When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
I often get on legal websites and answer legal questions posed by the general public and I am surprised by how many lawyers are unwilling to provide any information in response to a question, instead the standard response is “you need to hire a lawyer.” But, is a lawyer always necessary
I firmly believe that consulting a lawyer is always the right thing to do. My law firm, and most others, offer free consultations, which will give you the opportunity to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney that can explain the complexities of your case and its potential value.
However, the question then becomes, when does the nature of a claim and the potential value rise to the level of hiring a lawyer? Honestly, if the lawyer can add enough value to your claim to justify his or her attorney’s fee so that you are likely to get a larger recovery than you would get without a lawyer – you should hire a lawyer
I can say from experience, that if there is significant personal property damage, ongoing medical treatment or a potentially permanent injury, an experienced lawyer’s value is probably going to exceed the cost of any fee, particularly when many lawyers will only charge you a contingency fee. Also, there is value in not paying any upfront costs. Additionally, many people are not aware of the pitfalls of handling their own claim.
With that said, no lawyer should ever guarantee a result, or suggest that his or her involvement is going to make your case more valuable. But you should be assured that the net value of hiring a lawyer is going to be worth the fare.
If you do decide to hire a lawyer, it is equally important that you choose a knowledgeable lawyer. Most lawyers (including my firm) advertise on the Internet, TV and radio, etc. Unfortunately, these advertising providers do not investigate the law firms to learn about their experience, reputation, or qualifications. This, often times, leaves it up to you to investigate your attorney and determine the skill level and credibility of the lawyer that you are considering to hire. Because more reputable attorneys will offer free consultations, it can be advantageous to take your time and meet with multiple attorneys before making your final decision. I firmly believe in investigating the old fashioned way: call around and ask your family and friends, and ask them to ask their family and friends. The internet has made it even easier to learn about attorneys and get an idea of their reputation in the area.
It is important to remember that the choice of an attorney is an important one. Not only will your attorney advise you in your case, but he or she is your advocate, your voice. Many of my current and former clients call me for advice on issues wholly unrelated to why they initially hired me. The relationship you build with your attorney may outlast your case and continue on creating a beneficial relationship for both you and your attorney. It is for these reasons that the choice of an attorney is such an important one, regardless of the size of your case.
If you or a loved one has a potential case or a legal question, please feel free to contact an attorney at Hipskind & McAninch for a FREE consultation to discuss your legal issues in order to determine whether legal representation could actually benefit you.