Chicago Injury Attorneys
The first thing to ask yourself is why do I need a personal injury lawyer?
When you suffer an injury as the result of somebody else's action, it only seems right that the person would offer to compensate you or that their insurance company will do the right thing and offer a fair settlement. Wake up, your dreaming. It rarely happens. Most people will not take responsibility for their actions, and insurance companies protect their bottom lines by under compensating victims. Insurance companies and their attorneys know the laws all too well, and they know that most victims have no idea what their legal rights are. Bottom line is you lose.
A skilled personal injury lawyer knows how to build your case, how to negotiate your case, and if necessary, how to take your case to trial. While it is possible to negotiate with an insurance company yourself, insurance companies will attempt to do everything they can to get the lowest possible settlement. A neat trick is to get you making statements that will damage your position, if you go to court.
A personal injury lawyer is in a better position to help you obtain a favorable settlement, even when the attorney fees deducted, you will still come out better than going it alone.
How much does a Chicago injury attorney cost?
Most personal injury attorneys will usually accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they if they win they receive a percentage of the award as their fee. If they lose, they do not receive a fee. (Please note that some attorneys differentiate between fees and certain court costs, and you may have to pay some court costs even if you lose the case. It is a good idea to have a firm understanding of all costs associated with your attorney. This is seldom an issue, as most personal injury cases are settled before they go to court.
The contingent fee your lawyer will charge usually will be about 1/3 of what you recover. In some instances if the case is large enough, you may negotiate a smaller percentage, but take note, the best personal injury lawyers usually don't negotiate their fees. They know that they can recover substantially more money for their clients than attorneys with lesser skills. You will still come out ahead regardless of the percentage taken by the attorney.
Are there special types of personal injury lawyers?
Most personal injury lawyers do not practice medical malpractice law, and many do not handle workers' compensation cases. Medical malpractice cases are usually handled by a very specialized firm in medical malpractice law and if this is the type of case you have, you should seek these types law firms.
Beyond medical malpractice, certain law firms specialize in particular types of injury such as burn injuries, or brain and spinal cord injuries. Other personal injury firms or attorneys concentrate primarily on car accidents, construction accidents, or litigate defective products. Ask the lawyer you consult if they have experience with your type of injury before you make your hiring decision.
When I consult with a Chicago Injury Attorney, do I have to hire him?
Most personal injury attorneys don’t charge for an initial meeting. But, before your meeting you should ask if there is a fee for an initial consultation. If there is, you will be obligated to pay that fee even if you do not hire the attorney. However, even when the consultation is free, you have every right to take some time to think before you hire that attorney. You have every right to decide not to hire. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a big step, and you should consult several lawyers to find one who makes you comfortable.
What should I ask the attorney before I hire him?
Here are some questions for starters;
- In what areas do you focus your practice?
- Have you handled cases like mine? How many? What was the outcome?
- Will you be the only attorney who works on my case? If not, who else will work on it?
- Will you take my case on a contingent fee basis?
- What do I need to do to improve my case, or to help you?
- How will you keep me informed about the progress of my case?
- If I contact your office with questions, who is my contact person?
- If I can't reach you, who else can I speak to about my case?
- Do you go to trial? How much trial experience do you have?
- If I am not happy with a settlement offer and you want to settle, what will happen?
- If I am happy with the offer but you think we can win more at trial, what will happen?
- Have you ever been disciplined, or been suspended?
- Should you get a written retainer agreement?
A written retainer agreement is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected. Many personal injury lawyers use a short agreement, take your time and read the whole agreement before signing. If there is something you don't understand, ask before you sign. Chicago is fortunate with some of the best personal injury attorneys on the planet. Take your time, interview and consult with at least two. If you don’t have warm feelings about any of them, keep on looking.
This Chicago injury directory & guide is presented by YellowPageCity.com. The intent of this article is to assist consumers in need of injury attorneys.