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If you've been injured in an accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim, finding the right personal injury lawyer to represent you is crucial to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages. With so many personal injury lawyers advertising their services, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
1. Look For a Personal Injury Lawyer Whose Practice Focuses on Personal Injury Claims
While the North Carolina State Bar prohibits personal injury attorneys from stating that they "specialize" in personal injury claims, you can still ask the attorney about their practice and whether they concentrate on personal injury claims. The State Bar does not have a “board certification” for personal injury attorneys like it does for many other areas of practice. Avoid hiring a lawyer who handles every type of case, as they may be a "jack of all trades, master of none." It's best to hire an attorney who focuses on personal injury law to ensure they have the expertise and experience in handling such cases.
2. Consider the Personal Injury Lawyer's Experience
Find out if the attorney has experience in handling personal injury cases and whether they have litigate or have tried any cases in court. Some personal injury lawyers may only focus on settling cases without ever filing a lawsuit. If that's the case, you may want to consider hiring someone else. Experience matters when it comes to personal injury lawsuits and claims, so look for a personal injury lawyer who has a track record of successfully handling similar cases.
3. Watch Out for Personal Injury Law Firms Focused on Volume
If you ask the question, "How many cases are assigned to you?" and the answer is a large number, that could be a concerning sign. It may indicate that the "case manager" is overwhelmed with work and under pressure to settle cases, whether the settlement amount is reasonable or not. Running TV ads, staffing to handle the calls, and managing the cases generated by those ads is very expensive. Handling many cases also incurs significant costs. As a result, there may be substantial pressure on the case manager to settle personal injury cases quickly to cover the high overhead costs.
In the past, personal injury lawyers traditionally handled personal injury cases with the assistance of paralegals and legal assistants. Some modern-day personal injury law firms, particularly those that heavily advertise on TV, may have a business-like approach instead where "case managers" rather than attorneys primarily handle cases. You'll want to ensure that the attorney you hire will personally handle your case and not delegate it entirely to support staff. It's also important to ask about the attorney's caseload and whether they will have the time and resources to give your case the attention it deserves.
4. Make Sure the Personal Injury Attorney Will Put Your Best Interests First
If a firm is “profit first” due to being run like a business, then you should hire someone else. Firms that focus on volume may have an incentive to quickly settle cases for less than full value, as maximizing recovery requires more time and effort. For example, settling ten cases for 60% of their value may be more profitable for a large firm than settling three cases for their full value. If the firm's goal is to maximize profit by processing a large number of cases, it could result in a lower recovery for you as the client. That's why it's important to inquire about who will be personally handling your case and how involved the attorney will be in the process.
If you have been in an accident, make sure you’re in good hands with a legal team and a personal injury lawyer who’s committed to increasing your odds of receiving full and fair compensation. Schedule a free consultation today.