What makes a good personal injury lawyer probably isn’t something that most people think about very often. And it makes sense. Unlike doctors and dentists – even auto mechanics and plumbers – you’re probably not going to need an injury attorney on a regular basis. At least we hope not!
But when you do have need of an injury lawyer, it’s a big deal. You or someone you love has likely been seriously hurt. Medical bills are piling up. Money has been lost due to an inability to work. Your life, livelihood, and future may be at stake.
In a situation like this, you want to make sure you find someone who is going to be the best possible advocate for you and fight hard to get you fair and just compensation. In other words, you need to choose wisely.
Unfortunately, this is also a time where you are likely to feel overwhelmed, confused, and rushed to make the decision. And in North Carolina, there’s no shortage of personal injury lawyers out there.
That’s why we decided to create this helpful little guide. To narrow down your options and find the best personal injury lawyer for your case, we recommend considering the following factors:
Wide Ranging Experience. Seek out personal injury lawyers who have extensive experience working in different types of personal injury law. Look for answers to the following questions on their website:
How many cases have they won?
How long have they been practicing personal injury law?
Do they have experience working in different types of personal injury law (medical malpractice, slip and fall, auto accidents, and so on)?
Have they won cases that match your particular type of accident or injury?
An Understanding of the Other Side. Experience working on the other side of personal injury law (i.e. working for insurance companies, a judge, and more) will also give a personal injury lawyer valuable knowledge. Not only regarding how to handle different types of claims, but what tactics are likely to be used to counter your arguments and how to poke holes in them.
Referrals and Testimonials. When you are beginning your search for a personal injury lawyer, consult with your friends and family members who have filed personal injury claims. A referral is a great way to get an honest opinion about a local lawyer.
If you are searching for lawyers on your own, be sure to read testimonies from past clients. Interested in a particular attorney or firm and don’t see testimonials? Ask. High quality lawyers will be happy to put you in contact with past satisfied clients. These people will be able to tell you the strengths of each lawyer, their personal experience, and the result of their claim.
An Understanding of Insurance Policies. After your claim is settled, you may still have to pay back your insurance company for the bills that they paid after your injury. This is not often discussed during personal injury cases, and takes many clients by surprise. Talk to personal injury lawyers about their experience and knowledge of different insurance policies after a lawsuit is settled and how the process works.
Free Consultations. Most personal injury lawyers do not receive any money from you unless and until you receive compensation from your claim. So offering a free initial consultation is in their best interest. Because they can learn about your case and decide whether or not it is worth pursuing – both for you, and for them. If a particular injury attorney you’re considering wants you to pay for a consultation upfront, it’s a bit of a red flag.
Along these lines, be sure to avoid personal injury lawyers who immediately contact you after your injury and promise fast settlements or quick cash before they even really go over the details of your situation. These types of lawyers, often called “ambulance chasers,” may not have your best interests in mind. Not all personal injury claims are the same, so trust a personal injury lawyer who wants thorough information on your case and makes a careful decision about moving forward.
Settlement Goals. When entering into a free consultation with your potential lawyer, have a settlement goal in mind, and ask the attorney what his or her goals are as well. To calculate your settlement goal, document medical expenses, loss of wages, and other costs. Listen to what the lawyer has to say about your case, his or her settlement goals, and the anticipated process for obtaining that goal (settling out of court, taking the claim to trial, and so on).
If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Greensboro and surrounding areas, look no further than Schlosser and Pritchett Law. Our lawyers have not only successfully litigated injury cases for countless North Carolinians just like you, many have also worked in the DA’s office and for insurance companies, giving them an edge over the competition that bolsters your claim and your chances.
About the Author:
Attorney Mike Schlosser represents victims of personal injury, those charged with a crime, as well as those facing traffic charges. A former Guilford County, North Carolina District Attorney, Schlosser has been in private practice at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett since 1983 and has been a member of the North Carolina State Bar since 1973.