If you or a loved one have been injured by another party, you may be considering filing a lawsuit for damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages from work. But filing a lawsuit can seem overwhelming when you are already dealing with recovery from injury or even the tragic loss of a loved one. That’s why a good first step is to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer. But how can you make sure you choose the right one?
How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding names of experienced personal injury lawyers is similar to finding the name of a good doctor or real estate agent: you ask people you know or try to get references from a professional association. It’s a good idea to interview several lawyers before making a decision.
1. Talk to friends and family.
If you have a friend or family member who has used a personal injury lawyer, ask if they felt the service they received was good. Were they comfortable talking to the person? Were the explanations about their case clear and easy to understand? Was it easy to get in touch with the lawyer?
Also ask friends and family who have worked with another type of lawyer and been happy with the service, such as a divorce/family lawyer. Lawyers often work together, but have different specialties. A good lawyer in one speciality is very likely to know a good lawyer in another speciality.
2. Contact the local bar association.
Most bar associations maintain referral services, such as directories categorized by specialty area.
What to Ask During the Initial Consultation with an Injury Lawyer
Once you have several names of lawyers, you want to schedule an initial consultation about your case.
Most personal injury lawyers do not charge for the initial consultation, but be sure and ask whether there is a consultation fee before you make the appointment. Most reputable personal injury attorneys will offer a free case review and will work on contingency, meaning that they will charge you no fees unless they win your case.
It’s also a good idea to bring documentation about the case. This will help the lawyer answer your questions. If, for example, you have medical records about your injuries, police reports about the accident, or correspondence with an insurance company about claims, your lawyer can accurately identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and provide informed advice about next steps.
Next, you want to ask the lawyer about their experience.
Find out how many years they have been practicing personal injury law. Ask what percentage of their cases are personal injury-related. It’s also important to ask whether they specialize in injury law for the plaintiff (the person injured) or the defendant (the party accused of the injury).
You want a lawyer who is experienced, who handles a high percentage of personal injury cases, and who tries cases for the same type of client you are, whether plaintiff or defendant.
Once you have a good sense of these issues, discuss your goals and strategies. Are you seeking a larger settlement than what the insurance company offered? If the insurance company doesn’t meet your number, are you willing to go to trial? Will expert witnesses be required to help make a strong case about your injuries before a jury? Clients and their lawyers should discuss these and other issues be on the same page as to how to proceed forward.
Call Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer Bart Bernard Today
If you’re looking for a seasoned Louisiana personal injury attorney, look no further than the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. For our clients’ convenience, we have offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
Our initial consultation on your case is free and comes with no obligation. Call or contact Bart Bernard online today. Hit Hard with Bart Bernard™!
- Louisiana State Courts, https://courts.uslegal.com/state-courts/louisiana-state-courts/
- Justia, Louisiana Laws Civil Code CC 2323 — Comparative fault, https://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2011/cc/cc2323