When you suffer serious injuries in an accident or are the victim of medical malpractice, your life changes in an instant. In the midst of your ordeal, you may decide to hire a personal injury attorney. You want to have a good relationship with your attorney. Here are five tips to help you build and maintain that relationship.
Do your research when selecting an attorney
It’s always a good idea to do your research before selecting an attorney to represent you in a personal injury or medical malpractice matter.
Oftentimes, family and friends are good sources of information. Ask if they have worked with personal injury or medical malpractice attorneys in the past, and if so, what experiences they have had. Make a list of potential attorneys to interview.
Once you have a list, make initial calls. Ask the attorney whether he or she has experience handling cases similar to yours. On the other hand, bear in mind that each case is different, so an attorney may not necessarily be able to provide you with concrete answers about your case. You might also ask for examples of that attorney’s successes. It is also important that you and the attorney have good rapport with one another. You may be working with the attorney for a length of time, so you want to feel comfortable communicating with him or her. If you don’t like talking with the attorney on an initial call, things are unlikely to change if you hire him or her.
Once you decide on hiring an attorney, make certain you ask about how the attorney will be paid. Most personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys are paid on a contingent fee basis.
After you have hired a personal injury or medical malpractice attorney, you’ll need to provide that attorney with information about you and your case. For example, you want to have a copy of any medical records detailing what happened, along with any medical bills you’ve received. If you have any photos documenting the accident or your injuries, make certain that your attorney has those as well.
When you first meet or talk with your attorney, ask about the next steps in pursuing your case. Discuss the best ways to contact your attorney and how often you can expect updates from your attorney. Finally, ask whether your attorney will be handling your case personally, or whether you will be primarily working with support staff, such as a paralegal or secretary.
Note concerns and questions you want to address
You should keep an ongoing list of any concerns or questions you have during your personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit. Then, when you communicate with your attorney next, you can have those issues addressed in a succinct, timely fashion. Keep a record of responses you receive so you can refer to them later, if needed.
Keep your attorney informed
Make certain you keep your attorney informed about changes in your contact information and updates in your treatment plan. Additionally, make certain you provide your attorney with copies of any important documents.
Share all information with your attorney, even if you think it may be unfavorable to your case. Your attorney is best equipped to represent you well if he or she is aware of all the relevant facts, good and bad.
Remember, working with an attorney is to your advantage in a personal injury or medical malpractice claim. An attorney will know how to defend against an insurer’s tactics to settle your claim for less. Ultimately, your attorney is your advocate, so you get the compensation you need to move forward in your life.