Filing a personal injury claim is a big decision, and one that could have a monumental effect on your life and your future. Indeed, a successful personal injury claim may yield the monetary award that you need to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic expenses, as well as compensate you for your pain and suffering, whereas an unsuccessful claim could mean wasted time and money without anything to show for it.
Because the outcome of your personal injury claim is so critical, it is important that you do everything possible to maximize your chances of walking away with the award you deserve. One thing that you can do is to hire a skilled lawyer for representation. As you search for an Alabama personal injury attorney, here are five considerations to keep in mind:
- Practice Area
Just hiring a personal injury lawyer is not enough; you want to hire a lawyer who has extensive experience in the practice area that is specific to your injury. For example, if you have been in a rear-end collision accident, it’s probably not a great idea to hire a lawyer who focuses primarily on aviation crashes.
Ask your attorney during your free consultation what their experience is working on cases that are similar to yours.
- Fee Schedule
You already know that a personal injury claim takes a lot of personal time, and that filing a claim can also be expensive, especially when it comes to hiring experts and filing a lawsuit should settlement negotiations fail. As such, the last thing that you want to do is add to the costs by hiring a lawyer who charges a retainer fee or asks for hourly payments. Rather, you should work with an attorney who will not only front the costs of your claim, but who will also work on a contingency fee basis. This means that your lawyer only gets paid if you do, collecting a percentage of your winnings if your claim is successful.
The vast majority of personal injury attorneys work on contingency, but be sure to ask your attorney what the costs of litigation will be (and how they will charge for litigation services) should your case go to court.
- Standing with the Alabama State Bar
Before you hire an attorney, it is a smart idea to type their name into the lookup service provided by the Alabama State Bar. In doing so, you can determine whether or not the attorney is licensed to practice in our state. You can also check to see whether or not any disciplinary actions have been taken against them. If an attorney has had any actions filed against them, be sure to find out exactly why that happened before you even consider proceeding with that attorney.
- Experience and Trial Experience
You don’t want a new lawyer practicing and refining their skills on your case – you want a lawyer who already knows what they’re doing and has the acumen and knowledge to get you the settlement you deserve. Ask your attorney for how many years they have been practicing law, how much time they’ve spent on cases like yours, and whether or not they go to trial often. Furthermore, make sure you ask about their case outcomes, including the cases that they have taken to trial.
- Your Gut Feeling
Of course, there are a lot of things that you want to consider when hiring a lawyer, and there’s no doubt that doing your homework, talking to references, learning more about the attorney’s education and background, and more are all important. However, if everything else checks out, you should turn to your gut feeling in making a decision. Do you feel good about the lawyer? Do you have a strong connection? You will be spending a lot of time together in the coming months – is the attorney someone with whom you can easily work? If you don’t like the attorney or don’t trust them from the get-go, that’s probably not who you want to hire.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Following a serious injury, there is a lot to take care of, and the idea of filing a personal injury claim on your own can feel especially overwhelming. At the offices of Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C., our lawyers will work hard for you and handle the various details of your case so you can focus on your recovery. To learn more about our services and how we approach the claims process, please call us today at 800-574-4332 to schedule your free case consultation. You can also stop by our office in person or contact us online.