What to Know Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Before we tell you how to hire a personal injury lawyer, we’ll help you figure out the five most important things you want when you hire a personal injury lawyer.
All personal injury lawyers in New York give a free consultation, charge a 1/3 fee, and do not charge a legal fee if they don’t get you money.
So, what do you really want when you hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?
- Personal service – you don’t want a senior partner coming to see you with a retainer, and then after they have your case, all you can do is speak with a paralegal.
- Asking questions when convenient for you – You’ll have questions from time to time, but you may have a job and may be unable to call or text your personal injury lawyer during the day. You will want a personal injury lawyer you can call or text at night and on weekends.
- Bigger settlements – You want a personal injury lawyer that gets bigger settlements.
- Faster settlements – You want a personal injury lawyer that can settle your case as quickly as possible without wasting time.
- Money right now – You may or may not need money right now. If you do need money anytime before your settlement, you will want a lawyer who can get you and is willing to get you a lawsuit cash advance.
17 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury or Accident Lawyer
- Does the lawyer provide a free consultation without any obligation from you? Hire a lawyer who provides a free consultation without obligation.
- Does the law firm practice in any other field other than personal injury? Hire a law firm that only does personal injury.
- Has the lawyer had cases with your type of injury and accident? For instance, most personal injury lawyers have little or no experience representing motorcyclists. If you had a motorcycle accident, you should hire lawyers experienced with motorcycle accidents in New York. We don’t work on asbestos cases, so we would refer a client with mesothelioma to a law firm specializing in asbestos cases.
- Does the law firm have a track record of successful personal injury settlements and verdicts?
- Will the lawyer take your case on contingency, meaning you don’t have to pay any legal fees unless your case is successful? In New York, your legal fee should be 1/3 of what your lawyer gets you and only paid at the end of your case out of the money collected for you. See our fees, expenses, and services.
- Will the lawyer represent you for collision damage to your car or motorcycle? If yes, will there be a legal fee for the money collected for your collision damage? We do this for free when we represent someone injured in a car or motorcycle accident.
- Will the lawyer advance all case expenses so you don’t need any money?
- Will you be charged for legal research, fax, copying, postage, travel, computer storage, case file data backup, case file archiving, storage fees, shredding, telephone, and other similar charges?
- Will you be responsible for paying any case expenses if the lawyer does not get you money?
- Will you be charged interest on the money advanced for case expenses?
- Will the lawyer ask you to get your accident report, medical records, or other documents? Hire a lawyer who will do everything for you.
- Will you be able to call or text your lawyer, not a paralegal or secretary, when you have a question that you prefer to ask the lawyer? Hire a lawyer who is willing to speak with you personally when you have a question.
- Will you be able to call or text your lawyer after hours? We let our clients text or call our cell phones 7 days/nights!
- Will you be able to see your lawyer anytime after your free consultation without charge?
- Does the law firm ever represent defendants? Hire a law firm that does not represent defendants and only represents plaintiffs. We never have nor will represent defendants!
- If you have Medicaid or Medicare to pay your medical bills, will your lawyer prepare in advance to settle the Medicaid lien or Medicare lien against your personal injury settlement so it doesn’t hold up payment to you?
- If you have health insurance through a large employer, it is probably an ERISA health insurance plan which will have a lien against your personal injury settlement to recoup what they paid for your medical bills. What will your lawyer do about that? How much of your personal injury settlement does your lawyer think you will get?
How to Evaluate a Personal Injury Lawyer
Look at the Personal Injury Lawyer’s Website
Look carefully at several pages on the personal injury lawyer’s website before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
This is a chat transcript from someone who found our website page about Medicaid liens, Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Worthwhile If I Have Medicaid?
Visitor: “wish I had seen this site before I got my settlement. My lawyer told me about medicaid holding up my payout, I would never have used medicaid had I known. I have an injury lawsuit, and yesterday we setttled. I asked how long before I can see a check and he said since I used medicaid for 4 therapy sessions, he had to report it, and it can take up to 150 business days to resolve. They hold up an entire setetlement for $1800??”
What to Look For on a Personal Injury Lawyer’s Website
You can usually evaluate a personal injury lawyer and answer the questions above by looking at the lawyer’s website. You can learn a lot by looking at an attorney’s website.
Go through several pages of the lawyer’s website and look for the following:
- If the lawyer offers a free consultation, it will say so on the website.
- Look at the areas of law practice listed. There should be a menu button showing the areas of law practice. Does the lawyer practice in areas other than in the field of personal injury, such as criminal, matrimonial, real estate, etc.? Each of those fields of law is a complex field that constantly changes. When I started working, I also took criminal cases to help pay the bills. I was very good at it, but I soon stopped doing criminal defense to concentrate on personal injury. There’s too much continuous learning to do in more than one field of law. If I want to excel in personal injury, I can’t work in other fields.
- What are the specific types of personal injury cases they have had? There are sub-specialties in personal injury law practice. Do you have the kind of accident they usually work on? For instance, has the lawyer had a lot of motorcycle cases if you had a motorcycle accident?
- If the lawyer will take your case on contingency, it will say so on the website.
- If the lawyer will advance all case expenses, it will say so on the website.
- Look at the articles on the lawyer’s website. Do you think the lawyer is knowledgeable after looking at the pages and articles?
- Look at the reviews on the lawyer’s website.
How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?
Now that you know how to hire a personal injury lawyer, we hope you’ll call us for a free consultation.
Reviews of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Personal Injury Lawyers
Read reviews written by other clients of the personal injury lawyer. Please read our personal injury reviews.
Does the personal injury lawyer have reviews from other personal injury lawyers? Please read our reviews from other personal injury lawyers.
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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.