While personal injury accidents can have a wide variety of causes, ranging from car accidents to defective consumer products, they tend to have one thing in common: they cannot be predicted. Many victims of personal injury simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you or a Missouri resident you know has been harmed by another person's negligence or neglect, it may be time to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer: 8 Tips for Finding a Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
Pursuing a legal case requires both time and money, so you want to be sure that you have chosen a lawyer who will fight for the fair settlement that you deserve. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are selecting a personal injury lawyer in Kansas City:
Experience Comes First
When hiring a lawyer, pick someone who excels both in terms of legal know-how and practical experience. A lawyer who has practiced for a long time will probably be more capable of fighting for your interests in a legal case.The laws surrounding personal injury and accidents are very complex, both in Missouri and in most other states. You need time to focus on your recovery without having to worry about legal red tape. That is why you should hire a lawyer with years of experience in personal injury cases who you can trust to reach the fairest possible settlement for you.
See What Others Have to Say
Legal expertise is not worth much unless the lawyer is also proficient at working with their clients. Client testimonials can give you valuable information when you are looking for a lawyer to hire in your personal injury case. They can help you distinguish between a lawyer who genuinely cares about your well-being and one who is mostly in it for the money.While client reviews can be a good place to start, be cautious about trusting just one or two. Sometimes, law firms and review websites may pay customers to leave reviews, either favorable to themselves or negative reviews about their competition. If you see a glowing review of a particular lawyer—or, on the other hand, a very negative review—don't place too much emphasis on it. Focus on what the bulk of customers have to say rather than letting a single customer review sway your decision.
Check With People You Know
Do you have a coworker, friend, or cousin who has been through a personal injury lawsuit? Word of mouth can be a useful way to obtain the names of good lawyers. If you know someone who has received a personal injury settlement in the past, it may be worth talking to them about their experience. Alternatively, if someone you know didn't receive a fair settlement in a personal injury case, that can help you determine which lawyers to avoid.
Choose Someone With a Proven Track Record of Success
If you can find information about past settlements that a lawyer has won for clients, that can give you a good indication of their capabilities. Obviously, someone with a proven track record of success in personal injury cases is more likely to win you a fair settlement.Also, look out for any awards that the lawyer has earned. Often, these awards are indicators of high-quality legal practice. For example, the Super Lawyers website recognizes legal professionals who achieve positive outcomes for their clients and are esteemed among their peers. Most lawyers are eager to advertise any awards and distinctions that they have earned on their websites, so this information shouldn't be difficult to come across.
Look for Breadth of Experience
While you want to choose a lawyer with a proven record of success in cases similar to yours, it can also pay off to choose a lawyer who has excelled in a wide variety of different personal injury cases. The laws surrounding personal injury are complex, and you want to be sure that your lawyer can adapt to any unexpected twists and turns that may arise over the course of your case.
Get Advice Before Talking to Insurance Companies
Whether you have been the victim of a car accident or a defective product, your insurance providers will want to get involved. In a car crash, it may be tempting to accept a quick settlement from the insurance company and be done with the case. However, some insurance companies offer lower settlements, hoping you'll take fast cash right away rather than hold out for what you're truly owed. Be wary about accepting these offers.If you have already been offered a settlement, you should consult a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you determine whether the amount is fair. Often, a dedicated lawyer can win you a higher settlement than the one the insurance company offers. After the wrongful suffering that you have been through, it is worth sticking up for yourself and fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Make Sure You Know How They Are Paid
Before hiring any type of lawyer, you will want to understand how they determine their fee. There are several ways that lawyer fees are determined, but the most common arrangement used in personal injury cases is a contingency fee.
In this arrangement, the lawyer's award is contingent on the outcome of the case. This means that the lawyer will receive a cut of your settlement if you win the case. If you lose the case, the lawyer will earn nothing. Make sure you know what percentage of your settlement the lawyer will keep as their award.Under a contingency fee agreement, you are usually responsible for any court costs and litigation expenses, even if you lose the case. This includes the cost of expert witnesses. For example, if a doctor testifies for you in court, you will need to cover their hourly rate. These court costs are deducted from your settlement.
Choose a Lawyer Who Is Honest and Transparent
While you certainly want to hire a lawyer who will fight ruthlessly for the best settlement, you don't want someone who will waste your time pursuing a court battle that you are unlikely to win.Lawyers who never turn down a case may seem hardworking and dedicated, but you might want to be suspicious. Unfortunately, not every personal injury case pans out in court. You want a lawyer who will be upfront about whether your case is worth pursuing in the first place. If your case is difficult or impossible to win, it is better to know that from the beginning than to find out in the courtroom after you have expended time and money on it.
Try a Free Consultation
It may go without saying, but you shouldn't have to pay a lawyer for an initial consultation when you don't even know whether they are a good match for your case. Fortunately, many lawyers offer an initial meeting at no cost. This gives you a low-stress way to ask any legal questions you might have and to decide whether you want to go forward with their legal services.The personal injury lawyers at Sullivan Law have a proven track record of helping Missouri residents receive fair settlements. Schedule a free initial consultation today
to get professional advice about your personal injury claim.