There’s an ever-growing number of cases involving accidents that result in injuries. As such, the importance of personal injury attorneys cannot be overemphasized.
But sadly, some personal injury attorneys use their services without ensuring you get a fair settlement for all your damages. Some attorneys are upfront about their work with you at the initial stage. Other attorneys try to pressure you into signing an agreement before getting to see their other side.
This might even push you to consider taking up a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer. But, it is always best to hire an attorney who specializes in your injury case type to exponentially increase your chances of winning. You could choose between a:
- Auto accident attorney,
- Animal attack lawyer,
- Bicycle accident attorney,
- Wrongful death lawyer, or
- Personal injury attorney.
So, are you unsure about finding the right personal injury attorney for you? Then, this article is for you, as it comprehensively covers the ways to avoid getting ripped off by your attorney.
8 Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off by Your Personal Injury Attorney
Table of Contents
When involved in a car accident, particularly caused by someone else, the party at fault will likely be held financially liable for all of your damages.
Though, getting ripped off is not usually what you see coming. But in cases, where it might seem as such, it is best to do the following.
- Check Your Attorney’s Credentials
First and most importantly, your attorney must be a registered bar association member in the state where you meet them. As a resident of Yakima, a trustworthy personal injury lawyer in Yakima is registered with the state. This is important as it denotes that the particular attorney is certified to practice law and handle your case.
As you know, personal injury cases are usually delicate, you don’t want your case handled by an inexperienced lawyer. Furthermore, it is wise to ask your attorney where they went to school and what degree they have.
Choose an attorney who graduated from a good school and has a clearly defined work history. They will be more accountable for their client’s safety and legal protection.
- Examine Their History
It is logical to check the website of the State Bar Association in your state. Also, this is a great way to know if they have been successfully sued for malpractice or other professional malfeasance.
Additionally, you will be able to see if this attorney is disciplined for malpractice. Or for other professional misconduct and have them removed from the bar registration. This helps avoid future legal problems or lawsuits arising from your injury case. However, it is noteworthy that using the internet does not guarantee information.
It is important to understand that the internet only provides data from your state’s bar association, not all states’ bar associations.
- Review Their Previous Work
It is crucial to ask your attorney to send you copies of the documents related to legal representation. This way, you can easily compare the documents with your records and know that neither you nor the lawyer has any discrepancies.
It is also crucial to check with others who have used the services of such an attorney to prevent being sued by them in the future. You do not want shocks while healing from your injuries.
- Ensure the Lawyer Isn’t on Probation
It is never a bad idea to ask if your personal injury attorney is on probation. If they are, it would be best to wait before signing an agreement.
This is a good idea since the person on probation must follow the obligations and duties related to the program in which they are enrolled. Your attorney on probation might be concerned more about their program than your case.
- Test Your Attorney’s Insurance
Ask if your personal injury attorney has any insurance coverage for them and their practice. If so, how much it covers is essential. Also, it is necessary to find out how much their policy costs and what benefits they cover under their policy.
Your attorney and their legal firm could be affected by human errors, cyber-attacks, lawsuits from previous clients, etc while handling your case. Thus having lawyer’s insurance means your attorney is well-protected from issues that could disrupt their services.
- Ask for a Detailed Bill
For your personal injury attorney to effectively represent you in your personal injury claim, you must know all the fees they will charge you and how they charge them.
Request for information in detail to be aware of everything that will happen during your case.
- Get A Referral
Sometimes, it is best to ask for a referral from friends, family, and colleagues before choosing a personal injury attorney. Get referrals from people you trust and have had a positive experience with them. It’s safer because these people have positively vetted them.
Likewise, if someone refers you to an attorney, it means they had a good experience with them. Otherwise, they would not recommend them to others. So, if the person you are talking to has given you the name of the attorney to use in your case, then it is plausible they know what kind of work this attorney does for their clients.
- Inquire About Who Will be Working on Your Case
In the case of larger firms, you may believe you are hiring a specific attorney. But as time passes, you may discover that they are not actually working on your case. Interns, junior partners, or even partners at another firm may be assigned to your case.
When the lead attorney changes, you should receive a letter informing you of the change. It is preferable to ask this right away. Who will be assigned to your case? What will each person’s role be? Knowing how the firm will staff your case will help to avoid future disagreements. Or direct you to your next lawyer interview.
As mentioned above, it is crucial to know that your personal injury attorney is more than someone who will be handling the paperwork and legal stuff for your case. Although they are trained to handle such matters, they must be more than just efficient in their work.
Also, they should be able to counsel and ensure that you are at peace with the decision being made on your behalf. Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, it is highly important to go through some or all of the listed points.
Do take the time to conduct in-depth research before hiring an attorney. Do not skip the research and proceed to pursue your personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer. This will put the other party at advantage and could even mislead you to losing the case. Also, avoid getting ripped off or disappointed by choosing the wrong attorney only because they had a good marketing strategy.