Personal injury cases are often the result of tragedy. However, you can’t make a mistake in the selection of a personal injury attorney. Choosing the wrong legal advisor can literally cost you thousands of dollars. Mistakes could cause your case to drag on for months longer than it must. And it might prevent you from getting the full support you need, such as settling for money now instead of guaranteeing care for the remainder of your life. While you can find many articles about the red flags that warn you away from bad personal injury attorneys, we’re going to focus instead on the traits found in the best personal injury attorneys.
A Gifted Communicator
Personal injury cases sit at the intersection of medical and legal issues. Both of these areas use terminology unfamiliar to most people. Personal injury attorneys should be excellent communicators with the ability to clearly explain their overall strategy to their clients. They must be able to clarify what clients themselves need to do, such as collecting documentation for out of pocket expenses related to the accident, or signing forms allowing attorneys access to medical records.
Responsiveness is independent from the attorney’s ability to communicate clearly. Personal injury cases are different from others in that you may need legal advice immediately. For example, when you’re filling out medical forms, you need advice on who to list as the responsible party or who can be allowed access to the medical records. If you’re dealing with long-term side effects, you don’t want an attorney who makes you wait days for advice on seeking a second medical opinion, or weeks for assistance paying for rehabilitation.
The attorney’s habit of quickly responding to clients should also extend to professional interactions. Do they respond immediately to legal challenges or requests for information from insurers? An attorney who promptly returns calls to say they’ll deal with a new bill or rejected claim but is slow to actually take action isn’t right for you.
Personal injury cases are notable for the sheer number of bills for which you need to be reimbursed. Losses include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering – which can be on top of property damage such as a totaled car, broken glasses, or damaged front door. The small, ongoing costs that you pay when dealing with the aftermath are typically reimbursable, such as paying for a rental car or taxi because yours is in the shop, or hiring a babysitter while you’re at the doctor. The best personal injury attorneys are thorough. They ask the detailed questions to gather the information necessary to prove fault. They tally every related expense so that you receive full reimbursement from the responsible party. They assemble the documentation to prove that expenses are reasonable when submitting it for reimbursement.
Conversely, an attorney who is disorganized should be avoided. If they’re making mistakes and missing deadlines, you need to look for a better personal injury attorney.
Experience with Personal Injury Cases
The complexity of personal injury cases means you should only work with lawyers who focus on personal injury cases. A criminal attorney could pursue drunk driving or assault charges against the person who injured you, but personal injury attorneys can do that, as well as ensure that you receive full reimbursement for medical injuries from the insurance company and your assailant. Personal injury attorneys know how to work with worker’s compensation and health insurance plans.
Another factor to consider is specialization. A personal injury attorney who primarily deals with cases like car wrecks or assault cases has the process down pat. They and their staff know everything that needs to be done to maximize the odds of winning. The fact that they do this for a living means their internal processes are efficient. There are no unnecessary delays because someone didn’t know what to do or overlooked essential documentation in their submission.
Personal injury attorneys are more likely to end up managing money on behalf of their clients than most legal experts. This is why you must know that the attorney is beyond reproach, since they may be managing money to pay medical bills and ongoing expenses for years. You don’t want to work with a lawyer who floats you loans against your settlement because their internal processes are slow. Nor do you want to select an attorney who inflates your legal bills or sends you to unscrupulous doctors, since this could lead to losing your case and you being stuck with the final bill.
Personal injury cases are challenging for everyone involved. You’re adding legal hassles on top of the aftermath of an injury. You need a qualified expert at your side to guide you through this process if you want to minimize the long-term impact of the event.