Mounting medical expenses, loss of income and lost transportation are just a few of the issues the face anyone involved in a personal injury claim. Who will be responsible for your bills, lost wages and damage to your vehicle will all have to be addressed? Solving these issues and making sure that your case is handled correctly from beginning to end is crucial in securing a fair settlement. Choosing the best attorney to assist you can be difficult. There is no shortage of attorney advertisements in Charlotte. You can see them on television, on the Internet and even in the mail. But just like choosing a doctor, you will want to make sure the person you choose has both the knowledge and experience to get the job done. Here are some key factors you should consider:
1. Does the North Carolina attorney limit their practice to personal injury claims?
One of the most important factors is whether or not that attorney has the experience necessary to handle your case. This does not mean simply that the attorney has been in practice in North Carolina for a number of years or advertises that they handle personal injury claims in Charlotte. No one, especially attorneys, can be the best at everything. Unless the majority of an attorney’s practice involves representing individuals involved in personal injury claims, the attorney may not have an advanced understanding of insurance claims. Depending on the claim involved there may be issues that require advance knowledge in the inter-policy and intra-policy liability coverage stacking,, underinsured or UIM coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. An attorney with limited experience may fail to identify all coverage that could apply.
2. Does the attorney have the ability to go to court if necessary?
A lot of attorneys in Charlotte North Carolina advertise they handle personal injury cases but a very small percentage of these attorneys will actually go to court if necessary. Some law firms will not take a case to court even when necessary. These firms would rather settle a case for less money than risk going to court. Insurance companies know which firms try cases and which ones don’t. Insurance companies will offer less money to those firms they know will take it.
3. Does the attorney have a proven track record of success?
Often lawyers will publish their best verdicts and settlements on their website. Ask your lawyer how many large verdicts or settlements the firm has had. Were these verdicts obtained by settlement or by trial? While it is not a guarantee that your results will be the same as those published, it does give you a sense of whether the attorney is accustomed to handling large claims.
4. What is this attorney’s professional reputation?
Before hiring any attorney I would highly recommend searching for that attorney on the Internet. Looking at an attorney’s Google reviews is a great starting point. Reading what former clients have to say about their attorney will give you some insight not only to the experience with the attorney but also with the law office as well. You may have some insight as to whether or not the law firm is responsive to their clients, whether the staff is friendly and whether they feel satisfied with the outcome.
To make sure you’re getting the right personal injury attorney in Charlotte, I would also recommend going to https://www.martindale.com/ and search for the attorney by name. Martindale Hubbell has a ranking system for attorneys. Attorneys are reviewed by both judges they have appeared in front of as well as other attorneys in the same geographic area. Part of these reviews are solicited by Martindale Hubbell and therefore are less likely to be hand-picked by the lawyer being reviewed. Depending on the score the attorney receives they will be assigned a “AV preeminent, distinguished or notable”. AV preeminent signifies that the attorney has both strong legal ability and high ethical standards. Only 10% of attorneys hold an AV rating.
5. Is this attorney someone I want to work with?
The interview process is crucial in determining whether you’ve selected the right lawyer. Meeting with the attorney either over the phone, video call or in person will give you the opportunity to see for yourself whether you are going to be comfortable discussing your case. Building a case requires sharing personal medical information and sharing personal details about your injuries, family life etc. You should consider whether you will be comfortable talking to your lawyer about these things.
6. What kind of fees will I need to pay?
Make sure you look at the contract. Most North Carolina personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee meaning that their legal fees are only payable if the recovery is made on your behalf. However, court costs such as filing fees, deposition fees, subpoenas and expert witness fees are often in addition to the contingency fee and in some cases must be paid by the client prior settlement. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what if any expenses you will be responsible for prior to signing any contract.
Insurance companies have adjusters who are trained professionals whose job is essentially to settle claims for the least amount of money possible. They are not employed to be your advocate.
Hiring the right Charlotte personal injury lawyer to handle your case cannot only relieve some of the stress and headaches associated with pursuing an injury claim, but also make sure that the amount of compensation you receive is fair for the injuries sustained.
Since 1979, the law firm of Price, Petho and Associates has been advocating on behalf of individuals injured through the negligence of others. For more information please call 704 -372-2160 free case evaluation.