What Is The Process For Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney?
Published on:April 14, 2016
Hiring an attorney

In the movies or on television, the personal injury attorney is often portrayed as the heroic figure who appears on the scene to save the victim from financial disaster. While personal injury attorneys like that sort of image, it is not quite how things work in the real world. You can help to demystify the process of hiring a personal injury attorney by understanding how it really works and knowing the steps that have to be taken.

Consulting With Attorneys

Contrary to what you may have seen in dramatizations, personal injury attorneys do not appear out of the mist with a pile of paperwork and an intent to defend their clients. The process starts with the client consulting with several attorneys to find one that makes the client feel comfortable.

You can consider these consultations job interviews, because that is really what they are. In most cases, a personal injury attorney will not charge you for your initial consultation. It helps if you have the information you have collected regarding your case with you so that the attorney can look it over and give you an informed opinion.

Signing The Agreement

A client should never sign an agreement with a personal injury attorney unless that client is completely comfortable with how that attorney does business. Once the client finds the attorney they are most comfortable with, the two parties sign an agreement where the client agrees to allow the attorney to represent their interests in your personal injury case.

From that point on, you should allow your attorney to take care of every aspect of your case from phone calls to written correspondence. You should not talk to any insurance company or agree to anything with any party without discussing it with your attorney first.

The Negotiation Process

After you and your attorney have signed the representation agreement, your attorney will send a letter of representation to the other party and the other party’s insurance company. Your attorney will begin to collect as much pertinent information as possible, including medical bills and any extra police reports. Your attorney may also have you go for additional medical testing based on the results of your initial tests.

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After collecting all of the information, your attorney will reach out to the other party and their insurance company to start discussing a settlement. The goal of your attorney is to try to get a settlement without having to go to court, but you should be prepared to go to court if necessary. Your attorney will keep you updated on any developments throughout the entire process, and you should feel comfortable enough with your attorney to ask any question regarding your case at any time.

Movies and television shows are fun, but they do not accurately represent the way things really work in the world of personal injury litigation. The process from choosing an attorney to deciding on a settlement is a very long and deliberate process that requires your full attention.

You need to research and talk to a number of attorneys before you decide on which one you want to hire, and you need to be prepared to cooperate fully with your attorney once your lawsuit starts. Most personal injury cases do not wind up in front of a jury, but you should make sure that your attorney has trial experience before you hire them to make sure that you and your legal team are ready for anything.