How to Choose a Top Pittsburgh Personal Injury Attorney
The Internet: It’s a cornucopia of information – blogs, news sites, referral services, social media networks and cat videos. The plethora of free information makes it among the first places people look when searching for a top personal injury lawyer.
But for folks who – fortunately – have never had to engage the services of a personal injury attorney, all that information can sometimes make the selection process more confusing instead of more streamlined.
Whether you were injured because of a defective product, defective automobile, driver negligence, defective drugs, or as a result of a Marcellus Shale injury or medical malpractice, there are some rules of thumb that apply when you are looking to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Here are three things to consider when selecting an experienced personal injury lawyer:
- The Personal Injury Lawyer’s Experience – When it comes to personal injury law, experience and skill go hand in hand. You want to look for a law firm with significant experience dealing with not only filing lawsuits related to personal injury claims, but in taking those cases to trial. When you meet with a prospective personal injury attorney, be prepared by jotting down a few questions to ask during the initial consultation. The questions on your list should include: How long has the lawyer and/or firm been in practice? How much of the practice is devoted to personal injury cases? Does the lawyer or law firm personally deal with personal injury lawsuits, or do they regularly punt cases to other staffers? Who does the lawyer or firm generally represent in such cases? Do they represent the plaintiffs in personal injury cases or the defendants? If you’ve been significantly injured in a defective product, defective automobile, driver negligence, defective medicine or other such case, you may want to only seriously consider a personal injury lawyer or law firm that routinely represents plaintiffs – people like you who are seeking damages for their injuries.
- The Personal Injury Lawyer’s Ultimate Goal for Your Case – When you meet with a personal injury lawyer, the first thing he will do is discuss the nature of your claim. This generally means a frank discussion about the facts surrounding your case (dates, parties involved) and the state of your negotiations with the company you believe is at fault (or its insurance company). After the personal injury lawyer has a feel for what is at issue in your case, he should be able to give you an educated opinion of how the case will go – how difficult it will be to take to trial, how much he things the claim could potentially be worth, and if an insurance company may be willing settle (and if so, for how much). It is also important to discuss with your attorney how much time he believes the case will take. During this stage of the discussion, you should also be able to communicate what you expect from him. You may want the personal injury attorney you hire to work to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. If you have already received a settlement offer from a company or its insurance company, you may want your personal injury lawyer’s goal to be to obtain a larger offer. Or, depending on the nature of your case, you may want your personal injury lawyer’s goal to be to obtain the most significant settlement possible – even if it means going to trial.
- The Costs and Fees Associated with Personal Injury Lawyers – Just as a rule of thumb: Most top-rate personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. After that, lawyers expect to be paid for their time, and it is ultimately your responsibility to thoroughly understand any and all fees before signing a financial agreement. Many personal injury firms work on a “contingency” basis, which means that you will not be charged until the case is resolved.
If you or someone you love is looking for a skilled personal injury lawyer to help determine if you have a legal claim, call the Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic today to schedule a free consultation.