Serious injuries are a rare occurrence in most people’s lives. That’s good, but it also means that when a car accident, work injury, or other traumatic event occurs, most people don’t know what to do next or where to turn for help. A NYC personal injury attorney can be an injury victim’s best resource during this difficult time. But, most people searching for this type of help have never worked with a personal injury attorney before.
The questions below will help you choose the right lawyer for you or your loved one.
While most people know to ask an attorney about how long he or she has been in practice or how much personal injury experience the lawyer has, most don’t realize that there are significant differences among personal injury case types. For example, a standard car accident case and a commercial truck accident case may be very different, since truckers are subject to a complex mix of state and federal regulations, there are more likely to be multiple responsible parties, and some of those parties may be out of state.
When you’re talking with an NYC personal injury attorney about your case, be sure to inquire about experience that is specifically relevant to your situation.
Many experienced personal injury clients ask attorneys about their “win rates,” but that can be a misleading or confusing term in the personal injury arena. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled—that is, the parties come to an agreement about the compensation the injury victim will receive. Often, settlement is the best option, but it’s important that your NYC personal injury attorney is prepared and able to try the case before a jury if that is the best way to secure fair compensation. Unfortunately, not all personal injury lawyers are confident in the courtroom, and some build their practices entirely around settling cases.
Make sure that your personal injury lawyer is well qualified to pursue your claim in the most effective manner, whatever that turns out to be in your particular case.
Make sure that you understand and are comfortable with the process and communication system employed by the NYC personal injury attorney you hire. In some law firms, the lead attorney on the case is the primary point of contact. In others, an associate attorney or a paralegal will be responsible for most communications, passing issues up to the lead attorney as needed. In still others, there is no clear system, and you may receive calls or emails from a variety of people in different circumstances.
There are pros and cons to each model. For example, while many clients like to have direct contact with the lead attorney any time they have a question, that isn’t always the most efficient or effective use of the lawyer’s time in terms of moving your case forward. There’s no objectively right answer to this question—just make sure you know what to expect and are comfortable with the system and your level of access to information.
Ability and experience are key, but it’s also important that you are comfortable with and have faith in your personal injury attorney. You are entrusting the lawyer with a very important matter, and you must have confidence in his or her ability and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for you.
As your free consultation progresses, take note of:
Having the right advocate at your side can make a difficult time less stressful and help to secure the compensation you need to rebuild and move forward. Invest the time and consideration necessary to choose the best NYC personal injury attorney for you.