Four Things to Look for When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Are you searching for a law firm to help you fight for compensation after a dog bite or a car accident in Oklahoma City?

If so, you should be aware of these four things to look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer:

A Track Record of Success

lawyer

When trying to find a lawyer to help with your personal injury claim, one of the primary things you should look for is a lengthy track record of success in the industry.

Accomplishments in the world of civil justice usually come in the following categories:

Settlements

The vast majority of plaintiffs and defendants in Oklahoma City solve their personal injury cases by agreeing to a settlement. Of course, deals of this nature do not come together overnight. They almost always require months of intense negotiation.

Who handles these negotiations? In most instances, it is the attorneys for both parties.

As such, it is easy to tell how effective a lawyer is at their job by reviewing the settlements they have negotiated for their clients. If they consistently deliver outcomes that exceed expectations, they may be the right person to handle your case.

Trial Verdicts

Not all Oklahoma personal injury cases end in settlement, of course. Many go to trial. As such, before you hire a lawyer, you should take a moment to analyze their trial experience.

Most attorneys in Oklahoma will be more than happy to provide you with a breakdown of the cases in which they have delivered favorable judgments for their clients. However, these legal battles do not tell the whole story.

It is also vital to ask potential lawyers about the trials in which they could not secure compensation for their clients. If they can clearly explain what went wrong in those cases and how they plan to stop the same problems from derailing your lawsuit, they might be the right attorney for you.

Specializations

When trying to hire a personal injury lawyer, it is always smart to ask them about the kinds of claims they handle most frequently. Ideally, you should work with one that specializes in your type of case.

It is essential to find an attorney that understands your situation because the legal knowledge and skills required for each type of lawsuit is unique:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Lawyers who specialize in slip and fall accidents have to be familiar with Oklahoma’s premises liability laws. 
  • Medical Malpractice Cases: Attorneys who work on malpractice lawsuits need to have some basic medical knowledge. They should also have a trusted expert they can consult with on more complex matters.
  • Auto Accidents: Lawyers who handle car accident cases must have a deep understanding of the rules of the road. They should also know how to deal with an auto insurance company and obtain an accident report from the police.
  • Workplace Accidents: Legal professionals who represent people who suffer injuries on the job must have a thorough understanding of the state’s workers’ compensation laws
  • Bad Faith: If an insurance company acts in bad faith when handling a claim, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the provider. You’ll need ot work with an attorney who is very familiar with the specialized rules and procedures that typically apply in these types of cases.

When you find a lawyer that specializes in personal injury suits like yours, you will feel confident that you can trust their legal advice and guidance.

A Reputation for Dependability and Trustworthiness

Whether you sustained an injury in an auto accident or an animal attack, it is vital that you hire a dependable and trustworthy legal representative. 

But how can you find out if your potential attorney has a good reputation? You can begin by consulting the following sources:

Former Clients

One of the fastest ways to find out if you can trust a prospective lawyer is to ask them for a list of former clients you can call who will vouch for their services. 

If they give you a list almost immediately, you can begin to feel confident that they are dependable. However, if they provide you with a plethora of excuses for why they cannot refer you to any former clients, you may wish to start looking for alternative legal representation.

Of course, you don’t have to ask for a reference sheet to find out what an attorney’s former clients think of their performance. You can also look for reviews on Google, Avvo, and Martindale-Hubbell.

Other Attorneys

Before agreeing to work with an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney, it is always smart to find out what other legal industry professionals think of their dependability and trustworthiness. When a lawyer does not have the respect of their peers, it is rarely wise to hire them to represent you.

You can generally find reviews and references by attorneys in many of the same places you might find client ratings.

Billing Practices

It is never wise to enter into an agreement with a personal injury attorney without first finding out when and how they will charge you for their work. You should be particularly sure to ask about their:

Consultation Fees

Before you hire a law firm to help with your case, you will need to arrange a consultation with one of their team members. Before you do so, though, you should take a minute to check how much they will charge you for this meeting.

Most personal injury attorneys, like those at the McGuire Law Firm, offer a free consultation to people who get hurt in falls and motorcycle collisions. However, when you call to set up your meeting, it is always a good idea to double-check your chosen firm’s policy – just in case they charge a fee.

Contingency Fees

Almost all personal injury law firms in the state of Oklahoma operate on a contingency fee basis. This billing system means that they will not charge you a dime unless they win your case. They then take a percentage of the compensatory award as their legal fee.

Most law firms take a one-third cut of their clients’ payouts. However, this percentage is a rule of thumb – not a law. Attorneys may take a smaller or larger piece of the pie if they wish.

Since contingency fees are so variable, it is always smart to confirm your potential lawyer’s rate before moving forward.

Dangers of Hiring the Wrong Personal Injury Attorney

Looking out for the things outlined in this resource page is one of the best ways to protect your health and your financial future in the aftermath of a car crash or dog bite. If you fail to follow these steps, you may hire a less-than-stellar attorney.

As a result, you might run the risk of:

  • Failing to identify the individual who is liable for your injuries
  • Agreeing to a settlement that is too small
  • Failing to locate the evidence needed to prove your case
  • Having your case drag on for months or years longer than needed

Depending on the nature of your injuries, hiring the wrong lawyer has the potential to cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ready to Hire the Right Personal Injury Lawyers for You?

Now that you are aware of the four things to look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer, you will be pleased to know that there is a firm that offers all the experience, trustworthiness, and knowledge you require – McGuire Law Firm. Reach out to us today to set up a free initial consultation at our law offices in Oklahoma City.