What to Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney After an Auto Accident

When deciding which personal injury attorney to work with after an accident, do not take the decision lightly. Not only could the decision mean thousands of dollars more or less in your bank account upon settlement, it could also mean the difference between sleepless nights wondering “did I screw up this decision” to sleeping like a baby knowing you are in good hands.

Here is what to look for when making your decision of who to work with as a personal injury attorney.

1. Do not look for the biggest billboard you can find and make your decision based off of that criteria. This attorney may not be the one best suited for you, and also may be too busy to handle your case “hands on” enough. You may be pushed off completely on to a junior associate who does not have the experience or free mindedness to do what is right for you. He or she may have scripted mandates from the firm telling what to do, and that script may not be in your best interest.

2. Ask for referrals from friends or family who have had claims. What better way to find out about actual experiences and outcomes?

3. What is the track record of your attorney at recovering damages? You want a proven track record and an attorney who is not afraid of standing up for you enough to take your case to court if necessary. Ask questions about results and court cases.

4. Professional organizations. Which ones does the prospective attorney belong to?

5. Does the attorney charge a fee upfront for the case? Some do, some don’t. Having the attorney work on contingency will effectively give him or her “skin in the game” and make the outcome that much more important.

6. How much experience does the attorney have in personal injury and what percentage of his or her practice does it compromise? If it’s a hobby in the scope of the practice, keep looking.

7. Attorney’s philosophy. If the philosophy appears to be sign up as many as absolutely possible and then push off on the junior associate, keep looking. If the philosophy is to work closely with you and then the law firm takes a “hit” at the end of the case to get you a better settlement, then finish the meeting!

8. Avoid firms employing contract runners. You should sit face to face with the lawyer you are hiring to discuss your case and sign the contract for representation. This could be the most important meeting you will have with your attorney. Some higher volume firms utilize contract runners, and may refer to them as “investigators”. You should not agree to a contract runner and insist on meeting with your lawyer prior to hiring. Contract runners are usually not lawyers, and therefore not allowed to answer any legal questions you may have about the contract or the representation.

9. Ask the attorney if he or she will reduce their fees.

A personal injury attorney may make more money at the end of the case than the client. Doesn’t sound fair does it? This happens when the attorney takes his full one third fee, and then medical bills take up the rest of the settlement. The client may not even break even and have money still owed on medical bills! You should ask if they will cut their fee at the end of the case so that this will not happen. If the lawyer is unwilling to do this, consider hiring a law firm that will.

10. Ask if your attorney will handle your property damage claim for free.

If your case includes a property damage claim (vehicle) ask your attorney if they will handle this for free, assist with getting a rental vehicle, and take care of dealing with the insurance company that is paying for the issues with your vehicle.

Starting a Profession As A Lawyer

Many people dream of becoming a lawyer in their lives but for different reasons could not make it. They might be unaware of the facts that becoming lawyer requires several difficult and challenging steps. If you are serious about practicing law, following are given few guidelines for becoming a lawyer.

If you really want to become a lawyer, start doing this from your high school. Taking part in mock trail teams and debates can help you learn few things.

Another important which you need to do is develop exemplary study habits such as reading, communication and comprehension skills.

You need to have great LSAT and GPA scores if you want to take admission in any reputable law school. The high scores can only be achieved through hard work.

You need to enroll yourself in an undergraduate college for 4 years degree program.

After completion of the degree, register yourself for Law Admission Test commonly known as LSAT. This test mainly focuses on to assess the applicant’s verbal reasoning and reading skills often used by schools.

LSAT is held three times a year, i.e. in the month of June, October and December. It is mandatory to pass the LSAT for a number of law schools.

Once you have cleared your LSAT, you are now ready to apply in a number of schools. Make one thing certain here that the law schools where you are applying should be accredited by American Bar Association (ABA). Application fees are usually high for law schools, so a careful and wise selection of the schools is required where they have an application waiver.

If you are one of those who meet their expenses on their own then it is the time to save some extra bucks for you for your school will not allow you to work for the first year.

Studying law involves a lot of hard work. You will not get enough time to waste. To complete your law successfully, you need to spend a lot of time in researching case laws, reading cases, writing briefs and preparing answers for class questions.

After the completion of first year, you should try to get a place in a law firm as an assistant, file clerk or messenger.

After graduating from law school one has to pass the Professional Responsibility Exam and later has to register him/her for state Bar Exam. This exam you can take in summer after completing your school.

This is the last step where you have to find a position as a lawyer. It is not easy as a lot of intense competition. Having any prior internship experience at a law will firm will definitely help.

Those who are good students and attend best law schools have got more job opportunities than others. Obviously, the competition is usually intense for best jobs and high grades.

Types of Attorneys in the United States

An attorney is a professional person authorized to practice law, conduct lawsuits or give legal advice. In the United States, the basic distinction of law is into two sectors, criminal and civil. These two divisions are further subdivided into various other fields in which one can practice. Some of the common types of attorneys in the United States are:

  • Criminal defense attorneys: A criminal defense attorney will represent a person who has been reportedly accused of breaking the law. Right from murder, to cyber crimes, to traffic violation, each of these cases is handled by the same. Whatever be the severity of the crime, a criminal defense attorney has to be involved for the case.
  • Family law attorneys: These are those who deal with all the laws relating to family matters. A family law attorney must have the complete details of the family’s history that he is representing. Cases relating to divorce, adoption and guardianship, custody rights are dealt with by such a person.
  • Estate attorneys: Estate planning attorneys are those who advise their clients on wills and transfer of wealth and property from the previous generation the next. Charities and donations are also taken care of by estate attorneys. They help their clients to plan for their families as per their requirements and benefits.
  • Personal injury attorneys: When a particular person gets injured on account of negligence by any other party, it is known as a personal injury. Personal injury attorneys deal with cases of car accidents, workers compensation, airplane crashes and so on.
  • Bankruptcy attorneys: Bankruptcy is a situation when any individual or firm files to relieve itself of its debts. Bankruptcy attorneys assist their clients in filing for bankruptcy. They advise their clients about the kind of bankruptcy they should file. The two types of bankruptcy are chapter 7 and chapter 13.
  • Business attorneys: If a business is sued, then the services of a business attorney are called for. They will help their clients in drafting all their legal documents and advise them on all the steps they ought to take in the given situation. They have to make sure that their clients are not in any legal trouble
  • Civil rights attorney: Such an attorney has to defend the written rights granted to all the citizens of the United States. Some of these rights are the freedom to speech, freedom of the press, freedom to vote, freedom of assembly, freedom form slavery, etc.
  • Immigration attorney: An immigration attorney is one who provides his services to such people who would like to be citizens of the United States. Many regulations and legal formalities have to be followed before one can become a citizen. Such a person takes care of the same.
  • Intellectual property attorneys: These are also known as entertainment or patent attorneys and trademark lawyers. They specialize in many different areas like entertainment laws of transaction, or technological information of the United States.

So if you are planning to take up this profession seriously, check the field you would like, do your research and then decide which field would suit you the best. All the best!