You were recently injured in an accident, and now you’re wondering where you can turn for help. Thankfully, a personal injury lawyer can represent you in your time of need and get you the settlement you deserve.
The only thing is that you aren’t sure what to look for in an injury lawyer. For instance, should they have trial experience?
Here are the facts about hiring an injury lawyer with trial experience so you can find the right representation to fit your needs.
Trial Experience Isn’t Always Totally Necessary
The truth is that most personal injury cases never reach the trial level. Parties will typically settle prior to going to trial because a court case is costly and time-consuming. Nobody wants to spend all that time or energy in the courtroom. Plus, a trial can delay your settlement – or rob you out of a settlement altogether.
If your personal injury lawyer doesn’t have a lot of trial experience, it doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to represent you. In fact, it could just mean that they are an expert negotiator, and they settle for clients before ever going to trial. One of the most important factors when deciding to hire a lawyer is whether or not they were able to negotiate fair settlements for their clients in the past. If they were, then you could see their case results and decide if this lawyer is right for you.
When Trial Experience Comes in Handy
While your injury lawyer doesn’t need ample experience in the courtroom, some experience could be helpful for your case. In situations where the responsible party is not willing to settle for a reasonable amount to cover your damages, then you’re going to need a representative who is willing to take your case to trial.
They should have pre-trial experience at the very least, because during the pre-trial process, the responsible party may then decide to settle as it gets closer and closer to the court date.
In an extreme case, where the responsible party doesn’t come around, then you’ll need a lawyer who has worked on injury cases that have gone to trial. You should ask your potential lawyer about their case results when they went to trial to see how it turned out for previous clients.
What to Look for in an Injury Lawyer
Along with asking an injury lawyer about cases they’ve worked on inside and outside of the courtroom and the results of those cases, there are some other questions you should ask them during your initial consultation.
For instance, you should inquire about their fees. The way personal injury lawyers work is they won’t charge you any fees unless they recover damages for you. Then, they will take a percentage of those wins to pay themselves. Learn about the fees upfront so you aren’t surprised when they’re taken out of your settlement.
You can also ask how long a case like yours will typically take. An experienced injury lawyer has likely dealt with cases similar to yours in the past and will be able to give you a rough timeline of how it’ll go. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to be flexible. If some other medical issues come up during your treatment, for example, then your case may take longer. You should never rush trying to get a settlement, because you might not get as much as you deserve.
Along with the time frame, ask about the normal settlement amount for a case like yours. Ask about the damages you could potentially receive, such as compensation for your medical bills, repair to your personal belongings, a loss of wages, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and more. Your lawyer should be realistic with you, and not provide you with some high number just to get you to sign on with them.
You’ll want to ask about what your relationship is going to look like as well. Ask your injury lawyer what they need from you and whether or not you have to collect evidence that proves fault in your accident.
Figure out how often they will be available to you; typically, a good injury lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours. Also, inquire whether or not you’ll be working with the lawyer directly, or with an associate or paralegal, or both. You’ll want to know whom you should reach out to in case you need anything.
Finding the Ideal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
While trial experience is a huge plus, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker if your injury lawyer hasn’t gone to trial with most of their cases. As long as they have a list of satisfied clients and the results to back it up, then you know you’re in good hands with your personal injury case.