Nobody expects to be the victim of a severe accident. When it happens, you need someone by your side that knows the law and is ready to use that legal prowess to defend your right to compensation.
After all, you did not cause the accident. So why should you pay for the medical costs, deal with the aftermath of lost wages, and pay to fix your vehicle?
Whether you need representation during the claims process with an insurance company, you need help dealing with your insurance company, or you plan to file a lawsuit, an attorney is your first call.
A good personal injury attorney helps you seek justice and ensures you receive compensation for your injuries stemming from the accident.
Searching for a personal injury attorney today is not easy. From a simple Google search, you can easily see that you have a plethora of choices, and narrowing down the list might seem daunting at first. To help you find the right attorney, you must first know the traits that go into a good one.
You need compensation, and you need an attorney that ensures you get fair compensation for your losses. Losses from an accident are hard to compute, and often they extend much further than a victim can fathom. Not only do you have the out-of-pocket costs you already paid, but you also have future losses you might not include in your estimates such as lost wages, more medical expenses, or ongoing treatments.
The lawyer you choose is the party you pick to serve as your advocate; therefore, it is not a decision you make lightly. Instead, look for the following traits and qualities to ensure you have picked an attorney that will fight for you.
You want an attorney that can exhibit expertise and experience in personal injury law. The case will not go anywhere if the team you select has no idea of the process or is not up-to-date on the latest trends. An attorney with experience knows how to negotiate, already knows the insurance companies, and also is familiar with the judges who oversee these types of cases.
Furthermore, an attorney with vast experience will often yield a higher settlement amount and faster results than one newer to the game.
An attorney needs persistence when trying to resolve an injury case. Accident cases involve plenty of emotions, and you need an attorney that can look past the feelings and get the results you need. The other side may be against the settlement, which means you need an aggressive attorney who is focused on the goal at hand and does not stop until they achieve it.
While the attorney is essential, the team working for the attorney is equally important. You want a team that brings the highest level of customer service to the table. They should be open to communicate, and everyone in the law office should be willing to provide clients with the services and assistance they need.
A well-established firm with several years of experience understands the need for fast resolution. They also keep their clients up-to-date on how their case is progressing, and they walk them through the process so that their clients understand what to expect.
When you work with an attorney, you want someone that does not make you wait weeks for updates. After all, you were in a tragic accident and you are stressed, confused, and need results. You have an attorney so that you can not only make better decisions, but also so that someone can take care of your needs. When your attorney is unavailable, takes weeks to respond to an email, or ignores your phone calls, you do not have the reassurance you need to get through this.
While most personal injury cases settle out of court, some do make their way to trial. If your case will not settle or the insurance company refuses to offer you the amount of compensation you need, you want an attorney aggressive enough to take the case all the way to the jury.
If an attorney is timid or does everything they can to avoid court, even when it is obvious the case needs to go to trial, you will not receive the compensation you deserve. The insurance company is more likely to settle with an attorney that has no fears about going to court.
Before you receive a settlement, you need an attorney who can go over the figures and determine your accurate compensation. They should have a bare minimum for what they will accept in your case. If the attorney cannot evaluate your claim and come up with fair value based on your losses and the recent court decisions, then they are not working in your best interest.
You should know how much you will pay an attorney – and any additional fees that you might have – before you hire them. Most attorneys have a contingency fee, which means they do not collect unless they win your case. The contingency is a percentage of your winnings (20 or 30 percent, for example). However, some attorneys have other fees on top of the contingency. Therefore, find out if you have additional costs and review the full agreement before you sign anything.
A personal injury attorney is someone you work closely with for weeks or even months. Therefore, you want someone with a personality that you can get along with and someone you can confide in. You must share personal details (sometimes intimate) to help your attorney argue for your case.
If you cannot confide in them, or you are uncomfortable speaking with them, the process becomes more difficult.
As the client, an attorney needs to be upfront and sincere with you. They should not overstate the financial settlement value to get your business, and they should be willing to inform you about every aspect of your case as well as prospective settlements.
Furthermore, you want an attorney that advises you on the best course of action based on the evidence and the progression of your case.
If you have investigated personal injury attorneys, you may have noticed that most offer a free consultation. This consultation encourages you to come in risk-free and meet with an attorney. You go over your case, they get to know a little about you and the accident, and both of you can decide whether or not you can move forward.
You should maximize your consultation potential by preparing ahead of time. The more information you bring, the easier it is for the prospective attorney to assess your case. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to ask as many questions as possible without having to pay for it.
Two things you should do to improve your consultation experience:
Gather the documents you have regarding your case, including medical records, police reports, and anything about the incident. If you have receipts or pending medical bills, bring those, too.
Take the time between when you schedule your appointment and the actual appointment to come up with a list of questions. It is best to write these questions down so that you do not forget them in the moment.
If you have been injured, speak with an attorney today to explore your options. The team at Malman Law is here to help. We have over 25 years of experience, and we have settled over 25,000 cases. Our team knows what it takes to get our clients the best compensation possible.
You can meet with our team today, risk-free, by calling 888-625-6265 or contacting us online with your questions.
Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.
Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2023