Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Long Island is one of the most important things that you will do. As a result, you want to ensure that you do your due diligence prior to making a decision on who to hire. Here are five things you should consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer in Long Island.
How are the fees administered?
Not only do you want to know approximately how much money this will cost you in the end, but you also want to learn how those fees will be administered.
For example, many personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. That usually means that you will not need to pay them until and unless they recover financial damages for you; no hourly rates will be charged. Generally, the percentage that is taken out of the awarded amount to pay who worked on your case will range from 25% to 40%.
With that said, do note that some lawyers operating on a contingency fee basis still charge clients for case costs regardless of the result of your case. These are non-hourly costs related to things such as court filings, mailings, photocopying, and expert testimony. So, ask about that as well.
What is their experience with similar cases?
It is important to consider how much experience your legal defense has with cases such as yours. There are generally two primary benefits to hiring those who do have considerable related experience.
One is that this situation will usually result in more effective working on your case, which also results in fewer billable hours if your payment arrangement is not via a contingency fee basis. The other is that this level of experience generally results in your case having an increased chance of succeeding and, in addition to that, an increased payout than would have otherwise been possible.
Who will work on your case?
If you will be consulting the services of a law firm, it is important to discuss in advance and in detail who will be handling your case.
You especially want to avoid a situation in which a law firm initially promotes senior partners who bring a vast amount of experience but then end up assigning other people to your case. You also want to see if the personality of anyone handling your case blends well with yours as that will help ease the communication process as you are kept up to date on the status of your case.
How involved can you be?
Are you looking to be particularly involved with your case? In other words, would you like to attend depositions and similar meetings? If so, make sure to ask if the lawyers that you are considering will allow this. Some do not. Of course, if you simply want them to handle the case and not involve you more than periodically keeping you up to date on how proceedings are going, this consideration is irrelevant.
Are they prepared to go to trial?
You should be especially wary of any lawyers who stress that your case is going to settle prior to trial. Of course, that may end up being the best move, but a lawyer should not go into this process with that in mind. They need to be prepared to take this for the duration. Hesitation to go to trial, particularly before they have even taken your case, is a significant red flag for you to consider.
Being fully prepared to go to trial will also ensure that any pre-trial settlement is as fair as possible.