The world is a dangerous place. That’s not meant to scare you–it’s just a fact. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 30 million people injure themselves seriously enough to require medical attention. What’s worse, thousands of these injuries occur in the most mundane of ways, i.e., when using an every day product or tool that should have been designed with your safety in mind. If you are one of these millions who had a fight with an air bag and lost or burned yourself on an unconscionably hot coffee maker, you might want to look into hiring a personal injury lawyer. Thousands of lawsuits are filed each year as a result of injuries sustained while using various products, and personal injury attorneys can help you win compensation.
Choosing a PI attorney is an important and sometimes difficult decision however. We’ve all seen the tv commercials; every car accident lawyer and ambulance chaser tells us that they are the PI attorney to go with. Below are a few ways to weed out the PI lawyers who printed their degrees off the internet. Hopefully these simple procedures will lead you to a PI attorney who will get you the most gavel bang for your buck:
1. Create a short list. By this we mean, do your homework. Do an internet search and ask around (chances are you already know someone who hired a PI attorney and has a story to tell). When you have ten names, sit down for an hour or two and check out their online presence. If they don’t even have a web page, this probably does not bode well for their professionalism.
2. Compare policies. Not all PI attorneys operate in the same way. Some consultations are free, and others cost money the minute they answer the phone. More importantly, some PI attorneys offer a “no win, no fee” deal, where basically if they don’t win your case, then you don’t owe them any money. Every lawyer on your list should advertise this, but make sure to grill them on the policy. Compare the percent commission they’ll take, for example, if they do win, and make sure there are no hidden fees for filing paperwork. Finally…
3. Ask about specialties. If you cut yourself on the Chop-O-Matic 5,000, it’s probably not a good idea to hire a lawyer with experience mostly in car accidents or medical malpractice. One good thing about the market saturation is you really do have your pick of attorneys with very niche experience, so take advantage of that.
We hope this article was a helpful navigation tool. Make sure to stop back in and let us know who you went with in the comments (and if they won!)