Hiring a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have a difficult New York personal injury claim, you may wonder where to begin. Well, first off you should focus on getting better. On the other hand, if you're facing extreme debts and an insurer being difficult, you or a loved one may inquire about getting legal help. In the state of New York, you have many options, but often just as many questions. This guide will help you find the right New York personal injury lawyer.
Where do you look?
The New York State Bar Association is a good place to start, as is online, and sometimes via referrals from your family lawyer. The Bar is found at https://www.nysba.org/, with much useful information on getting legal help in pretty much any field. If you want a lawyer who specializes in injury law, looking online beyond the bar is also a good choice. Many experienced personal injury lawyers have web sites, if not a blog and articles, explaining how they can help. If you have little access to the internet, you might ask for a referral. If you have a family lawyer, he or she might refer you to an experienced lawyer.
How much do you pay?
Typically you want to pay what's called a contingency fee, the no win, no fee philosophy where if you lose the case, you pay nothing. But if you win, you will have to pay a fee of the settlement to your lawyer. 8 out of 10 personal injury claims do not go to court, being settled beforehand. If you settle, you typically pay your lawyer less. If you go to court, his or her fee usually goes up some percentages. If you settle out of court, you can expect to pay about 25% of the compensation to your lawyer, sometimes more and sometimes less. If you have to go to court, you're paying closer to 35%. You should be able to find a lawyer willing to work on a contingency fee, but some may prefer an hourly fee. If you have to pay out of pocket, be sure you can win this claim. If no lawyer is willing to take your case, it may not be a winner.
How much experience?
You want a lawyer who first of all specializes in personal injury law. So if you have a family lawyer or friend who handles occasional work, you may prefer to hire someone with more experience. Of course, all lawyers have legal degrees, but someone who has dealt with insurers before, who knows how to negotiate, and who can handle a court room if need be, is quite valuable.
What if your lawyer fails?
If you ever reconsider your choice of lawyer, you can fire him or her and only pay any costs up to that point. Sometimes you simply hire someone who you cannot communicate with well, or who takes on too many cases. There is no law saying you must keep this lawyer, only pay the fees up to that point. If, on the other hand, you lose in court, there is always the appeals process, where a good lawyer is invaluable.
How To Get Started
To get started, start searching online for reputable lawyers. Some of them will post free articles on personal injury law, simply to showcase their experience. If you are unable to search yourself, you may ask a loved one to help. The important thing, first, is to get better. But then you also want to be protected financially.