After being injured in an accident, you may be looking into hiring a personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve to cover your medical expenses and the wages you have not earned while being unable to go to work. However, you may be feeling lost and unsure as to how to go about hiring the best Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers to help you with your case. If so, here are five tips to get you started.
You may gather the names of some potential personal injury attorneys by asking colleagues, relatives, and friends whether they have ever hired an attorney and what their experience has been. However, never hire a lawyer based on the recommendation of someone who had a completely different type of case. You do not want to hire a divorce attorney to help you with a personal injury claim. Once you have several names, make an appointment with those you consider the strongest candidates.
Once you have a list of names, go online and do some research. Look for reviews on attorneys on your list and read what their past clients have to say about them. Look at their area of expertise and make sure the lawyer has experience with claims similar to yours.
It is crucial to find a lawyer who has experience dealing with cases similar to yours. During an initial consultation, you should ask the attorney whether they have worked specifically on the type of personal injury that you are now dealing with. Ask them also how many cases they have handled recently and what their success rate has been and how much their clients have been awarded or settled for their cases.
If the moment you enter an attorney’s office you feel intimidated and out of place, that lawyer is not for you. You want to work with someone who is approachable and who will answer your questions and concerns and put your mind at ease.
Ask them whether they will be handling your case personally or whether it will be handed over to a legal assistant or someone else. Also, find out whether they will keep you informed of what has been going on with your case or if it will be up to you to call them to find out. Everybody has a different way in which they like their affairs to be handled and there needs to be a match between the way your attorney likes to work and the way you expect them to work.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee. This means that there are no immediate out-of-pocket costs to you which may feel like a relief when you are facing so many medical expenses and other unexpected costs. However, even though you do not have to pay anything upfront, you do need to find out what percentage of your award or settlement your lawyer is expecting to receive at the end. Although your lawyer will only be paid when you win, a good attorney will take your case knowing there is a good chance that they will win. Ask them what percentage they expect to receive and what other costs you will have to absorb before you decide to hire them.