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There are quite a few considerations when hiring a personal injury attorney. You want someone who believes in your case and knows what they're doing, all at the right price. Considering many injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, what you really need from your legal counsel is experience.
So how do you evaluate your personal injury attorney's experience? And how much experience does he or she need?
What Kinds of Experience Matter
There are two types of experience when it comes to personal injury lawsuits: general torts experience and specialized practice area experience. Many attorneys have a general practice, handling everything from car accidents to dog bites. And while the specifics may change, many of these cases are similar enough that a few years of practice will qualify an attorney to competently handle your case.
But there are other injury claims that may require extensive experience in a particular field. For instance, medical malpractice claims may require sophisticated expert testimony that only a well-trained litigator in the field will be familiar with. And workers' compensation claims must follow a very specific filing process. Both involve strict time limits on filing, so in some cases you'll need an attorney with considerable knowledge in litigating your particular kind of claim.
Why Experience Matters
Still, you may think that experience is overrated. This would be a mistake. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will aid in your case from start to finish. First, an experienced attorney will be better able to assess the merits of your claim, and know exactly what claims to file and the best legal strategy to employ. Part of this is having their own investigative team and the knowledge of all the possible red tape your case could run into.
Your attorney should also have extensive experience dealing with other attorneys, insurance companies, and judges. This can help bring a swifter and more significant resolution to your injury claim. An experienced attorney will know how to negotiate with lawyers and the insurance company, and will know what will sway a jury in your favor.
If you've been injured make sure to hire an experienced attorney -- most will agree to a free consultation to discuss your case.