Did you know that more than 3 million people get hurt in car accidents each year? That’s an astounding number, considering that cars are safer than ever before.
People still drive while texting or otherwise distracted. Many still drive while under the influence of alcohol. That can be a lethal combination or cause serious injury.
If you’ve been in a car accident and got hurt, you have the right to a settlement to pay for the damages suffered. To get a good settlement, you need a great personal injury lawyer.
How can you make sure that you avoid the bad ones and how to find the right personal injury lawyer?
Read on to learn the top personal injury lawyer red flags so you can hire the right attorney.
1. They Have a Bad Reputation
Look online for a personal injury lawyer. You’ll find dozens in your area. You might already have names from friends and family members.
The online reputation of an attorney is an indication of how they work. Take the time to read online reviews to learn how other people liked working with the firm.
Look for phrases like “goes above and beyond” and “easy to get a hold of.” That’s a good sign that an attorney will work hard on your behalf.
2. They Guarantee You’ll Get Paid
Even in the most straightforward cases, there are no guarantees in the legal world. Guarantees are one of the personal injury lawyer red flags that should make you run.
Attorneys will say things like your case look good or there should be a positive outcome. They’ll never guarantee a result or tell you that your case is worth a certain amount.
3. They Lack Personal Injury Experience
Would you want a hospital administrator to perform surgery on you? Surgeons and hospital professionals are in the same industry, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Of course not, and you don’t want to take the same approach to find a personal injury lawyer. You don’t want a business or bankruptcy attorney to handle your personal injury case.
If you need assistance with a car accident injury, get a car accident lawyer. Personal injury firms tend to handle a variety of cases, from car accidents to medical malpractice.
Be sure to get an attorney that has experience in your type of case.
4. They Ask for Payment Upfront
You might think that it’s normal to pay an attorney up front for legal services. That’s not how personal injury cases work.
Personal injury lawyers are paid on contingency, meaning they’ll get paid when you get a settlement. They receive a percentage of your settlement.
Attorneys that aren’t transparent about their fee structure should be avoided. For instance, you should know if you’re responsible for any costs if you lose your case.
5. They Want a Quick Settlement
Since personal injury attorneys don’t get paid until you get a settlement, they may push you to a fast settlement.
They may need to get paid soon, and a quick settlement would help them a lot. In that case, they’re not thinking about your wellbeing.
That mentality is likely to be less than what you’re really entitled to. You need to decide if the settlement is right for you. If you’re not sure, reach out to one or two other attorneys to get a separate opinion.
6. They’re Hard to Talk To
Does it always seem like the attorney is never available to talk to about your case? Attorneys are busy, but they should never leave you in the dark about your case.
You’re going to have to divulge sensitive information about your medical history and financial situation. It’s important to feel comfortable with the attorney.
You don’t want to be embarrassed and withhold information because you think the attorney will judge you. Withholding information will only damage you and your ability to get a good settlement.
Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
You have to remember that you’re interviewing attorneys as much as they interview you. You have just as much power as they do in the conversation. Don’t ever forget that.
There’s no need to be intimidated because you don’t have a legal background. You want to make sure that you ask the right questions when meeting with personal injury lawyers to discover the red flags mentioned above.
1. Who Handles My Case?
You might not have any contact with your attorney during your case. That’s because there’s a paralegal or a junior attorney doing all of the work.
You should know who is really working on your case, who oversees them, and who to contact with questions.
2. What Is Your Experience With Cases Like Mine? What Were the Results?
This two-part question tells you how much experience an attorney really has with cases similar to yours. When you ask them for results, you can get a vague idea of what the outcome will be for your case.
Don’t be surprised to learn if an attorney settled all of their recent cases. The vast majority do settle. You should find out if the attorney has any trial experience in case yours doesn’t get settled out of court.
3. How Do Your Fees Work?
You learned earlier that attorneys get paid when the case settles. You should find out if you’re still responsible for costs if you lose in court.
Also, note what they charge you for. They probably have an hourly rate along with administrative costs.
How to Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Not all personal injury lawyers are the same. Hopefully, you learned how to spot the top personal injury lawyer red fled and how to hire the right one.
You should feel confident with your attorney as you move forward in your case. You’ll get the settlement that you deserve.
For more driving and car tips, take a look at the other articles on the blog.