When you file a personal injury lawsuit in New York, you must remember that the insurance companies on the other side will hire the best legal professionals. They are likely to have a long track record with winning claims just like yours and unless you have a skilled personal injury lawyer representing you, you will be at a serious disadvantage. This is where hiring the best personal attorney near you can be critical in determining a successful recovery of the damages you are entitled to receive.
However, with virtually every attorney claiming to be the best personal injury lawyer in New York City, it can get quite confusing to decide whom to pick. Here are a few pointers to help you choose the best personal injury lawyer near you.
Do Your Homework on the Personal Injury Lawyer’s Track Record in New York Cases
Most injury victims assume that attorneys who put out a lot of advertisements are the most successful lawyers. Or they believe that inexperienced lawyers charge lesser than the more successful ones. Reality may often be quite different. So, it is vital that you spend some time researching the personal injury lawyers in your area because you don’t want to get a raw deal from a lawyer who wants a quick settlement to meet their turnover needs.
Speak to family members or friends who have worked with a lawyer before and get an idea of their experience to understand what to expect from your legal expert. While a simple online search can give you basic information about the personal injury attorney’s track record in New York, it is only through a personal meeting that you can assess if they are the right choice for you.
Check the Personal Injury Attorney’s Ratings and Reviews
There is no official system that rates personal injury lawyers in New York. If you know someone who practices law, you can ask them to refer you to a good attorney. Even if they do not handle personal injury law, they may be able to get you information from their colleagues in the community.
Once you have a few names, you can find out how they have been rated by their peers using systems such as The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry. This registry contains a short biography of more than a million lawyers from all over the country and is considered one of the most authoritative and respected sources of information about the legal community in the US.
Other websites such as Superlawyers and Best Lawyers in America also provide a listing of “the best” attorneys in more than 50 specialties of the law, including personal injury. Check out what these sites have to say about the best personal lawyers in New York before you decide whom to engage to handle your case.
Just like the medical system’s “board certification” gives you an idea about the credentials of medical professionals, the legal system has come up with the concept of “board certification” for lawyers. The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is a national body that certifies lawyers as “civil trial attorneys” based on their passing of an extensive examination and after considering the amount of courtroom experience they possess.
Especially if your injuries of a serious nature involve permanent disability or catastrophic injuries, it is good to engage the services of such a highly qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer in New York.
Be Wary of Lawyers Who Send Solicitation Letters After Your Accident
If you receive mail from a New York personal injury law firm at your home address soon after your accident, it is not likely to be a coincidence. In fact, it is quite likely that the law firm has a policy of having their staff comb through the traffic accident reports from the local police officials, to find new clients.
You must understand that most firms resort to this tactic because they are unable to get clients based on their reputation or through word-of-mouth publicity from satisfied clients. They are not likely to have your best interests at heart and operating on a quick turnover model, such lawyers are likely to settle for an amount that gets them a profit regardless of whether the amount is right for their client or not.
Find Out if the Lawyer Specializes in Personal Injury Cases
Many lawyers who call themselves personal injury lawyers in New York are actually general practitioners handling all types of legal cases. They may have a working knowledge of how personal injury law works, but without specific experience in handling such cases on a daily basis, they are not likely to be familiar with the nuances that go into winning a personal injury case in New York.
You must remember that the powerful insurance company which you are up against will have the financial muscle to hire the best personal injury lawyers and unless you have an expert on your side too, you stand to lose the case.
During your initial consultation with the personal injury lawyer, ask about how long they have been dealing with personal injury cases. If you find two lawyers who both charge on a contingency basis, but one has greater experience than the other in personal injury lawsuits, it makes sense to hire a lawyer who is more seasoned in this specific area.
Also, ask for how much trial experience the personal injury lawyer has. This is going to be very critical in case you are not satisfied with the settlement offered by the insurance company during the initial negotiation and decide to take your case to a jury trial.
If the insurance company finds out that the lawyer you have engaged is one who has significant trial experience, they understand that you are willing to proceed with a court trial. This can make them offer you a significantly higher amount in settlement than if you hire a lawyer with no trial experience.
Ask How the Personal Injury Attorney Handles Case Expenses in New York
Almost all personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation and say they work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney will not charge a fee unless they recover some amount for you in compensation. If there is no recovery, the lawyer does not get paid. However, if they do succeed in winning damages for you, they will charge you their fee, which will be a percentage of the amount they recovered for you.
While this sounds quite simple, you must understand that there could be case expenses for which you have to spend. This includes the money that needs to be paid to outside parties for services such as physician report charges, medical record charges, court reporter fees, expert witness fees, and case filing fees along with other expenses.
You need to find out how the personal injury attorney you plan to hire is going to deal with these expenses. Some lawyers will ask their clients to pay a major share of all of these litigation expenses upfront. Other personal injury attorneys say that they will pay for the litigation expenses and that the client must reimburse them for whatever recovery is achieved at the end of the case. You need to remember that this amount is different from the lawyer’s fees and will be calculated after the latter has been deducted.
Now you’re probably wondering about who pays for the litigation expenses if the case is lost. It depends on the policy adopted by a given lawyer. Some law firms do not ask clients to reimburse them for the case expenses if they lose a case. Others do. So, it is critical that you have this issue clarified before you engage a particular personal injury lawyer in NYC. Even if they make light of it, claiming that they have never lost a case before, you must understand that it cannot be the entire truth as even the best lawyers may fail occasionally.
Get Your Free Personal Injury Case Review from a Top-Rated NYC Law Firm
Being injured in a serious car accident in New York can be devastating for not just the accident victim, but their entire family. When you have been hurt, we can help you rebuild and move forward with your life. At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, our lawyers are passionate about helping accident victims recover from their traumatic experiences by winning them the maximum compensation they deserve.
Whatever the type of accident – whether it is a car collision, or a workplace mishap, or injury due to a defective product or medical malpractice – clients choose us because our attorneys have a consistent track record of delivering a record number of wins. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP is a personal injury law firm that believes in supporting our clients no matter what. We don’t shy away from working late nights and going the extra mile or from going to trial, and the thousands of New Yorkers we have helped over the years are a testimony to how seriously we take our job.
To know more about how we can help you recover the maximum compensation that is due, get in touch with us today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential case review.
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