When you get hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s careless actions, hiring a personal injury attorney is often essential to fighting for the compensation you deserve. But, you shouldn’t just hire the first person whose commercial you see on television.
Hiring an injury lawyer is the same as building any relationship: they need to be someone you can trust and rely upon to be there when you need them. They need to be someone who will be an ally and who will stand by your side throughout the entire process.
Learn everything you need to know when hiring a Baton Rouge personal injury attorney from our team at Gauthier Amedee. We’ll go to bat for you!
Know What Area of Law You Need
Very few personal injury attorneys are in general practice. Those who claim to be general practice tend to be jacks of all trades but masters of none. Your lawyer will need to approach your case based on the type of accident and injury you experienced.
While all injury cases rely on proving that someone else’s irresponsible actions caused your accident and injuries, a slip and fall case should be handled differently than a car accident case.
Start your list by looking for an attorney who is experienced in the type of injury and accident you have suffered. This will save you from many headaches in the future and will benefit your end settlement.
Make Sure Your Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorney is Qualified
You would be amazed at how many people cleverly pass themselves off as attorneys when in fact, they aren’t legitimate or licensed. Be careful of people who claim to represent you, but never use the term “lawyer” or “attorney” to describe what they do. This is a clear red flag that indicates they likely have not passed the bar exam and can’t bill themselves as an attorney.
Even among licensed attorneys, beware of those who have flashy ads with very little substance. Look for a personal injury law firm that has a history of successful settlements and a legacy of service. Look for, or ask them for, referrals from past clients. Check them out with the state bar association. Be sure they have credentials.
Research the Firm’s Size and Reach
A large law firm isn’t always the best bet because you likely won’t receive the support and attention your case deserves. It’s important to look at the resources a personal injury attorney has. This is where referrals and reviews come into play. You will be able to see how the firm cares for its clients during your case review. You want a firm that can confidently say, “We’ll go to bat for you!”
What Do They Charge?
While not every firm works on contingency, it is often a red flag if they don’t. Contingency means that the firm doesn’t charge you for the case review, and they won’t charge a thing unless they win your case. Most good personal injury attorneys work on contingency. If an attorney charges a fee upfront, it might mean they aren’t very confident they can win your case.
Contingency means that the attorney’s pay is dependent on winning, which means they’re willing to go the extra mile to fight for the compensation you deserve. If they say they work on contingency but aren’t ready to put that in writing with a signed contingency agreement, that’s also a red flag.
Also, ask how their fees are paid. Ideally, you want an attorney who is paid out of the settlement so you are never paying out of pocket to cover your legal fees.
Check out Their Track Record of Success
You also want to know what the Baton Rouge personal injury attorney’s track record of success is, both in negotiating settlements and in court appearances. Most personal injury cases are settled before they reach court. In most cases, an experienced lawyer will have great negotiation skills that should let us reach a fair settlement.
On the other hand, sometimes negotiations break down and court becomes necessary regardless of how experienced your lawyer may be. If you’re working with an attorney who has never seen the inside of the courtroom, they could very well get overwhelmed by the experience. You want an attorney who has been successful in court as well as in negotiations.
Establish How Communications Work
When you meet with the injury lawyer, ask who you will be working with. Will the attorney be your point of contact, or will it be a legal aid? You need to have a single point of contact knowledgeable in all areas of your case and who can represent your interests with confidence and authority.
Working directly with the attorney is best, but some firms direct your calls to an aid. The person who takes your case consultation should also be the person you communicate with the entire way. Remember, you’re building a relationship. If you aren’t able to get to know the person working on your case, you can’t build that trust.
In addition, ask how communications will be handled. How will they keep you in the loop, and how involved will you be in your case? A good attorney will work with you to establish a level of communication and involvement that makes you 100% comfortable and confident. If they don’t seem like they’re putting you first, consider other options.
Get a Legal Team Who Goes to Bat for You
Ultimately, you want a Baton Rouge personal injury attorney you know has the experience and knowledge to give your case its best chance. You want someone you can count on to be right by your side every step of the way.
At Gauthier Amedee, we have years of successful results in court and negotiations, and we’re ready to stand up for your rights. Give us a call at (225) 647-1700 or fill out the online form to get your free case review today.