Personal injuries are difficult situations some people find themselves in, while minor injuries can be shrugged off, severed injuries can be permanently debilitating and affect a person’s way of life. While many injuries are accidents, compensation is often needed in order to get a person back on track, or to help them deal with the hard fact that their ability to work and make money may be affected forever. Personal injury in the eyes of the law can include: motor vehicle accidents, negligence, public liability, occupational injuries, assault, medical malpractice, or dangerous products. Hiring a personal injury lawyer in San Francisco is key to getting the maximum amount of compensation from those responsible for the injuries incurred, and initial consultations are free.
Choosing the Right Lawyer or Law Firm for the Claim
There are many lawyers out there, some generalize but many specialize in a certain field of law. When dealing with personal injury claims, it is always best to find a lawyer or a law firm that specializes in the type of claim being made. A lawyer that specializes in motor vehicle accidents is going to be experienced in dealing with police reports, accident scene reports, speaking with vehicle insurance companies, etc., and that expertise is going to be necessary to get the best settlements. Beyond expertise, it is important to get a lawyer that is professional and trustworthy so that the case has a good face to it, and details from the claim aren’t going to be discussed where and when they should not be. Word of mouth and online reviews can be an important tool in researching lawyers and law firms.
Knowing the experience level of the lawyer or law firm is also important, particularly finding out how many similar cases they have successfully handled in the recent past. It is also beneficial if the lawyer has specific experience with the insurance company in the claim. During the free consultation with a lawyer they may suggest how much the claim may be worth, then with the client they can explain various methods of approach they can take to reach that claimed amount. An additional thing to research is whether the lawyer is a part of a national organization such as the American Association for Justice, as this can give them extra publication and education resources.
Communication is Key
Just like any contract work, having open lines of communication is important. A personal injury lawyer should be someone the client can talk with and understand, and someone who will listen to and is willing to follow a client’s wishes. Keeping informed throughout the claim process is also important, so that the client knows how things are going and whether there is anything they should be worried about, or important decisions that need to be made. When dealing with a law firm it’s also important to know who the point of contact is, and how they can be contacted to get up-to-date information on the case.
Clear Outline of Costs
San Francisco Personal injury lawyers for the most part will work on a contingency basis, that is, if they don’t win they don’t get compensated, as they take a percentage or a set amount of the settlement. However, it’s always best to get an outline of the costs early on, as some fees are not covered by the contingency framework, and will be charged on top, either at the resolution of the case or through an initial retainer.