We wake up each day hoping for an incident-free and fruitful day. But, the mistake or negligence of one person can cause serious accidents resulting in less life-threatening injuries. This could be injuries from a car accident, slip, and fall, medical malpractice, workplace accident, etc. Luckily, you can sue the at-fault person or company for personal injury claims.
According to ilawyerup.com, an accident injury attorney website, personal injury lawsuits usually require a competent and experienced attorney to help you get full compensation. But how do you know you are hiring the right person for your case? Several factors need to be considered when choosing a personal injury lawyer. But before that, let’s go into some possible damages for personal injury lawsuits.
Available damages for a personal injury lawsuit
Before going to court, you should be clear about the kind of damages you seek from the offender. If you hire a lawyer, they will advise you on the best path to take. There are several damages you can pray to the court for, including:
If you believe that the accident has affected you physically or economically, you can sue for compensatory damages. The compensation can come in economic or non-economic damages or both. However, you will need to prove to the court that the injuries deserve the compensation you are asking for. This is why it is critical to hire a personal injury lawyer after an accident. The lawyer will help gather enough evidence to help your case.
A punitive damage request is when victims of an accident pray that the court punishes the offender aside from paying compensation. Personal injury victims hardly pursue punitive damages because they will have to prove that the defendant committed the offense on purpose. This is very difficult to prove unless you have strong evidence. If found guilty, the offender may serve a prison sentence, be fined, or serve both.
Note: If you use it for both compensatory and punitive damages, the ruling from one case won’t affect the other. That is, you can win a compensatory damage claim, but the court wouldn’t grant the punitive damages request.
Other forms of damages for personal injury cases are Loss of consortium and property damage.
Now that you know the types of damages available for personal injury cases, let’s go through factors to consider when hiring an attorney for your personal injury case.
Things to consider when hiring a personal injury attorney
Despite the importance of hiring a lawyer for your personal injury case, you should be critical of the process. The person you hire to handle your case must be:
Hire a specialist
Attorneys mostly major in specific law fields. Although there are some general lawyers, it is always best to hire a field-specific attorney to handle your case. As you fight for justice in this personal injury case, go for an attorney who is specialized in the field.
Specialized accident attorneys are well-vest and experienced in their field of operations. Aside from academic knowledge, they’ve handled several cases of your type and know which laws to quote and the technicalities needed to strengthen your case. Going for such a lawyer assures you of a better outcome in your lawsuit.
Go for experience
Your attorney’s level of experience really counts when it comes to personal and injury cases. Hiring an experienced lawyer can be expensive, but it’s worth every penny. This is because laws regulating personal injury are vast and complicated, and it takes an experienced attorney to navigate their way through to get you a favorable settlement.
Therefore, the person you hire must be well-vest in the field and familiar with the court processes. Such attorneys can maneuver their way out of difficulties as they seek the best interest of clients. As you go for experience, check the attorney’s years of practice and the number of high-profile cases won.
An attorney with good communication skills
Good communication is essential in the law field. Legal arguments in court and settlement negotiations require someone with very good communication skills. For example, you need an attorney who can well present your case and quote relevant laws and precedence in support using commanding communication skills. He/she should also be able to argue very well in court in your favor.
But how do you know the lawyer you are contracting has good communication skills? You can know this through your conversations with the potential attorney.
Pay attention to how organized their thoughts are, and answer your questions without ambiguities. Check their facial expressions and body language when you seek more inquiries. Also, check how they ask relevant questions and explain the implications of your case and your chances in court. This and more can give you a clue about their communication skills.
Hire someone who shows interest in your case
If an attorney always acts too busy to hear you out and postpones your meetings, look elsewhere. He/she may not be interested in your case. A potential attorney must be interested in the case and probe for more evidence. They should ask relevant questions that will help your case and answer your questions honestly.
An attorney can be competent, experienced, and have all the qualities you require but may be very busy with other cases. Such attorneys, despite their qualities, may be unable to serve your purpose. This is because they wouldn’t have enough time for you and the case.
As an accident victim, you would want to be heard and express your sentiments to a listening lawyer. Therefore, you need someone who has time to discuss your case with you and advise you accordingly. In addition, before court sessions, you will need t be briefed and guided on how to respond to questions, etc., and what to say.
You may fall short in all these important steps if you hire a busy or mostly unavailable attorney. This will go a long way to affect your case. So, look out for someone who is mostly available and can always get in touch with you when you need help or guidance.
You can find the best accident attorney with unquestionable reputation and experience; however, their fee may be very high. But you wouldn’t want to spend a substantial part of whatever compensation you will get on an attorney. So, hire someone you can afford or negotiate the fee to something reasonable to save you from later regrets.
Also, find out the terms of payment. Are you supposed to pay an upfront fee before the start of proceedings, and how much? Or will payment be made after the final ruling? Some attorneys prefer to take a percentage of any final settlement amount reached as their legal fees.
Most personal injury cases are difficult to win, so you need an attorney who is ready to serve your interest. Be vigilant with your search and do the necessary research about the potential attorney. Always remember to go for a specialist, a communicative, and an experienced attorney who is mostly available for you. Don’t forget that you need someone who fits into your legal budget.