive field like the legal field, a lawyer with good reviews from lawyers in other practice areas is a plus. To judge what fellow lawyers say about them, ask your lawyer how many clients they have received from peer referrals.
If a lawyer does not get referrals from fellow lawyers, it could be because you cannot trust their work or that they are flawed in forming and maintaining relationships. Also, if you have an attorney friend, ask them about your lawyer and make an informed decision.
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Avoid Lawyers Who Send Solicitation Letters
Some law firms send their members to collect the names and addresses of accident victims and send letters offering to help them file an injury claim. Others will go as far as calling you to confirm if you receive their offer.
It might sound like an easy way to get an injury lawyer, but it is a trap. Sending letters to victims means that the law firm is not getting referrals from previous customers. Also, they will brush through your cases and agree to whatever offer the insurance company gives you because they are out to make money and handle as many cases as possible.
Do They Operate on a Contingency Fee?
Some people run away from lawyers who offer free consultation and no win, no fee terms thinking they are fishy. However, you should be worried if a personal injury lawyer asks you for payments upfront. Do not let the lawyer proceed before agreeing on the percentage they will take and how you will pay the case expenses.
Some law firms require you to pay the expenses upfront, while others offer to cover the expenses and get reimbursement after winning the case. Beware of lawyers who require you to pay for the expenses upfront or demand a reimbursement even after losing the case.
Personal injury cases like medical malpractice and truck accident claims are costly to run. Therefore, settle with a lawyer with adequate financial and personal resources to run the case. Otherwise, they will take shortcuts with the case or push you to agree on poor settlement offers because they cannot finance the case anymore.
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Most personal injury cases are settled outside the court, meaning that some injury lawyers do not have courtroom experience. For that reason, ask the lawyer if they will take your case to court if the need arises.
If your insurance company realizes that your lawyer does not have the confidence to appear in court, they will frustrate you into taking a low settlement. Therefore, never settle for a lawyer who never goes to court.
Choose the Right Lawyer for You
Finding a lawyer is easy but finding the right lawyer for you is challenging. The five tips above, plus your gut feeling, should help you find the best lawyer for you.