Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer and What to Watch Out For
Choosing the right personal injury attorney for your case can be overwhelming at times. However, there are certain universal red flags that, if present, should dissuade you from working with a particular attorney. Knowing what questions to ask a personal injury lawyer and looking for these red flags can help you narrow down your search.
1. Refuses to Sign a Retainer Agreement
First and foremost, you do not want to be represented by a lawyer who refuses to honor your wishes, or refuses to sign a retainer agreement in the first place. A well-written retainer agreement is the financial agreement between the client and attorney and will include the following points:
- Required client actions
- Attorney rendered services
- Legal fees and related expenses
- Payment schedule
- Grounds for dissolution of an inharmonious professional relationship
2. Usually Represents Insurance Companies
Aside from a solid retainer agreement, you also do not want to be represented by an attorney who typically represents insurance companies, as they do not have the consistent experience of representing individuals.
3. Refuses to Have a Standard Contingency Fee Agreement
Any attorney who asks for payment up front, in the form of a retainer fee or the rejection of a contingency fee, should not be trusted.
4. Has Been Disciplined by the State Bar Association
Another good idea is to check with the State Bar Association to determine if the lawyer you are wishing to hire has ever been sanctioned. If so, this can be a major red flag. Additionally, you should look for a Martindale-Hubbell rating on the firms website. If this is not present or they do not have a rating at all, this can be a major red flag. Excellent lawyers and law firms may have a “preeminent” rating with Martindale-Hubbell. The highest attorney rating is an AV.
5. Will Not Directly Handle Your Case
Finally, do not waste your money with a firm where the attorneys are too busy to handle your case themselves. Your attorney should always be your primary contact and the person who is responsible for actually doing the work on your case. Some firms employ “contract runners” who are sent to you to sign important documents like your retainer agreement. If someone other that your attorney is having you sign all-important documents, this is a major red flag.
Contact Cohn & Swartzon, P.C. Today!
Ultimately what must be proven to win a case is that someone else was negligent or careless and that it was their negligence or carelessness that caused your injury. At Cohn & Swartzon, it is our duty to prove this. We encourage you to bring your personal injury case to our accomplished attorneys at Cohn & Swartzon, regardless of the type of accident or injury you have suffered from. Contact us today and sign up for a free case evaluation!