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How To Choose A Personal Injury Lawyer 
 
by Diana Bocco July 12, 2005

Each year thousands of Americans are injured in vehicle accidents, through medical malpractice, or by defects in products or services. Getting a fair settlement is not only difficult, but also exhausting. A qualified personal injury lawyer can get you the right compensation for your injuries. With so many of them out there, however, how do you know who to choose? Here’s a quick guide to know what to look for.

Always Ask Questions

  • Does he respect you both personally and as a client? When you explained your case, did he actually pay attention? Has he listened to your concerns every time you’ve sat down with him in his office? Does he return phone calls promptly? Does he keep you informed of developments in your case?
  • Does he specialize in handling personal injury claims? Do not go with a general lawyer, not matter how good he is in other legal areas. Laws change all the time, and a general lawyer may not be able to keep up with the most recent developments in personal injury law. The more experience your attorney has, the quicker he can close the case, and the more money he can settle for.
  • What is his success rate? Ask how many cases he has won and the average award amount. Ask for past client references and actually contact them.
  • Is he effective at dealing with insurance companies? Because most personal injury claims are settled out of court, a competent lawyer should know how to deal with insurance companies and their corporate lawyers. Can he show you proof of successful past negotiations? Would he volunteer this information or does he seem reluctant?
  • Does he have trial experience? While most cases never see the inside of a courtroom, you should be prepared. Even if the case never goes to trial, a good lawyer may be able to obtain a settlement simply by threatening to take the company to trial. In most cases, it is easier (and cheaper) for a business to settle than to spend thousands of dollars on a trial they may lose while risking negative publicity in the process.  

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