Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney: What To Know
Who you hire as your personal injury attorney is an important decision. You are hiring someone to work for you – but you are expecting them to do something far more complex than mow your lawn or resurface your driveway. Indeed, you are putting your personal injury case – your health, finances and options for recovery – in their hands. You want to be sure you trust them to listen to your needs, give your case the attention it deserves and fight for the compensation you deserve.
We encourage you to think carefully when consulting with a prospective attorney. Ask the attorney – and yourself – questions that help you understand:
- How many years of legal experience the attorney has?
- Whether the attorney has specific experience with cases like yours?
- How much the attorney will charge to handle your case?
- Whether you are comfortable sharing personal or sensitive information with the attorney?
- Whether you believe the attorney will be able to accurately tell your story and demonstrate your needs?
Trust between attorney and client is fundamental to a successful personal injury case. You should be willing to have honest conversations about your injuries, vulnerabilities and goals with the attorney you hire.
What Are A Personal Injury Attorney’s Responsibilities?
When you hire a personal injury attorney, they assume responsibility for your case – and for your future. You should be confident that your attorney will:
- Handle your case competently and professionally. This is their job – they should know the legal process, its deadlines and requirements, and how these apply to your case.
- Keep you involved throughout the case. Your health, money and peace of mind are at stake, and your needs and goals should direct any final decisions the attorney may make about your case.
- Remain accessible and available. You should expect regular updates about your case, and your calls and questions should be responded to efficiently and thoroughly.
- Make progress on your case, and be honest about any delays or complications that may arise.
- Be ethical and realistic. Attorneys cannot make miracles happen, nor can they break the law without consequence. Ask your lawyer what your options for recovery are and what reasonable chances for success these options offer. If you believe that your attorney is engaging in professional misconduct, you should contact your state’s bar association.
What Are Your Responsibilities In A Personal Injury Case?
Your personal injury attorney works for you – but they should also work with you to ensure that your needs are understood, your questions are answered and your goals are the focus of their legal strategy. Once you have hired a lawyer to handle your personal injury case, you should:
- Be honest: To help you, your attorney needs to know the full story about your situation. Hiding facts or bending the truth when you speak with your attorney wastes your money and harms your prospects for a successful resolution.
- Be involved: Ask questions, explore your options and make sure your attorney understands what outcome for your case you believe is acceptable. Additionally, make sure that you understand how the legal process will apply to your case and what will be required of you in court or during negotiations.
- Be communicative: You are paying your attorney for the time they spend on your case – make sure you are asking them to use that time wisely. If you have concerns or disagreements, speak directly with your attorney and see if the conflict can be resolved. If you have questions before you meet with your attorney, send them in writing ahead of time so that the attorney can prepare detailed answers for you; if you must cancel your meeting, do so in advance.
How Do Personal Injury Attorney Fees Work?
As you consider your options for a personal injury attorney, it’s important to understand the cost of that attorney’s services. Lawyers and firms have a variety of fee structures, including:
- Flat fees: An attorney provides specific services for standardized fees. This is common when an attorney reviews or prepares a document such as a lease, real estate purchase or will.
- Contingency fees: An attorney only collects a fee if their client receives money for their claim. This is usually a percentage of the total dollar amount the client receives and is most common in personal injury cases.
- Retainers and hourly fees: An attorney asks for an advance payment (retainer) before working for you. This is typical for personal injury attorneys and is incurred when you sign a retainer agreement authorizing the attorney to work for you. Once an attorney has begun working for you, they will subtract their hourly fees from this retainer. Your attorney should provide you with itemized bills of the services they perform for you and the cost of these services. You should keep copies of both your retainer agreement and these itemized bills.
Speak With Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today
To meet with a personal injury lawyer at Kerrick Bachert, PSC and determine whether our services are right for your case, schedule your free consultation today. Call 270-715-2410 or complete our online form. Several of our attorneys are AV Preeminent peer-review rated,* the highest rating, through Martindale-Hubbell. Our lawyers have also been recognized by various publications and organizations, such as Best Lawyers in America, Kentucky Super Lawyers and ATLA Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
American Bar Association – www.abanet.org
- Division for Public Education – Personal Injury Claims
Kentucky Department of Insurance – www.insurance.ky.gov
- A Parent’s Guide to Teen Driving
- After an Accident
- Consumer Guide to Auto and Home Insurance
*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.