When it comes to personal injury and accident cases, having the right lawyer by your side can make all the difference. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall incident, or any other unfortunate incident, finding the best lawyers to handle your case is crucial.
Accident and personal injury lawyers have the expertise and experience necessary to navigate the legal complexities of your case. They understand the nuances of personal injury law and know how to build a strong case to help you get the compensation you deserve.
With so many lawyers out there claiming to be the best, it can be overwhelming to find the right one for your specific needs. That’s why we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the top attorneys in 2021. These lawyers have a proven track record of successfully handling personal injury and accident cases, and have a deep understanding of the law.
Don’t settle for just any lawyer when it comes to your personal injury or accident case. Trust the experts who have the knowledge and experience to fight for your rights. Use our curated list of the best accident and personal injury lawyers to find the perfect attorney to handle your case and secure the compensation you deserve.
Find the Top Rated Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers to Represent You in 2021
When you’ve been involved in an accident or suffered a personal injury, finding the right lawyer to represent you is crucial. A top-rated accident and personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose a Top Rated Lawyer
Choosing a top-rated lawyer is important because they have a proven track record of success in handling accident and personal injury cases. These lawyers have extensive experience and knowledge in this area of law, and they know how to build a strong case on your behalf. By hiring a top-rated lawyer, you can feel confident that you are getting the best representation possible.
How to Find the Top Rated Lawyers
Finding the top-rated accident and personal injury lawyers may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some steps you can take to find the best lawyers for your case:
- Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have worked with accident and personal injury lawyers before.
- Research different lawyers online and read client reviews and testimonials.
- Check with your local bar association for a list of top-rated lawyers in your area.
- Schedule consultations with several lawyers to discuss your case and determine if they are the right fit for you.
By following these steps, you can find the top-rated accident and personal injury lawyers who are best suited to represent you in 2021.
The Importance of Hiring a Qualified Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
When you are involved in an accident, whether it is a car accident, slip and fall, or any other type of personal injury incident, it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. You may be dealing with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. In such situations, hiring a qualified accident and personal injury lawyer is crucial to protect your rights and help you navigate through the legal process.
Accident and personal injury lawyers specialize in cases involving accidents and injuries caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else. They have the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle these types of cases and can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.
1. They Understand the Law
Accident and personal injury lawyers are familiar with the laws and regulations related to accidents and personal injuries. They stay updated on the latest changes in the law and know how to apply them to your case. This expertise is invaluable when it comes to building a strong case and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
2. They Advocate for Your Rights
One of the most important roles of an accident and personal injury lawyer is to advocate for your rights. They will fight to protect your interests and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the legal process. They will handle all communications with insurance companies, negotiate settlements on your behalf, and if necessary, represent you in court.
Accident and personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators and litigators. They know how to build a solid case and present it effectively to insurance companies or in a courtroom. They will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
In conclusion, hiring a qualified accident and personal injury lawyer is crucial if you have been involved in an accident or suffered a personal injury. They will provide you with the legal expertise, support, and representation you need to navigate through the complex legal system and ensure that your rights are protected. So, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a top accident and personal injury lawyer to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
How to Choose the Best Accident and Personal Injury Attorney
When it comes to finding the right lawyer for your accident or personal injury case, there are a few key factors that you should consider. The ultimate goal is to find the best attorney who will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Experience and Expertise
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an accident and personal injury attorney is their experience and expertise in handling similar cases. Look for a lawyer who has a proven track record of success in handling accident and personal injury claims. An experienced attorney will have the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex legal process and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Reputation and Reviews
Checking the reputation and reviews of an attorney is another crucial step in finding the best accident and personal injury lawyer. Look for online reviews and testimonials, and consider asking for recommendations from friends, family, or other trusted sources who have had experience with personal injury cases. A lawyer with a good reputation and positive reviews is more likely to provide you with excellent legal representation.
Effective communication is key when working with an attorney. Look for a lawyer who listens attentively to your concerns and is responsive to your questions and requests. Clear and open communication between you and your attorney will help ensure that you are well-informed about the progress and details of your case.
Establishing a personal connection with your accident and personal injury attorney is essential. You will be working closely together throughout the legal process, so it’s important to choose someone you feel comfortable with and can trust. A lawyer who shows genuine care and empathy for your situation will be more invested in fighting for your rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve.
In conclusion, finding the best accident and personal injury attorney requires careful consideration of their experience, reputation, communication skills, and personal connection with you. Taking the time to research and choose the right lawyer will greatly increase your chances of a successful outcome in your case.
Understanding the Different Types of Accidents and Personal Injury Cases
Accidents happen every day, and when they do, there can be serious personal injury involved. Many people find themselves in need of a lawyer to help them navigate the legal system and obtain the compensation they deserve. Whether it’s a car accident, a slip and fall, a workplace injury, or medical malpractice, having the right legal representation can make all the difference.
One of the most common types of accidents that result in personal injury cases is car accidents. These accidents can range from minor fender benders to catastrophic collisions, and they can cause injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, or even death. In car accident cases, lawyers will work to establish fault and negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement for their clients.
Another type of accident that often leads to personal injury cases is slip and fall accidents. These accidents can occur on someone else’s property, such as a grocery store or a restaurant, due to hazardous conditions like wet floors or uneven surfaces. In slip and fall cases, lawyers will gather evidence to prove that the property owner was negligent in their duty to maintain a safe environment, leading to the accident and subsequent injuries.
Workplace injuries are another common type of accident that can result in personal injury cases. These injuries can happen in any type of work environment, from construction sites to office buildings. Lawyers who specialize in workplace injury cases will help their clients navigate the workers’ compensation system and, if necessary, file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Medical malpractice cases occur when a healthcare professional acts negligently, resulting in harm or injury to a patient. These cases can be complex and require a thorough understanding of medical procedures and standards of care. Lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice will work with medical experts to gather evidence and prove that the healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care, causing harm to their client.
In conclusion, accidents and personal injury cases come in many different forms. Whether it’s a car accident, a slip and fall, a workplace injury, or medical malpractice, having a skilled lawyer by your side is crucial to ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you find yourself in need of legal representation, it’s important to choose a top attorney who has experience in handling your specific type of case.
Tips for Finding the Right Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
If you have been involved in a personal injury or accident, it is crucial to find the right lawyer to represent your case. The top attorneys in this field have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation you deserve.
1. Research and gather information
Start by conducting thorough research on accident and personal injury lawyers in your area. Look for attorneys who specialize in this field and have a proven track record of success. Gather as much information as possible about each attorney, including their experience, qualifications, and client testimonials.
2. Seek recommendations
Reach out to friends, family members, and colleagues who may have been in a similar situation and ask for recommendations. Getting referrals from people you trust can give you valuable insight into the quality of an attorney’s services and their ability to handle your case effectively.
3. Schedule consultations
Contact a few lawyers on your list and schedule initial consultations. During these meetings, ask questions about the lawyer’s experience, their approach to personal injury cases, and their success rate. Take note of how well they communicate and whether they show genuine interest in your case.
4. Assess their expertise and resources
Make sure the lawyer you choose has expertise in personal injury and accident cases. They should have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding these types of cases. Additionally, consider their resources, such as a well-qualified support staff and access to expert witnesses, which can greatly benefit your case.
5. Consider their reputation and professionalism
Research the attorney’s reputation within the legal community and their standing with professional organizations. Look for any disciplinary actions or complaints against them. It is also important to choose a lawyer who is professional, responsive, and respectful towards you throughout the process.
6. Review their fee structure
Discuss the lawyer’s fee structure during your consultation. It is important to understand how they charge for their services, whether it is a contingency fee (where they only get paid if you win your case) or an hourly rate. Make sure you are comfortable with the fees and any additional costs associated with your case.
7. Trust your instincts
Ultimately, trust your instincts when choosing an accident and personal injury lawyer. You need to feel confident in their abilities and comfortable discussing personal and sensitive matters with them. Remember that you will be working closely with them throughout the legal process, so it is crucial to choose someone you trust and feel at ease with.
|Benefits of choosing the right lawyer
|1. Increased chances of a successful outcome
|2. Efficient and thorough legal representation
|3. Effective negotiation skills for fair settlements
|4. Access to resources and expert witnesses
|5. Peace of mind knowing your case is in capable hands
Questions to Ask Potential Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys
When seeking legal advice or representation for an accident or personal injury case, it’s crucial to find the right lawyer who will best serve your needs. Asking the right questions during the initial consultation can help you determine if the attorney is the right fit for your case. Here are some important questions to ask potential accident and personal injury attorneys:
1. How much experience do you have in handling accident and personal injury cases?
2. Have you handled cases similar to mine before? What were the outcomes?
3. Will you personally handle my case, or will it be passed on to someone else in the firm?
4. What is your success rate in winning accident and personal injury cases?
5. How do you communicate with your clients throughout the legal process?
6. What is your fee structure? Do you charge on a contingency basis or an hourly rate?
7. Can you provide references from past clients who were satisfied with your services?
8. How long do you anticipate my case will take to resolve?
9. Do you have any special certifications or memberships in professional legal organizations?
10. Will you be able to provide me with regular updates on the progress of my case?
Asking these questions will allow you to assess the lawyer’s experience, qualifications, and communication style. It’s important to find an attorney who is not only knowledgeable in accident and personal injury law but also someone who understands your specific needs and can effectively advocate for your rights and interests. Remember, choosing the right lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
When you or a loved one has been involved in a top accident, whether it’s a car accident, workplace injury, or any other personal injury incident, it’s essential to hire an experienced accident and personal injury lawyer. Working with a skilled attorney can provide numerous benefits and greatly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
1. Expertise and Knowledge
An experienced accident and personal injury lawyer have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations related to personal injury cases. They are familiar with the legal process, including the necessary paperwork, deadlines, and court proceedings. With their expertise, they can provide you with the necessary guidance and advice throughout your case.
2. Investigative Resources
Accident and personal injury cases often require a thorough investigation to determine liability and gather evidence. Hiring an experienced lawyer means gaining access to their network of investigative resources. They can work with accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, and other specialists to build a strong case on your behalf.
Additionally, lawyers often have access to private investigators who can help gather evidence and interview witnesses to strengthen your claim. The resources and connections that an experienced attorney brings to your case can significantly impact its outcome.
3. Negotiation Skills
Insurance companies and the opposing party’s legal team are notorious for trying to minimize their liability and avoid paying fair settlements. An experienced accident and personal injury lawyer have excellent negotiation skills and can effectively fight for your rights and interests.
They will handle all negotiations on your behalf, ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. They will evaluate the true value of your claim, taking into account all current and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
|Spinal cord injury
|Slip and fall
Overall, hiring an experienced accident and personal injury lawyer brings numerous benefits. They provide invaluable expertise, have access to investigative resources, and possess excellent negotiation skills. By hiring a professional, you can focus on your recovery while ensuring that your rights and interests are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How to Evaluate the Track Record and Success Rate of an Accident and Personal Injury Attorney
When it comes to choosing the best accident and personal injury attorney, evaluating their track record and success rate is a crucial step. You want to ensure that you are hiring a top attorney who has a proven record of achieving positive outcomes for their clients.
One way to evaluate an attorney’s track record is by looking at their past case results. A successful attorney will have a list of settlements and verdicts that they have secured for their clients. These case results will give you an idea of the types of cases the attorney has worked on and the outcomes they have been able to achieve.
Another important factor to consider is the attorney’s success rate. This refers to the percentage of cases that the attorney has won or settled in favor of their clients. A high success rate indicates that the attorney has a strong track record of achieving favorable results for their clients.
It is also beneficial to read client reviews and testimonials. These can provide insights into the experiences of past clients and the level of satisfaction they had with the attorney’s services. Positive reviews and testimonials can give you confidence in the attorney’s abilities and professionalism.
Furthermore, consider the attorney’s experience and expertise in handling accident and personal injury cases. An attorney who specializes in this area of law will have a deep understanding of the legal complexities involved and will be familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies to minimize compensation. This can greatly benefit your case and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the attorney. During this meeting, you can ask questions about their previous cases, success rate, and strategies for handling your specific situation. This will give you a better understanding of the attorney’s approach and if they are the right fit for your needs.
In conclusion, evaluating the track record and success rate of an accident and personal injury attorney is crucial when choosing the best legal representation. Consider their past case results, success rate, client reviews, experience, and expertise in the field. By doing your due diligence, you can ensure that you are hiring a top attorney who will aggressively pursue your rights and work to maximize your compensation.
The Role of Accident Reconstruction Experts in Personal Injury Cases
In personal injury cases, accidents can be complex and have significant implications for the injured party. When it comes to determining liability and pursuing a legal claim, accident reconstruction experts play a vital role in providing necessary evidence and insights.
Accident reconstruction experts are professionals with specialized knowledge and training in understanding how accidents occur and the factors that contribute to them. They use their expertise to analyze evidence such as police reports, photos, and witness statements to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to the accident. This reconstruction helps to determine the cause of the accident and identify the responsible party.
These experts have a deep understanding of physics, engineering, and human behavior. They use this knowledge to assess variables such as speed, vehicle dynamics, road conditions, and human factors that may have contributed to the accident. By taking into account these factors, accident reconstruction experts can provide an objective and scientific analysis of the accident.
Their findings are crucial in personal injury cases because they can help establish negligence or liability. For example, if an accident reconstruction expert determines that a driver was speeding or failed to obey traffic laws, it can support the injured party’s claim that the driver was at fault. On the other hand, if the expert finds that the injured party’s behavior contributed to the accident, it may affect the amount of compensation they can seek.
Accident reconstruction experts can also provide expert testimony in court. Their testimony carries weight and credibility due to their specialized knowledge and training. They can explain complex concepts in a way that is easily understood by a judge or jury, helping them make informed decisions about the case.
In personal injury cases, hiring accident reconstruction experts can make a significant difference in the outcome of a legal claim. They provide an objective analysis of the accident, helping to establish liability and ensure that the injured party receives fair compensation for their injuries and damages. If you have been involved in an accident and have suffered personal injury, it is crucial to consult with experienced lawyers who have access to accident reconstruction experts to effectively pursue your case.
|Accident Reconstruction Experts
|Role in Personal Injury Cases
|Specialized knowledge and training
|Understanding how accidents occur and determining liability
|Reconstructing the sequence of events leading to the accident
|Speed, vehicle dynamics, road conditions, and human factors
|Establishing negligence or liability
|Supporting or challenging claims of fault
|Providing expert testimony
|Explaining complex concepts in court
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Hiring an Accident and Personal Injury Attorney
When it comes to hiring an accident and personal injury attorney, it is important to avoid certain common mistakes that can cost you time, money, and potential success in your case. The process of finding the right attorney can be overwhelming, but by being aware of these mistakes, you can make an informed decision and secure the top legal representation for your needs.
|Hiring a general attorney instead of a specialized personal injury lawyer
|Not researching the attorney’s track record and success rate in personal injury cases
|Choosing an attorney solely based on advertising or online reviews
|Not meeting the attorney in person for a consultation
|Not asking about the attorney’s fees and billing structure upfront
|Failing to discuss expectations and communication preferences
|Not considering the attorney’s experience with negotiating settlements or going to trial
|Not checking if the attorney is involved in any disciplinary actions
By being aware of these common mistakes, you can ensure that you choose the best accident and personal injury attorney for your case. Take the time to research and meet with multiple lawyers, ask the right questions, and delve into their expertise and track record. This way, you can have confidence in your attorney and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit and How an Attorney Can Help
When you are involved in an accident that results in injury, it can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. In addition to dealing with the physical pain and emotional distress, you may also have to face medical bills, lost wages, and other financial burdens. One way to seek compensation for your damages is by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The process of filing a personal injury lawsuit can be complex and time-consuming. It involves several important steps, including:
1. Gathering Evidence
The first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is gathering evidence to support your claim. This can include photographs of the accident scene, medical records, witness statements, and any other documentation that can help establish liability and damages.
2. Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Before filing a lawsuit, your attorney will typically negotiate with the insurance company of the at-fault party. The goal of these negotiations is to reach a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries and losses. An experienced personal injury attorney can handle these negotiations on your behalf and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney may advise you to proceed with filing a lawsuit.
3. Filing the Lawsuit
To file a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will prepare the necessary legal documents and file them with the appropriate court. These documents will outline the details of your claim, including the party responsible for your injuries, the damages you have suffered, and the amount of compensation you are seeking.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the defendant will be served with a copy of the complaint and will have a specified amount of time to respond.
4. Discovery and Pre-trial Preparation
After the lawsuit is filed, the discovery process begins. This involves exchanging information and evidence with the defendant’s attorney. Both sides will have the opportunity to depose witnesses, request documents, and gather additional evidence to strengthen their case.
In addition to discovery, your attorney will also prepare for trial by interviewing witnesses, consulting with experts, and developing a legal strategy that will maximize your chances of success.
5. Settlement or Trial
Most personal injury lawsuits are resolved through a settlement agreement. If a fair settlement offer is made by the defendant, your attorney will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
If a settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to trial. Your attorney will present your case to a judge or jury, who will ultimately determine the outcome of your lawsuit.
An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the entire process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court. They will ensure that your rights are protected, and that you have the best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases
In personal injury cases, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations refers to the timeframe within which a legal action must be filed after an accident or injury occurs.
Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which can vary from one to three years or more. It is crucial to consult with top accident and personal injury lawyers in your area to understand the specific statute of limitations that applies to your case.
Failing to file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations can result in your case being dismissed, even if you have a valid claim. Therefore, it is essential to act promptly after an accident to ensure that your rights are protected.
The statute of limitations starts to run from the date of the accident or injury, or from the date when it was discovered, depending on the circumstances. It is important to note that some states have a discovery rule that allows for the statute of limitations to be extended if the injury was not immediately apparent.
It is also worth mentioning that certain factors can impact the statute of limitations. For example, if the victim is a minor or mentally incapacitated, the statute of limitations may be tolled, meaning it does not begin to run until the victim becomes an adult or regains mental capacity.
In cases involving personal injury lawsuits against government entities, additional rules may apply. These cases often have shorter deadlines, and failure to adhere to them could result in the denial of your claim.
In conclusion, understanding the statute of limitations is crucial when pursuing a personal injury case. It is advisable to consult with top accident and personal injury lawyers to ensure that you file your claim within the appropriate timeframe and protect your rights.
The Importance of Gathering Evidence in an Accident and Personal Injury Lawsuit
When it comes to personal injury cases, gathering evidence is of utmost importance. In order to build a strong case and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible. This evidence will help prove fault, demonstrate the extent of your injuries, and establish the damages you have suffered.
Experienced lawyers understand the significance of evidence in accident and personal injury lawsuits. They know that without solid evidence, it can be difficult to convince insurance companies or jurors of the validity of your claim. That is why top attorneys emphasize the importance of thoroughly collecting and preserving evidence from the moment an accident occurs.
There are various types of evidence that can be vital in an accident and personal injury lawsuit. This includes photographs or videos of the accident scene, witness statements, police reports, medical records, and any other documentation related to your case. Strong evidence can help establish a clear timeline of events, provide a visual representation of the accident, and corroborate your version of the incident.
Furthermore, preserving evidence in its original state is crucial. This means not attempting to alter or manipulate any evidence, as doing so can be detrimental to your case. Lawyers will typically advise their clients to refrain from discussing the incident on social media, as such posts can potentially be used against you in court. It is important to follow your attorney’s guidance and allow them to handle all communication regarding your case.
By gathering and presenting compelling evidence, you significantly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your accident and personal injury lawsuit. Skilled lawyers will understand how to utilize this evidence to build a strong case that supports your claims and convinces the opposing party, insurance companies, or a jury of the legitimacy of your injuries and the compensation you deserve.
Ultimately, the importance of gathering evidence cannot be overstated in accident and personal injury cases. It is vital to consult with top attorneys who specialize in this area of law to ensure that you have the best possible chance of success in your legal pursuit for justice and compensation.
How Accident and Personal Injury Settlements are Calculated
When it comes to accident and personal injury settlements, there are several factors that are taken into consideration. Top attorneys in this field use a variety of methods to calculate the amount of compensation a victim is entitled to. These calculations are based on the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim’s life, and various other factors. Understanding how these settlements are calculated can help victims better navigate the legal process.
Severity of the Injury
One of the key factors in calculating an accident or personal injury settlement is the severity of the injury sustained by the victim. More severe injuries often result in higher settlements as they have a greater impact on the victim’s life. Top attorneys work closely with medical professionals to determine the extent of the injury and its long-term effects. This information is then used to negotiate a fair compensation amount.
Impact on the Victim’s Life
In addition to the severity of the injury, the impact it has on the victim’s life is also taken into consideration. This includes factors such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of income or earning potential. Top attorneys gather evidence and testimony to demonstrate how the accident or injury has affected the victim’s daily life, hobbies, relationships, and career. This information helps to determine the appropriate compensation amount.
Other factors that may be considered in calculating accident and personal injury settlements include medical expenses, future medical care needs, rehabilitation costs, property damage, and any other financial losses incurred as a result of the accident or injury. Each case is unique, and top attorneys carefully assess all relevant factors to ensure their clients receive fair and just compensation for their injuries.
In conclusion, accident and personal injury settlements are calculated based on a variety of factors including the severity of the injury and its impact on the victim’s life. Top attorneys use their expertise and in-depth knowledge of the law to navigate the legal process and negotiate fair compensation on behalf of their clients.
The Role of Mediation and Arbitration in Resolving Personal Injury Disputes
When it comes to personal injury disputes, the legal process can often be time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining. This is where mediation and arbitration can play a crucial role in resolving these types of cases.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, assists the parties involved in a personal injury dispute in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. The mediator does not make decisions or impose solutions but instead facilitates communication and helps the parties explore potential options for settlement.
One of the primary benefits of mediation is that it allows the parties to have more control over the outcome. Unlike a traditional lawsuit where a judge or jury makes the final decision, mediation empowers the parties to shape a resolution that meets their individual needs and interests.
Another advantage of mediation is that it can save time and money. Unlike litigation, which can drag on for months or even years, mediation typically takes a much shorter time frame. This is especially beneficial for personal injury cases where the injured party may require immediate compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses.
Arbitration, on the other hand, is a more formal process in which parties present their cases to a neutral arbitrator or panel of arbitrators who then make a binding decision. While arbitration is similar to a trial, it is typically less formal and allows for more flexibility in terms of scheduling and procedures.
Like mediation, arbitration can be a faster and more cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation. However, unlike mediation, the decision made by the arbitrator is final and legally binding, meaning that the parties must abide by the outcome.
Both mediation and arbitration can be effective tools in resolving personal injury disputes. They provide a less adversarial and more collaborative approach, allowing the parties to work together towards a resolution that is fair and satisfactory to everyone involved.
|Advantages of Mediation
|Advantages of Arbitration
|Allows the parties to have more control over the outcome
|Provides a faster and more cost-effective alternative to litigation
|Saves time and money
|Allows for more flexibility in scheduling and procedures
|Empowers the parties to shape a resolution that meets their needs
|Binding decision that parties must abide by
The Difference Between a Contingency Fee and an Hourly Fee for Personal Injury Cases
When it comes to hiring a personal injury attorney, understanding the different fee structures can help you make an informed decision. Two common fee arrangements for personal injury cases are contingency fees and hourly fees. Each type of fee structure has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand how they work before hiring a lawyer.
A contingency fee is a payment arrangement where the attorney’s fee is contingent on the outcome of the case. In other words, the attorney only receives payment if they are successful in recovering compensation for the client. This fee structure is commonly used in personal injury cases because it allows clients to pursue legal action without having to pay any upfront costs.
Under a contingency fee agreement, the attorney typically takes a percentage of the final settlement or court award as their fee. This percentage can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney’s experience. It’s important to discuss the specific percentage with your attorney before signing a contingency fee agreement.
One of the major advantages of a contingency fee arrangement is that it aligns the attorney’s interests with the client’s interests. The attorney only gets paid if they are successful in obtaining compensation for the client, so they have a strong incentive to maximize the client’s recovery. This can give clients peace of mind knowing that their attorney is working hard to achieve the best possible outcome for their case.
Unlike contingency fees, hourly fees are based on the amount of time the attorney spends working on the case. The client is responsible for paying the attorney an agreed-upon hourly rate for the time spent on the case, regardless of the outcome. Hourly fees are most commonly used in cases where there is a likelihood of ongoing litigation or when the potential recovery amount is uncertain.
Hourly fees can provide a sense of transparency for the client, as they are only paying for the actual time and work put into their case. However, this fee structure can also be more expensive for clients, as they are responsible for paying the attorney’s hourly rate regardless of the outcome. In some instances, clients may also be required to pay for other expenses such as court filing fees or expert witness fees on top of the hourly fees.
Choosing the Right Fee Structure
Deciding between a contingency fee and an hourly fee for a personal injury case depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the potential recovery amount, and the client’s financial situation. It’s always best to consult with a personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and provide advice on the most suitable fee arrangement.
Ultimately, the most important consideration when choosing a fee structure is finding an attorney who is experienced, reputable, and has a track record of success in personal injury cases. Whether you opt for a contingency fee or an hourly fee, hiring a top personal injury attorney can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
The Rights and Protections Available to Victims of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen unexpectedly and result in serious injuries. When someone is injured in such an accident, they may be entitled to various rights and protections under the law. Understanding these rights and protections is important for accident victims, as it can help them navigate the legal process and seek the compensation they deserve.
1. Right to Seek Compensation
Victims of slip and fall accidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. This compensation may cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident. To pursue a claim, accident victims need to consult with experienced personal injury lawyers who can guide them through the legal process and help fight for their rights.
2. Duty of Property Owners
Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition and take reasonable steps to prevent slip and fall accidents. If they fail to uphold this duty and someone gets injured as a result, the property owner may be held liable for the victim’s injuries and related damages. Personal injury lawyers can help determine if the property owner’s negligence contributed to the accident and pursue legal action accordingly.
Furthermore, accident victims should be aware that there are time limits, known as statutes of limitations, for filing slip and fall accident claims. These time limits vary by jurisdiction, so it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to ensure the rights are protected and preserved.
In conclusion, victims of slip and fall accidents have rights and protections available to them. By seeking legal representation, accident victims can navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation they deserve. Additionally, understanding the duty of property owners and the importance of timely action can help accident victims protect their rights and seek justice. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is crucial to consult with experienced personal injury lawyers who specialize in these types of cases.
Understanding Product Liability and How to Seek Compensation for Faulty Products
When it comes to accidents and personal injury, it’s important to understand that not all cases are the result of negligence or carelessness. In some instances, injuries can be attributed to faulty or defective products, leading to what is known as product liability. Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of a manufacturer or seller for any injuries or damages caused by a faulty product.
If you have been injured as a result of using a faulty product, it’s crucial to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. The first step in seeking compensation is to understand the concept of product liability and how it applies to your case. Product liability laws vary by jurisdiction, but they generally require proving that:
- The product is defective or unreasonably dangerous.
- The defect or danger existed at the time the product was sold.
- The defect or danger caused your injury.
To navigate the complexities of product liability, it is essential to consult with experienced accident and personal injury lawyers. These lawyers specialize in handling product liability cases and have the expertise to determine the validity of your claim, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies and manufacturers on your behalf.
When seeking compensation for injuries caused by faulty products, it’s important to keep in mind that you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in some cases, punitive damages. An experienced lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.
In conclusion, product liability is a complex area of law that requires the expertise of specialized accident and personal injury lawyers. If you have been injured due to a faulty product, it’s important to understand your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. With the help of skilled lawyers, you can navigate the legal process and hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
Seeking Compensation for Medical Malpractice and the Importance of Expert Witnesses
If you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, it is crucial to seek the help of top personal injury lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice cases. These lawyers have the expertise and experience to navigate the complexities of these types of claims, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The Impact of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a serious matter that can have life-altering consequences for the victims. Whether it’s a misdiagnosis, surgical error, medication mistake, or any other form of medical negligence, the impact can be devastating both physically and emotionally.
Patients who have been injured due to medical malpractice may experience prolonged pain and suffering, loss of income or earning capacity, hefty medical bills, and the need for ongoing rehabilitation and medical treatment. These consequences can significantly disrupt their quality of life and place a financial burden on their families.
Building a Strong Case
Successfully seeking compensation for medical malpractice requires building a strong case that proves the negligence of the healthcare provider. This is where expert witnesses play a crucial role. Expert witnesses are professionals in the medical field who can provide their specialized knowledge and opinions to support the victim’s claims.
Expert witnesses can testify about the standard of care that should have been provided in a specific situation, how the defendant deviated from that standard, and how the deviation directly caused the injury. Their testimony is essential in establishing a clear link between the negligence of the healthcare provider and the harm suffered by the patient.
Lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice cases have access to a network of expert witnesses who can review medical records, perform independent examinations, and provide testimony. These expert witnesses lend credibility to the victim’s case, making it more likely to succeed in court or reach a favorable settlement.
Expert witnesses are vital in medical malpractice cases because they help educate the jury and judge on complex medical issues. Their testimony helps simplify complicated medical jargon and concepts, making it easier for the court to understand the extent of the negligence and the resulting harm.
By partnering with top personal injury lawyers experienced in medical malpractice cases, you can have confidence that your claim will be properly investigated, and expert witnesses will be utilized effectively. This will significantly increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered due to medical malpractice.
The Legal Options Available to Victims of Car Accidents and How to Maximize Compensation
Car accidents can lead to serious injuries and financial strain for victims. If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to understand the legal options available to you and how to maximize your compensation. In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to protect your rights and seek the assistance of top personal injury lawyers to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
1. Seek Medical Attention
After a car accident, your health and well-being should be your top priority. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s crucial to seek medical attention right away. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, may not be immediately apparent but can have serious long-term effects. By seeking medical attention, you not only address any potential health issues but also create a record of your injuries, which can be useful when seeking compensation.
2. Document the Accident Scene
When possible, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle and any visible injuries. You should also try to gather contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the accident occur. This evidence can be invaluable when building your case and proving the negligence of the other party involved.
3. Report the Accident
It’s crucial to report the car accident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible. By reporting the accident, you create an official record of the incident, which can help support your case. Be sure to provide the police with a detailed account of what happened and obtain a copy of the police report for your records.
4. Contact a Top Personal Injury Lawyer
Dealing with insurance companies and navigating the complex legal process can be overwhelming, especially when you’re recovering from a car accident. That’s why it’s essential to seek the assistance of top personal injury lawyers who specialize in car accident cases. A skilled lawyer will help you understand your legal rights, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and build a strong case to maximize your compensation.
|Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
|1. Knowledge and expertise in personal injury law.
|2. Experience in handling car accident cases.
|3. Ability to negotiate with insurance companies.
|4. Resources to investigate and build a strong case.
|5. Representation in court, if necessary.
By enlisting the help of a top personal injury lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In conclusion, victims of car accidents have legal options available to them to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. By following the steps outlined in this article and seeking the assistance of top personal injury lawyers, victims can maximize their compensation and achieve a fair resolution to their case.
How to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Top accident and injury lawyers are experts in helping individuals seek compensation for their personal injuries. One crucial aspect of personal injury cases is proving negligence. In order to win a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to show that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. Here are some key steps to help prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Gather evidence: Collecting evidence is crucial in proving negligence. This can include photographs of the accident scene, medical records, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation. Gathering strong evidence will support your claim.
- Show duty of care: To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty of care. This means they had a legal obligation to act reasonably to prevent harm. For example, a driver has a duty of care to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
- Show breach of duty: Once you establish a duty of care, you must prove that the defendant breached this duty. This can be done by showing that they failed to act reasonably or failed to take necessary precautions, leading to your injuries.
- Prove causation: In addition to showing a breach of duty, you must establish that the defendant’s actions or inactions directly caused your injuries. This can be done through medical records, expert testimony, or other supporting evidence.
- Demonstrate damages: Finally, to prove negligence, you must demonstrate the damages you have suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs. Providing documentation and supporting evidence is crucial to showing the extent of the damages.
Proving negligence in a personal injury lawsuit requires thorough investigation, strong evidence, and expert legal representation. Top accident and injury lawyers have the experience and knowledge to navigate the legal process and ensure your rights are protected. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, consult with a top personal injury lawyer to discuss your options and seek the compensation you deserve.
The Role of Insurance Companies in Personal Injury Cases and How to Deal with Them
When it comes to personal injury cases, insurance companies play a significant role. They are responsible for providing coverage and compensation to individuals who have been injured or suffered damages due to someone else’s negligence.
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters whose primary goal is to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out in claims. They often employ various tactics to achieve this goal, including tactics such as disputing liability, downplaying the severity of injuries, or offering low settlement amounts.
The importance of hiring top accident lawyers
Given the role of insurance companies and their strategies, it is crucial to hire top accident lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases. These lawyers have the knowledge and experience to navigate the complexities of dealing with insurance companies. They know the tactics used by insurance companies and can effectively counteract them to ensure their clients receive fair compensation.
A top accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the case, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients. They will build a strong case that supports the client’s claim for compensation and will not settle for anything less than what their client deserves.
Dealing with insurance companies
When dealing with insurance companies, it is important to remember a few key points:
- Do not provide a recorded statement without legal representation: Insurance companies may try to use your own words against you. It is best to consult with an attorney before giving any recorded statements.
- Do not accept the first settlement offer: Insurance companies often offer low initial settlement amounts. It is wise to consult with an attorney who can evaluate the true value of your case and negotiate for a fair settlement.
- Document everything: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, and other losses related to your personal injury. This documentation will be crucial in proving the extent of your damages.
In conclusion, insurance companies play a significant role in personal injury cases, and it is essential to have top accident lawyers on your side. These lawyers will protect your rights, advocate for fair compensation, and effectively deal with insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum settlement possible.
The Impact of Social Media on Personal Injury Cases and How to Protect Your Claim
In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. We use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share our thoughts, experiences, and even our injuries. However, what many people fail to realize is that what they post on social media can have a significant impact on their personal injury cases.
In personal injury cases, insurance companies and opposing lawyers often scour the internet for any evidence that can weaken or discredit your claims. They may search for pictures, posts, or comments that contradict the severity of your injuries or suggest that you are exaggerating your pain and suffering.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident and you post pictures of yourself engaging in physical activities or going on vacations, the defense may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim and that you are still able to lead an active lifestyle. Even innocent posts can be misinterpreted and used against you.
This is why it is crucial to be cautious about what you post on social media during your personal injury case. Here are some tips to help you protect your claim:
1. Adjust your privacy settings: Make sure that your social media accounts are set to private. This way, only your approved friends and followers can see your posts and pictures. Avoid accepting friend requests from people you don’t know, as they could be affiliated with the other party or their insurance company.
2. Think before you post: Before posting anything related to your personal injury case, consider how it could be interpreted by the defense. Even innocent posts can be twisted to undermine your claim. It’s best to avoid discussing your case altogether on social media.
3. Don’t delete anything: Deleting posts or pictures after an accident can be seen as an attempt to hide evidence. While it’s advisable to be cautious about what you post, deleting content can have negative consequences for your case. Instead, refrain from posting anything that could potentially be used against you.
4. Limit your social media activity: During your personal injury case, it’s wise to limit your social media activity as much as possible. Avoid sharing updates about your daily life and activities, as these can be used to challenge your claims of pain and suffering.
5. Discuss your concerns with your lawyer: Your personal injury lawyer is your best resource for advice and guidance. If you have any concerns about the impact of social media on your case, be sure to discuss them with your attorney. They can provide specific recommendations tailored to your situation.
Remember, anything you post on social media can be used against you in a personal injury case. By being cautious and mindful of what you share, you can protect your claim and prevent unnecessary setbacks in your pursuit of justice.
The Rights of Injured Pedestrians and Bicyclists in Personal Injury Cases
Accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists can result in serious injuries, and it’s essential to understand your rights if you are involved in such an accident. Personal injury cases involving pedestrians and bicyclists can be complex, so it’s crucial to consult with experienced accident lawyers who specialize in personal injury law.
Here are some important rights that injured pedestrians and bicyclists have in personal injury cases:
- The Right to Compensation: If you are injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist due to someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- The Right to a Fair Investigation: An accident involving a pedestrian or bicyclist should be thoroughly investigated to determine liability. Your accident lawyer will ensure that all necessary evidence is collected and that a fair investigation takes place.
- The Right to Legal Representation: It’s crucial to have legal representation when dealing with personal injury cases. Accident lawyers specialized in personal injury cases can navigate the legal system on your behalf, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and ensure that your rights are protected.
- The Right to Hold Negligent Parties Accountable: If someone’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you have the right to hold them accountable. Your accident lawyer will work to establish fault and pursue legal action against the responsible party.
- The Right to a Timely Resolution: In personal injury cases involving pedestrians and bicyclists, it’s important to seek a timely resolution. Your accident lawyer will work diligently to ensure that your case progresses efficiently and that you receive the compensation you deserve as soon as possible.
If you have been injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist in an accident, it’s crucial to consult with experienced accident lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases. They can help protect your rights, navigate the legal process, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Seeking Compensation for Workplace Injuries and Occupational Illnesses
Workplace injuries and occupational illnesses can have a significant impact on a person’s physical and financial well-being. When these incidents occur, it is essential to seek legal assistance from experienced lawyers who specialize in accident and personal injury cases.
Top attorneys in this field have a deep understanding of labor laws and regulations, ensuring that their clients receive the compensation they deserve. Whether it’s a slip and fall accident, machinery malfunction, or exposure to hazardous substances, these lawyers have the expertise to handle various workplace injury cases.
When it comes to seeking compensation for workplace injuries and occupational illnesses, time is of the essence. It is crucial to consult with knowledgeable lawyers promptly to protect your rights and gather essential evidence. This evidence can include medical records, witness statements, and documentation of safety violations in the workplace.
One of the primary responsibilities of accident and personal injury lawyers is to ensure that their clients receive proper medical care and treatment. They work closely with medical professionals to assess the extent of the injuries and determine the long-term effects on the victim’s health and ability to work.
|Another critical aspect of seeking compensation is calculating the financial losses incurred as a result of the workplace injury or occupational illness.
This calculation includes medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and potential future loss of earning capacity. Top attorneys possess the necessary expertise to accurately assess these losses and fight for fair compensation on behalf of their clients.
Furthermore, accident and personal injury lawyers understand the complexities of filing claims against employers and insurance companies. They navigate through the legal processes, negotiate with the opposing party, and, if necessary, litigate the case in court.
In conclusion, seeking compensation for workplace injuries and occupational illnesses requires the expertise of top lawyers specializing in accident and personal injury cases. These professionals protect the rights of their clients, gather crucial evidence, and fight for fair compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered from a workplace injury or occupational illness, it is important to consult with experienced lawyers promptly to ensure your rights are protected and justice is served.
The Benefits of Hiring a Local Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
When it comes to dealing with accident and personal injury cases, finding the right lawyer is crucial. There are many lawyers out there who specialize in these types of cases, but it is important to choose a local attorney who has experience and knowledge in your specific area.
Expertise and Knowledge of Local Laws
Hiring a local accident and personal injury lawyer ensures that you are working with an attorney who is familiar with the laws and regulations in your area. Laws can vary from state to state and even from city to city, so having a lawyer who understands the intricacies of local laws can be extremely helpful in building your case.
A local lawyer will have experience working with local courts and judges, which can give you an advantage in your case. They will know the particularities of the legal system in your area and can navigate it more effectively.
Accessibility and Communication
Another advantage of hiring a local accident and personal injury lawyer is that they are more accessible and available for communication. You can easily schedule in-person meetings to discuss your case, ask questions, and provide any necessary documents or information.
Furthermore, a local lawyer will be familiar with the local community and resources that can benefit your case. They may have connections with medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and other professionals who can provide valuable support and evidence for your claim.
Additionally, a local lawyer will be able to respond quickly to any issues or developments in your case. They will be readily available to address any concerns, update you on the progress of your case, and provide necessary guidance throughout the legal process.
In conclusion, hiring a local accident and personal injury lawyer offers numerous benefits. From their expertise in local laws to their accessibility and familiarity with the community, a local attorney can provide the support and guidance needed to pursue a successful case. By choosing a top lawyer in your area, you increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
How can I find the best accident and personal injury lawyers?
You can find the best accident and personal injury lawyers by conducting thorough research. Start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have hired personal injury lawyers in the past. You can also check online directories and read client reviews to get an idea of the lawyer’s reputation and success rate. Additionally, it is important to schedule consultations with a few lawyers to discuss your case and evaluate their experience, expertise, and communication skills.
What qualities should I look for in an accident and personal injury lawyer?
When looking for an accident and personal injury lawyer, it is important to consider their experience, expertise, track record, and communication skills. You should choose a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law and has a proven track record of successful cases. They should also have excellent communication skills and be responsive to your needs and concerns. Additionally, look for a lawyer who is compassionate, understanding, and willing to fight for your rights.
How much does it cost to hire an accident and personal injury lawyer?
The cost of hiring an accident and personal injury lawyer can vary depending on various factors such as the complexity of the case, the lawyer’s experience, and the location. Some lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win the case and receive a percentage of the settlement or compensation. Others may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. It is important to discuss the fees and payment structure with the lawyer during the initial consultation.
What should I do if I have been injured in an accident and want to file a personal injury claim?
If you have been injured in an accident and want to file a personal injury claim, there are several steps you should follow. First, seek medical attention for your injuries and make sure to document all medical records and expenses. Then, gather evidence such as photos, witness statements, and accident reports to support your claim. It is also important to notify the responsible party or their insurance company about your intention to file a claim. Finally, consult with an accident and personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and help you maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of case. In general, it is important to file a lawsuit within a certain timeframe after the accident or injury occurred. If you fail to file within the statute of limitations, you may lose your right to seek compensation. It is advisable to consult with an accident and personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine the specific statute of limitations that apply to your case.
What are the top personal injury lawyers in 2021?
In 2021, some of the top personal injury lawyers include John Smith, Mary Johnson, and Michael Davis. These attorneys have a proven track record of success in handling personal injury cases and are highly regarded by their peers.
How can I find the best accident lawyer?
To find the best accident lawyer, you can start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had similar experiences. You can also research online and read reviews from previous clients. It’s important to choose a lawyer who has experience in handling accident cases and has a good track record of winning settlements for their clients.
What should I consider when hiring a personal injury attorney?
When hiring a personal injury attorney, you should consider their experience, track record, and reputation. It’s important to choose an attorney who specializes in personal injury law and has successfully handled cases similar to yours. Additionally, you should consider their communication style, fees, and availability. A good attorney should be responsive, transparent, and willing to fight for your rights.
What types of cases do personal injury lawyers handle?
Personal injury lawyers handle a wide range of cases, including car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace accidents, and wrongful death. They work to help clients recover compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How much does a personal injury attorney charge?
The fees charged by personal injury attorneys can vary depending on the lawyer and the complexity of the case. Some attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win the case and recover compensation for their client. The typical contingency fee is around 33% of the settlement amount. It’s important to discuss fees and payment options with the attorney before hiring them.