Your Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you are hurt in an auto accident, on the job, or as the result of a medical mistake, it’s easy to feel confused or overwhelmed in dealing with the aftermath. You may have expensive healthcare or even regular household bills that you have no idea how you can pay, especially if you are off work and have no paycheck coming in. You may have been unfairly treated by insurance companies, doctors, your employer, or others who should be trustworthy but are only looking out for their own best interests.
This is when you need someone who’s looking out for you – an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you put a nightmarish situation behind you and get you the compensation – and justice –you deserve. We can help you replace lost wages, deal with creditors, and stop bill collectors in addition to fighting back against those who have mistreated you.
Today we’re beginning a new post series here on the blog to show you everything you need to know about when you should hire a personal injury lawyer, including how to find the most experienced and compassionate legal representation right in your local community. We invite you to stop back frequently for updates and to learn more about the services that the best personal injury law firms offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers, we find that almost all of our new clients are somewhat nervous about beginning the legal process, especially if they’ve never talked with a lawyer before.
Many people have pre-conceived notions about lawsuits and legal proceedings from fictional TV shows or an experience serving on a jury, and simply have no idea what to expect. In fact, one of our most commonly asked questions is whether all cases end up in court (spoiler alert: the answer is no).
Curious about other questions that people like you have about personal injury law, but are afraid to ask? These are five big ones.
What is a personal injury attorney?
In short, personal injury lawyers are licensed legal professionals whose goal is to help injured or ill people navigate a complicated and often intimidating legal system.
There are many types of law practices out there, but personal injury attorneys focus only and specifically on problems that arise for individuals who have been hurt in car accidents, on the job, or as a result of medical malpractice and bad medications. We also help people who are navigating Social Security and disability claims to be sure they are justly compensated.
What should I look for in a personal injury attorney?
Experience, focus, and proven results are three main attributes you should expect your personal injury lawyer to have. You’ll find all three of these traits in every single attorney in our practice here at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers, and an initial phone conversation with a prospective attorney should answer your questions about their abilities.
Many people mistakenly believe that they need to seek out a big city firm to get the best results for their personal injury case – here in Greensburg, PA, that’s certainly not true – don’t ever believe you need to go all the way to Pittsburgh to find the best personal injury lawyers!
How much does a personal injury attorney charge?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t charge you unless we win you money. Free consultations to determine whether you have a case are relatively standard in personal injury practices, which means you really have nothing to lose (except your chance to be fairly compensated and stop bill collectors from hounding you) by giving us a call.
What is the maximum an attorney can charge for a personal injury issue?
The facts of your unique case and how much compensation you receive will affect how much your personal injury attorney will be paid. There isn’t a standard fee cost that we can share here, as your attorney will take a pre-arranged percentage of your compensation as payment. As a reference, this amount is typically between about 33% and 40% of a settlement amount. When you speak with a prospective attorney for your case during an initial consultation, you can work through any payment questions you may have. We seek to be upfront about all of our costs, and you should expect this from the best attorneys and firms.
Why should I hire a personal injury attorney?
As we’ve often discussed here on the blog, insurance companies and government agencies that control benefits payments are skilled at — and motivated to — keep dollars they should be paying you for claims in their coffers.
They also have highly experienced lawyers at the ready to fight for them.
As a lone individual, you, unfortunately, don’t stand a chance to receive fair compensation from these big players, which is why you need a knowledgeable partner who knows the law and is ready to fight back on your behalf.
If you’re experiencing difficulties with things like insurance payments owed to you, a denied workers’ compensation claim, or injuries you sustained from taking recalled drugs, we especially want to hear from you. But also know that no personal injury issue is too minor for us to consider.
Check back for more in upcoming chapters of our guide
Throughout the next few months, we’ll be adding to our library of blog posts meant to guide you through the process of hiring a personal injury attorney no matter what your individual personal injury issue might be. Here’s a preview of topics we’re looking forward to sharing with you.
Learn how to make an initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney as productive as possible. These meetings – either in-person or over the phone — are often free, and with a little organization on your part, such as making sure you have all relevant documentation for your case available, you can make the most of these valuable conversations.
Chapter 2: What to Know About Auto Injury Settlements
Car accidents, even when they seem minor, can cause all sorts of pain and suffering for victims. And insurance companies are infamous for treating injuries as less serious than they are. Learn more about how to prevent an auto accident from ruining your life.
Chapter 3: Things You Must Know About Medical Malpractice
There are many types of medical mistakes and negligence that qualify as medical malpractice. From misdiagnoses that lead to improper courses of treatment to falls and injuries sustained while in the hospital or a nursing facility, you may not have realized that the poor healthcare experience that you or a loved one endured may warrant legal action.
Chapter 4: Workers’ Compensation: How it Works
We recently posted about how to file for Workers’ Compensation (WC) benefits here in Pennsylvania. Learn more about the entire WC process and find out what you can expect if you’re hurt at work – even if your employer doesn’t have WC insurance.
Chapter 5: Benefits for People with Disabilities: How Social Security Can Help
If you’re unable to work because of a physical or mental condition, you may be able to collect long-term disability benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs assist millions of people and could be right for you. Unfortunately, individuals receiving these benefits often face challenges with payments being stopped prematurely or denied outright – learn how we can help.
Chapter 6: Things You Should Know About a Drug Recall
Drug recalls are frighteningly common. And the scariest thing is that pharmaceutical companies often know a product is bad for months or years before the public is informed. Personal injury lawyers are on your side to hold medication and medical device manufacturers accountable.
Ready to hire a personal injury lawyer in Western PA?
Our caring and compassionate attorneys and dedicated paralegals for every specialty here at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for your free consultation.