If you’ve been injured and need to file a personal injury claim, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. Hiring a lawyer can be an overwhelming task so we have put together this list of questions to help guide you in your selection.
1. Does the lawyer specializing in personal injury cases?
You should hire a lawyer who is experienced in representing people in personal injury cases. Personal injury lawyers will have insight into the process that will enable them to give you advice and information that a general practice lawyer simply will not be privy to. A specialist in personal injury claims will also be able to anticipate and deal with issues that may arise in the negotiation of your case and more importantly, they will be able to access medical professionals that a general practice lawyer will not be aware of.
2. How many years of experience does the personal injury lawyer have?
Retaining a personal injury lawyer with one year’s experience versus twenty or more years might make a difference in the settlement you receive. Someone who has practiced as a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver for a long time will have in-depth knowledge of the changing legal landscape regarding personal injury claims and will be familiar with statutes and precedence that may help your settlement. Additionally, he or she will have dealt with ICBC in the past and will be familiar with ICBC’s adjusting practices which can affect both the treatment that you are able to access as well as anticipation of potential roadblocks in negotiations. Experience will often translate into an understanding of how best to negotiate with ICBC to get the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury lawyer will also know if you would be better served if your case was brought to trial.
3. Does the personal injury lawyer have trial experience?
Be careful in choosing a lawyer who has no trial experience. You don’t want your case to be the first case the lawyer takes to trial and you don’t want the lawyer to not take your case to trial simply because they lack experience. Although people always prefer to settle, sometimes a trial is necessary to ensure that you get what you are entitled to. You want to make sure that you have a lawyer that is equipped to take your case to trial if necessary.
4. Who will be handling your case?
Some firms will delegate cases to a junior associate or a paralegal, depending on the nature of the claim and the caseload of the principal lawyer. You want the most experienced person to handle your case. Make sure that the lawyer you think you are hiring is actually the lawyer that will be handling your case.
5. Find out about the lawyer’s experience and involvement within the legal community.
Finding a lawyer who is active in the legal community either through involvement in their local bar association, the governance of the profession or trial lawyers association is important. You know then that this is a lawyer who is very involved in the legal profession, who will be up to date on the latest developments and who is respected within the legal profession itself. Lawyers who are contributors to journals, practice manuals or continuing education events are lawyers that you can be confident are recognized as leaders within the profession.
6. What is the lawyer’s opinion on the merits of your case?
An experienced personal injury lawyer will rarely if ever, tell you what they think a case is worth when you first meet them. That is because your case and the likely outcome is not just dependent on what you tell the lawyer in the initial meeting. A careful analysis of all of the evidence is necessary for any lawyer to be able to provide you with a reasoned opinion about outcome.
7. How will you be charged?
Most personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee. A contingency fee means a lawyer will only charge you legal fees if the case is a success. The Law Society regulates the amount that lawyers are able to charge and in the case of motor vehicle accidents, the maximum percentage that a lawyer can charge is 33 1/3% of your settlement amount.
Do you need a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver?
The answers you receive for the questions above will help you choose the right personal injury lawyer and one that you can be confident has the knowledge and expertise to get you the best result. If you are searching for a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver, give us a call at Rose Keith Law Corporation. At Rose Keith Law, we treat all our clients with compassion and respect. With over 25 years of experience, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service. Give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation. Let us handle your personal injury claim so you can focus on your recovery.