How Do I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
By Chris Dixon
Hiring a personal injury attorney is an easy process. Below, we’ll discuss some things you’re going to need to know about hiring attorneys, an act that thousands of people do every year after car accidents, slips and falls, lost wage disputes, and other types of claims.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Unless the injuries are very modest and you’re not sure who is at fault, it may be easier and quicker to settle a claim (like a car accident) with the insurance company or the driver at-fault. It makes more sense to do it this way under certain circumstances. However, experienced personal injury lawyers have the bargaining power to maximize the settlement and help you recover lost expenses.
How Much Do Lawyers Cost?
Most personal injury lawyers offer a contingent payment program. Simply put, this means they represent you for free. You don’t pay anything. If you win the claim, you’ll pay a pre-arranged fee (percentage) to the firm that represented you. Contingency allows people under financial strain to focus on paying bills and medical expenses, especially if they lost their job after an injury.
What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need?
A “tort” lawyer is one that handles civil wrongs. A tort can be a personal injury, commercial truck accident, or any other type of accident that harmed the victim. Most lawyers advertise specific areas of interest, such as medical malpractice, workers compensation, car and truck accidents, etc. Generally, a tort arises when someone shows negligence and the plaintiff seeks compensation from the negligent defendant. An “intentional tort” leans more into criminal law.
If you are injured by what you expect is wrongdoing, like getting hit by a bus or suffering a concussion after a slip and fall in a slippery hotel bathroom, contact a personal injury lawyer and see if they can take on your case. If they are unable to, they most likely will refer you to someone that can.
5 Good Questions to Ask a Lawyer Before Hiring Them
If you’ve never used a lawyer before or are unfamiliar with the process, here are 5 straightforward questions you may want to ask to make sure you’re hiring the right personal injury lawyer:
- Do you get these kinds of cases often? This is a good question since it will show right away if the firm is comfortable and experienced in whatever caused your injury.
- What does “You Don’t Pay if We Don’t Win” mean? Lots of firms will have “no fee if no recovery” or a similar contingency slogan. Make sure to ask about their fee structure.
- Do you offer free consultations? Yes! At least at the Dixon Injury Firm we do. A tort lawyer should provide free due diligence. If they charge right away, you might have called the wrong firm.
- How often are cases referred to your firm? Ask for a percentage. A lawyer that gets lots of referrals is likely one of the more reputable ones in the area, and has a wide network and a good reputation.
- Can you handle my case? If there’s hesitation, it means the lawyer hasn’t had time to do a thorough case review (which is understandable). Lots of firms are overworked and you want to find the right fit. Ask for a face-to-face meeting so you can get a better feel for the firm.
Here’s How to Hire a Lawyer
Now that you have more information about the process and what kind of lawyer to hire, the next step is to go ahead and call a firm. Check out their website, any reviews they have online, and don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re ready for the next step, contact the Dixon Injury Firm now. We specialize in car and truck accidents, personal injury cases, insurance claims, and helping St. Louis and Illinois victims maximize their settlements.