5 Tips for Hiring Personal Injury Lawyers in Portland Oregon
Having to deal with a personal injury is stressful at the very least. If you have a personal injury case, such as a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or a car accident, you’ll have much better peace of mind hiring a professional to handle it for you.
You might balk at hiring a personal injury lawyer if your car was totaled but you appeared to have suffered no injuries, and you might think that the insurance company will help you through the claims process. However, liability might be unclear in the accident or incident, in which case the task falls to you to prove your innocence. You’ll need to have evidence to support your claim, and you may have no idea how to do this.
A personal injury lawyer will handle that evidence, but also handle a myriad of other tasks, such as negotiating with the insurance company to perhaps get you a bigger compensation package and handling your court case if it goes to trial.
So hiring an attorney to handle your case is the most beneficial path to take. There are a lot of personal lawyers in Portland, Oregon, so how do you decide who to go with?
Here are five tips to keep in mind when hiring a personal injury lawyer:
The first thing you want to know about any lawyer you’re hiring is what kind of experience they have. Many lawyers will handle many different kinds of personal injury cases, but none of them will have handled every single kind. The umbrella of personal injury can be very wide. For example, medical malpractice cases can subdivide into traumatic brain injuries, misdiagnosis, and surgical errors. Make sure to ask whether they’ve handled cases like yours before, how many, and whether they won those cases.
When asking about experience in personal injury cases, also ask what kind of experience they have in a courtroom setting. Most civil cases don’t go to trial, so if your case is one that does, you want to be sure you have someone who knows their way around a courtroom.
When asking about the procedure for personal injury cases, make sure you understand what is expected of you as well. Your lawyer may not want you to speak with other witnesses, and if you do, you could end up jeopardizing the work your lawyer and their team will be doing on your behalf. If your lawyer gives you homework, such as filling out forms, taking pictures, or otherwise documenting your injury, make sure you do it!
Some questions you can ask your lawyer include: what do you need from me in order to be sure my case is as strong as possible? Is there anything I should do or avoid in order to win my claim?
Asking about how long the process should take will also help manage your expectations. It’s probably known that your personal injury case won’t be solved overnight. In fact, the average personal injury claim can take from six months to two years. There are many variables that factor into the timeline, including how long your treatment takes.
Be certain of any fees your lawyer is going to charge you and what you can expect as far as the outcome. You may not receive a precise answer here. Lawyers may hesitate to give you a specific number because they may not want to create unrealistic expectations. Even if they won’t know the outcome at the start of the process, they should still be able to tell you whether you have a chance of winning your case and maybe a rough prediction of your compensation.
When you’re interviewing lawyers, keep track of their answers to this question and see if they’re all in the same general ballpark. If one of them promises you a significantly higher amount, take it with a grain of salt, unless they have a particularly persuasive piece of evidence that pertains to your case.
4. Team Effort
Oftentimes, you may meet with one lawyer, but they may have a team they work with to handle their personal injury claims. This might include a junior partner, another attorney, or a paralegal (or some combination of these three). While you may prefer having one lawyer handle all aspects of your case, a setup like this is fairly common.
The other team members will help gather the basic information and then your lawyer will handle the parts that require their specialist training. The team will let you know who your point of contact will be if you have any other questions or if you need to turn in paperwork. Make sure you understand who is going to handle the settlement, compensation negotiations, or the court case, so you know who to ask which questions.
One other question you can ask here is how often you can expect updates, and how you will receive those updates (whether it’s an email, a phone call, or an in-person meeting).
No matter where you live, the legal system is definitely overburdened, so you can expect any lawyer to handle more than one case at a time. You might worry that if your lawyer is handling more than one case, your case won’t get the attention to detail it deserves. There is something of a deadline for you – once you’ve suffered the accident, you have two years to file the suit.
As mentioned above, a personal injury lawyer will probably tell you that it’s best to take some time to heal or recover from the event. This is partially so that you know how much compensation to ask for when settling with the insurance company. So since you have a deadline, make sure to get someone who has the ability to work on more than one case at a time. Ask how many cases the lawyer is handling at a time, and ask how big their team is if that number is larger than you expected.
Finding representation with a personal injury lawyer shouldn’t be a convoluted process! The team at Warren Allen will help you find compensation for your personal injury with grace and the highest degree of professionalism. Contact us today.
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