Accidents happen. They can happen anywhere and anytime, which often ends up being in places and times that you least expect. In the unfortunate event that an accident does happen and you become injured, it’s best to proceed with caution and make sure the handle things the right way. In many personal injury cases, having a lawyer will help you to make sure that you are fully compensated for the problems that you now have to deal with. While most people in this situation realize they need a lawyer, they typically don’t know how to proceed in finding a lawyer. To help you avoid the common pitfalls of choosing a personal injury lawyer, here are the top 10 mistakes to keep in mind.
1. Not Hiring a Lawyer to Begin With
If you end up being in the position where you are wrongly injured and have any doubt as to whether or not you can handle it on your own, it’s best to consult with an attorney. Many people assume they do not need or cannot afford getting legal help and as a result they end up not getting all the compensation they deserve.
2. Not Researching Potential Lawyers
Just like every professional service provider, no two lawyers are exactly alike. By researching lawyers beforehand, you can move forward with much more confidence that you are working with the best potential lawyer for you.
3. Not Reaching Out for Lawyer Referrals
One of the best ways to find a lawyer, or any service provider for that matter, is to reach out to those in your network for a referral. By having the “seal of approval” from someone you trust, you can rest assured that you are dealing with a competent and trustworthy lawyer.
4. Getting a Lawyer Through the Insurance Company
While you may get suggestions on lawyers from your insurance company or the defendant’s insurance company, it is usually best to find one on your own. While insurance companies may be willing to help, their mission is to make money at the end of the day. Without your best interest in mind, you may end up with a lawyer who isn’t right for you.
5. Hiring an Inexperienced Lawyer
When it comes to your personal injury case, you should shy away from hiring lawyers without a track record of experience. By ensuring your lawyer is experienced, you can easily weed out many potential candidates.
6. Hiring a Lawyer with a Different Specialty
When hiring a lawyer for your personal injury case, you will want to seek out a lawyer who specializes in personal injury. Choosing a lawyer who specializes in something else, such as real estate, is a common mistake many people make. By making this mistake, you may end up with a lawyer who does not have the required knowledge and skills to represent you properly.
7. Hiring a Lawyer Without Trial Experience
The ultimate conclusion of any personal injury claim is a trial or settlement. If the matter proceeds to trial because a settlement is not possible, the lawyer should have experience in running trials so that you can win. If the lawyer lacks trial experience, ICBC may not take settlement efforts seriously because they know that the lawyer probably will not take the matter to trial.
8. Hiring a Lawyer without a Game Plan
At the outset of being retained, the lawyer should be able to tell you what his or her plan is. The plan should be acceptable to you and you have to instruct the lawyer to proceed with it. If you are looking to settle the case within a few months of the accident, then the lawyer should be able to articulate how he or she will accomplish that. If the plan is to proceed to trial, then the lawyer should be able to tell you what expert witnesses will be called to testify in support of your case.
9. Hiring a Lawyer You Don’t Get Along With
This one is easy, if there is no rapport between you and the lawyer, trying to win the case together will not be pleasant. Personal injury cases are difficult for a variety of reasons; they are stressful and add to the stress you will already experience from being injured. But your case will not benefit from there being difficulties between you and your counsel.
10. Not Taking Your Time When Hiring a Lawyer
To properly complete many of the steps before this one, you will have to invest some time into choosing a lawyer to represent you for your personal injury case. While the time invested upfront may be significant, the benefits you will receive by having the best personal injury lawyer in Surrey for you will pay off many times over by having a satisfactory conclusion to your case. By following these ten steps, you will be well on your way to finding the perfect personal injury lawyer and having the whole situation behind you!