Image Source: Pexels
As you prepare to make a personal injury claim, you start to notice a pattern: most available lawyers are way out of your price range. As a result, most of us will give up on the trial process, even for open-and-shut cases, due to the high cost of hiring an attorney. However, you can still find an incredible personal injury lawyer like Harrell & Harrell that’s both inexpensive and experienced.
How to Find a Fantastic Personal Injury Lawyer
Have a Passing Knowledge on Lawyer Speak and Terms
Before you start your search for a lawyer, you need to understand what they’re offering you and how some dishonest attorney will trick you into thinking they’re inexpensive. One term that’s thrown around is “no fee if no recovery,” which sounds excellent up-front, but don’t be fooled.
While you may not owe fees to the attorney, you will have to pay for case expenses, which is what you pay to third parties to keep the case going. If you do win the case, a portion of your winnings goes to the lawyer. Either way, you’re paying out-of-pocket.
Create a Lawyer Profile Including Experience, Credentials, and More
To determine if your lawyer is suitable for the job, you’ll need to ask a list of questions to lawyers. Some personal injury law firms, like Nicoletti Law Firm, will let you ask questions via live chat free of charge, while others will bill you for your time. Ask if the lawyer charges before inquiring:
- Does the lawyer have enough staff or resources to see my case through to the end?
- Does the personal injury attorney typically handle personal injury cases daily?
- How many cases has the lawyer taken on, and how long have they practiced?
- Can the lawyer handle trial cases, or do they gun for settlements (less money)?
- Are they upstanding in their community, and do they teach other lawyers?
- Are they board-certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy?
- What percentage of their cases come from referrals from other lawyers?
All “Yes or No” questions should be answered with “Yes.” If your lawyer is an upstanding member of their community, they will receive most of their cases from other lawyers, potentially mentor other attorneys, and have enough confidence to take a case to trial.
Deal Shop and Create a Budget
After you find a group of satisfactory lawyers, ask each attorney the extent of their fees, the services they offer, and how much you can expect to receive. If a more expensive lawyer can get you more bang for your buck, you’ll still be able to pay them off. Try to stick to your budget and negotiate the cost down. Even if you can’t, it’s better to find an attorney you trust than one that is dirt cheap, shady, and won’t explain the personal injury trial process.
Understand the Cost Breakdown
In the majority of cases, a personal injury lawyer will receive 33% of any award or settlement, but they may also cover case cost expenses as they come and take that cost out of your reward. That can push a lawyer’s final percentage with all costs, fees, and payments to 45-60%.
As the accuser, you are expected to pay for the cost and expenses of the following:
- Police Reports
- Medical Records
- Expert Witness Fees
- Filing Fees
- Investigators and Experts
- Trial Exhibits
It’s important to discuss with your lawyer what you can expect to pay for these expenses.
Look Online for Customer Reviews and Colleague Testimonials
When reviewing their credentials, fees, and services, read testimonials from affordable lawyers in your state. Some websites offer free services to get you started, but it’s crucial to read colleague testimonials and customer reviews to ensure they don’t charge hidden fees. The more details you know about the attorney, the better your chances of finding one that suits you.