Personal Injury

What to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbia SC

 

Looking for in a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbia?

If you're injured, it's important to have the representation you need. Check out these tips to learn what to look for in a personal injury lawyer in Columbia SC.

Every year, up to 80 percent of people involved in court cases choose to represent themselves. Often the reason for not hiring a lawyer is that people can't afford representation. Without the aid of a personal injury lawyer in Columbia, most people heading to court will lose their case.

Thankfully, most personal injury lawyers will work on a contingency fee. They will only be paid if they're able to win a settlement for you. This means that almost every person with a serious personal injury case should be able to get adequate representation for their case.

If you or a loved one has been injured, you should hire a personal injury lawyer in Columbia, SC. If you don't know what to look for in a lawyer, be sure your attorney has these 7 qualities before you hire them.

1. They Should Have Experience

A personal injury attorney with several years of experience will have seen everything under the sun. They'll be able to look at your case and very quickly determine whether or not you have a strong case.

Lawyers who spend lots of time dealing with insurance companies will be able to help you navigate the choppy waters of going back and forth with them. While you might be personally overwhelmed by speaking with an insurance company, they won't try to intimidate a lawyer the way they might try to intimidate you.

Make sure your potential lawyer has years of experience specifically dealing with personal injury cases. They will be best equipped to make sure that you win your case.

2. They Should Have Good Reviews

You should be able to find lots of testimonials about your potential personal injury lawyer in Columbia. Check their website to see what they've posted. Of course, you'll be dealing with only the best on their site, so be sure to dig a little deeper.

Check out Google reviews, Yelp, and any directory of lawyers and law firms. If you suspect you're dealing with a high-volume, revolving door kind of firm, be wary of how many resources they'll devote to you.

If you've gotten a referral through friends or relatives, ask detailed questions about their experience.

3. Look For Successes

Your lawyer should have a strong record of successes. If they claim to have gotten huge settlements for a variety of cases, they should be listed on the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Once lawyers have received multi-million dollar returns for clients, they'll be listed on this forum.

You should be able to find evidence for higher profile claims they've represented in the past. If your attorney is saying they've achieved something, double check online to make sure they're being straightforward.

4. They Need Resources

If you're aiming to work with a specific attorney or if you sit down with them, see how much time they'll be devoting to your case personally. If they say they're going to have their clerks or staff work on your case, you might not be getting your money's worth.

While great lawyers can hire a great staff, your lawyer should be upfront if they won't be getting their hands dirty on your case.

If you've been in an accident, ask about the kinds of expert witnesses they have access to. Your lawyer should be able to provide forensic scientists, medical specialists, and forensics experts to help make your case. The more prestigious the people they can get to appear, the more likely you'll win your case.

5. They Should Be Easy To Get Ahold Of

You should be able to speak to your attorney when you want to, point blank. If you call the number on their website and have a tough time getting through or scheduling a call, this should be a red flag.

Even if your attorney is busy, you should be told you'll receive a call back soon. You should get that call back before the day is over.

Can you contact their office any time of day, any time of the week? They should at least have an answering service to take your calls. If they value customer service, they should offer these features to their clients.

6. You Should Get A Free Consultation

It's customary for a personal injury lawyer in Columbia to offer a free consultation. Even if your first contact is just over the phone, you should be able to list the details of your case and get an idea of how strong your case is.

Ask in advance. If your law firm wants to charge a fee for your consultation, you should probably find a better law firm. If you have a case, they'll be making a significant amount of money so figuring out whether or not you have a case should be free.

7. You Should Feel A Rapport

When you're speaking with your attorney, you should get a sense that they're listening to you. They shouldn't seem distracted. In fact, you should feel like you'll get along.

You could conceivably be spending a considerable amount of time with this attorney, so you should feel comfortable being open and honest with them. If they spend the entire conversation using jargon and lingo they know is over your head, you should be able to ask them to explain.

If you can't communicate clearly and on an equal level, you might need to keep looking for a better lawyer.

A Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbia Should Be Fair

Your personal injury lawyer should make sure that you get a fair settlement, as you deserve. They should believe that your property and medical damages should be taken care of. A great attorney should have your interests in mind every time they step into the courtroom.

If you're ready to find a great personal injury attorney, contact us to find the perfect fit for your case.

How to Find the Best SC Personal Injury Attorney

How to Find the Best South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney

After a personal injury, the last thing you want is to hire an incompetent lawyer. Here's how to choose the best South Carolina personal injury attorney.

While there are a record number of people representing themselves, reportedly only 45% of them understand what they hear in a courtroom.

While you might think your personal injury case is straightforward and your evidence is clear, you don't know what you could be up against. If you're in South Carolina, a personal injury attorney could help to ensure you get the representation you need.

Whether you're suing another individual, an insurance company, or a corporation, you could be facing a powerful lawyer with a staff of dozens. Going into the courtroom unprepared is like showing up for war armed with a twig.

Once you start looking for lawyers, you might notice that a lot of attorneys make a lot of promises of the kinds of settlements you could get. Follow these tips to ensure you get the best South Carolina personal injury attorney for your case.

1. Expect A Free Consultation

If cost is the thing holding you back from finding an attorney, put that thought to bed. Most reputable lawyers will give you a free consultation to get to know you, your case, and see if you're compatible.

During your consultation, expect that you can lay out the details of what you hope to achieve and the settlement that you think you're entitled to.

Your lawyer should be able to then help you adjust your expectations higher or lower and what kinds of documentation you should start gathering.

This shouldn't come at a cost but be sure to ask in advance if they offer this consultation for free.

2. Ask About Their Experience

While there are plenty of great lawyers who can work a variety of types of law like malpractice, corporate, or estate law, it's hard to become an expert in all of them. Feel free to ask your lawyer about their experience before you hire them.

While you might get along well with someone who is an expert in entertainment or copyright law, they might not have the chops you need. In South Carolina, a personal injury attorney needs to know about law relevant to cases like yours.

Ask for examples of settlements and search for reviews online before you hire a lawyer.

3. Ambulance Chasing Is Real and Illegal

You may have thought it was just a turn of phrase or a stereotype, but ambulance chasing is real. There are lawyers who will send out letters or make contact with someone right after they get into an accident, even in the hospital.

If a lawyer has this much time to chase around clients, they probably don't have many cases to work on. You should think about why they're chasing down clients rather than the other way around.

Again, information about lawyers is often just an internet search away. Knowledge is power, especially when there could be tens of thousands of dollars at stake.

4. Sometimes You Can Skip The Trial

Even though it can take the threat of a lawsuit to get some insurance companies, corporations, or individuals inspired to pay up, they're not always necessary. Sometimes things can be settled without filing any lawsuits.

Getting your lawyer to send along the right information to an insurance company for the defendant can cause the case to be settled quickly. The defendant's insurance company might have moved forward with a lawsuit without realizing how strong your case is.

This is the quickest and least expensive way to get your settlement and move on with your life. If you're dealing with a car injury lawsuit, it's common to settle everything without a lawsuit.

5. Make Sure the Fees Are Clear

Just like any service, there will be costs associated and if you don't ask about them in advance, you could be hit over the head with costs at the end. Thankfully almost every South Carolina personal injury attorney will charge a "contingency fee."

In this scenario, your lawyer won't charge as they work, only if you win your case. This can ensure that they work hard to get a great settlement, because the larger the settlement, the larger their fee is.

You'll be able to get great representation without paying out of pocket up front. Have a frank discussion of all the fees associated and, most importantly, speak to several lawyers so that you can negotiate fairly.

Every region has a different percentage that is normal to ask for. If your attorney wants 20%, you need to know if they're taking you for a ride or whether you should jump on this deal. The larger your settlement could be, the lower you can talk them down.

6. Prepare To Win and Save Some Money

Your lawyer will likely charge you additional fees for expenses. This means that every email they have to respond to, every phone call they're on, and every conversation related to your case adds to your fees.

You can take several steps to streamline your case and lower your costs. Gather all the documentation that you can about your case in advance of speaking to a lawyer. Call both insurance companies and get all the information that you can in advance.

Get any police reports or other documentation. Get everything to your lawyer in an organized and efficient manner and not only will they be thankful, but they'll charge you less for making them do the work.

Most people think that all of this work is part of the job they pay lawyers for and get upset when they see the number of expenses at the end of the case. Smart clients prepare to win.

Your South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Should Be A Good Fit

The most overlooked thing about working with a lawyer is finding one that you get along with and who you feel comfortable talking to.

While you should always be efficient to keep costs down, you shouldn't feel rushed or like you're being rude for contacting them. You could be spending lots of time with this lawyer, so make sure you trust your gut as well.

If you're ready to find that perfect personal injury lawyer, contact us for some suggestions today.

Columbia, SC