Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a personal injury attorney is like hiring an employee.  You should always remember you are hiring someone to work for you.  The attorney you choose can affect the amount of time you spend on your case and the amount of compensation you receive for your injury.  You should consider the following questions when meeting with or interviewing a prospective attorney:

  • How much experience does the attorney have with cases like yours?
  • How many years has the attorney practiced law?
  • How would the attorney represent your point of view?
  • How much does the attorney charge?
  • Are you comfortable with the attorney?  Can you share the personal aspects of your case with this person?
  • Do you have confidence in the attorney to resolve your legal situation?

The Attorney’s Responsibilities

  • Represent you competently.  Your attorney should have the legal expertise to handle your case.  The attorney should know the legal process and the law as it relates to your case.
  • Keep you involved in your case.  You, not your attorney, must live with the outcome of your case.  Your attorney’s role is to advise and recommend.  Remember, you must make the final decision.
  • Remain available.  Your attorney should regularly inform you of your case’s progress.  The attorney should return phone calls within a reasonable time.
  • Make progress toward resolving your case.  Your attorney is employed by you to resolve your legal problems.  You should expect your attorney to be making progress on your case.
  • Practice law in an ethical manner.  If you have questions or believe your attorney is acting unethically, you should contact the bar association in your state.
  • Be realistic.  Attorney cannot work miracles.  They can only argue the facts as they exist.  Ask your attorney what is a reasonable outcome of your legal situation.
  • Be honest.  Tell your attorney every important fact.  You attorney cannot help you if you are not honest.  If you withhold facts you waste your money and your attorney’s time.
  • Be a part of your case.  You have to live with the outcome of your case.  Let your attorney know what is an acceptable outcome.  Ask questions so that you understand the legal aspects of your case and the legal process.
  • Respect your attorney’s time.  Your attorney’s time is your money – use both wisely.  If you must cancel an appointment, notify your attorney in advance.  Put your questions in writing so the attorney can prepare answers ahead of time.
  • Communicate with your attorney.  If you are not happy with your attorney, voice your concerns.  Remember, this person is work for you.  If a disagreement arises, first speak directly with your attorney to see if the matter can be resolved.

Understanding Attorney Fees and Legal Costs

Cost is an important factor to many individuals who are looking for a lawyer.  The following should help you understand the fees involved in hiring an attorney.

Flat Fees

The attorney provides a specific service for a specified fee.  This arrangement is most common in simple cases like the purchase of property or the preparation of a will or trust.

Contingency Fees

The attorney is paid only when money is collected for you, usually a percentage of the amount recovered.  This fee method is most common in personal injury cases.  You will be expected to pay any “advanced expenses” such as filing fees, deposition costs, etc. from your percentage of the amount received.

Retainers and Hourly Fees

Personal injury attorneys will ask for a retainer, or advance payment, before working for you.  The attorney will then subtract hourly fees from this retainer.  You should receive itemized statements listing services provided and fees charged.  You should sign a retainer agreement when authorizing the attorney to work for you.  The retainer agreement is your contract with the attorney.  it should specify the hourly rate and the cost of various legal services (research, drafting of documents, filing fees, court hearings, etc.).  Read your contract carefully and keep a copy.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury FAQ

Our attorneys have received the AV rating by Martindale Hubbell and have been recognized in various publications such as Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers of Kentucky and ATLA Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

If you have a question regarding your personal injury, please contact Thomas Kerrick.

Resources

American Bar Association
Division for Public Education – Personal Injury Claims – www.abanet.org

Kentucky Department of Insurance
A Parent’s Guide to Teen Driving – www.insurance.ky.gov

Kentucky Department of Insurance
After An Accident – www.insurance.ky.gov

Kentucky Department of Insurance
Consumer guide to Auto and Home Insurance – www.insurance.ky.gov

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