Every year, around 39 million people sustain personal injuries to the point of needing medical treatment. About 2 million of them require hospitalization and over 200,000 result in fatalities. After sustaining a personal injury caused by someone else, you deserve compensation so you can pay your accident-related expenses, medical bills, and sustain yourself while you get better.
The thing is, getting compensation is not as easy as it sounds because the other party’s insurance company could dispute the claim. Given the complexity of the law, it’s prudent to hire a Texas personal injury lawyer. However, the question is, how do you hire a personal injury lawyer in Texas?
Most people have no idea how or where to start when searching for a legal representative. When you have been involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, and you were either partly to blame or not at fault, you need a personal injury lawyer.
Not all personal injuries are the same, and hence, not all personal injury lawyers specialize in the same field. Some Texas personal injury lawyers may have experience in car crash injuries, which would make them ideal if you were involved in a car crash.
Similarly, other lawyers specialize in slip and falls, over-extension, motorcycle accidents, and so on. Search for a Texas personal injury lawyer that specializes specifically in the kind of accident you were involved in.
There’s always a chance that a personal injury claim will go to trial, and if this happens, it’ll help to have an attorney that has trial experience. It may not be necessary as you may settle outside court, but while hoping for the best, it’s always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.
Beyond trial experience, check their verdict record, especially if you’re dealing with a severe personal injury or a permanent disability that would result in a huge compensation.
If, for instance, you are looking at a million-dollar lawsuit, you need to have an attorney that will deliver with confidence. Check their track record and how much they have won before to gain confidence in them and be assured that you have a high chance of winning. Even if it’s not worth millions, having a professional and experienced attorney in this regard will go a long way.
The caseload or number of cases a Texas personal injury lawyer is handling is also very important. A small firm may only have a few cases, and the upside is that they will give your case full attention, which the downside is they may not be relatively experienced. A large firm, on the other hand, is likely to have hundreds of cases at a time, but they have the experience and the resources to handle your case.
If you do decide to go with the large firm, you should inquire who will represent you before making any agreements. The thing is, you may talk to one of the hotshot lawyers during the interview only for them to hand over your case to a less experienced paralegal.
Ask the law firm to clarify the kind of representation you should expect, and ensure you also talk to the lawyer being assigned to your case to affirm that they are the kind of lawyer you need.
A professional Texas personal injury lawyer should be affiliated with professional organizations such as state and national trial lawyer groups as well as local associations and campaigns. Having these affiliations shows the dedication of an attorney. Additionally, having a lawyer with good judicial connections in your area can help with your case.
Meeting with lawyers for an interview before making a final decision is vital. Compare at least three choices, so you have a different view of your case. Even if you don’t meet them in person, which would be the ideal, at least have a phone conversation with them. During this time, you should ask as many questions as possible, including:
Don’t feel obligated to hire anyone, and don’t feel shy with the questions. Ask them to assess your case to see what are the possible outcomes and your chances of winning.
Given your assessment of the different lawyers you interview, gauge how comfortable you feel around them whether they seem distracted, how they receive you in their office, and how they treat you. Trust your gut feeling if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy about hiring a lawyer to avoid regrets later on.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they’ll only get a percentage of the final settlement of your case. For most of them, this percentage is negotiable. While you should not be looking for the attorney with the lowest percentage, this shouldn’t be a determining factor, ensure the percentage is fair before you sign any papers.
Don’t feel pressured to hire an attorney after having an interview. Some will try to convince you, but unless you’re comfortable with them, you can always say no. Keep in mind that you’ll be spending weeks, if not months, in constant communication with this person, so having a friendly relationship will help your case.
Beyond that, even after signing a fee agreement, you’ll still have three days to change your mind and hire a different lawyer. Of course, they’ll be entitled to some payment, regardless of how brief their services were to you, which you’ll make after the settlement. In most cases, the second lawyer pays the first from their settlement cut.
Now you know how to hire a Texas personal injury lawyer and how to go about the process. You may feel overwhelmed at this point, especially if you’re still dealing with raw injuries and the stress that comes with being ill. However, these tips will help you make the right decision.
On that note, we have more informative articles for you on our website. Check them out.
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