Accidents can happen to anyone, anytime – and when they do, most people find themselves scared, or even worse, injured.
Many people are confused about what to do and where to seek help. They don’t know how they are going to cover the doctor bills or pay for the damage to their personal property. They hesitate to call a lawyer, afraid they won’t be able to pay for those services either.
The fact is, if you are injured in an accident, hiring an injury lawyer is the best and fastest way you will be able to make a claim and be reimbursed for the cost of your medical bills and damage to personal property.
But not all injury attorneys are capable of handling your case correctly -- and there are several tell-tale signs that you should watch out for before signing up with just any injury lawyer.
Lawyers With All the Answers
Although it takes a great deal of education to be certified as an attorney in the State of Montana, what an individual attorney chooses to do with that knowledge might not always be in the best interest of their client. The first thing to watch out for is a lawyer that seems to have all the answers when you first meet. If an attorney begins to tell you how much your claim is worth after just meeting you and not having all the facts, this is a good sign that they may only have your wallet in mind.
A good injury lawyer needs to study the facts of your accident in-depth before they can make a judgment on what your claim may be worth. Although a good attorney may provide you with a hesitant, rough estimate on your first meeting, the best attorneys will do their homework first and talk money later.
Lawyers Giving Medical Advice
The second tell-tale sign that you might have found an attorney you don’t want to work with is one that offers you advice on how long it will take you to get better. The length of time you are injured and out of work is a factor of what your claim will be worth. However, only you and your doctor can know what your recovery will be like and how long it will take.
If you find that your lawyer is dictating your recovery time without your physicians input or recommendations, it’s a good bet you need to find another one.
The third tell-tale sign that you’re attorney may not be for you is one that says they will take a percentage of your med pay as part of their fee. Med Pay or Medical Payment insurance coverage is an optional coverage you pay a premium for that pays your medical bills regardless of fault. No attorney should be taking a fee percentage of any of your med pay insurance payouts. These funds are to pay your medical bills, not your lawyer.
Attorneys are typically paid a percentage of your bodily injury claim that the responsible insurance company pays. That’s the appropriate and only place a lawyer should take their fee percentage from.
So what should you look for in an attorney?
Overall, you should feel comfortable and confident in your attorney. Your attorney should treat you as a partner and shouldn’t treat you as if they are the authority figure. It is your claim, and your case, the attorney works for you. You should be able to communicate freely with your attorney and feel that they are listening. In the end, a successful claim will only come from a partnership with your injury lawyer that is built on honesty, confidence and trust.