If you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury, finding the right lawyer to represent your case is an essential part of moving forward. It can be challenging to know where to begin, especially if you have not previously needed to secure these types of legal services and don’t have recommendations from friends and family. This information is provided in the hopes of helping you begin the process of finding the right lawyer to help you navigate a catastrophic injury case.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
There are a multitude of injury types. Some injuries heal quickly and leave no lasting damage. Others take a considerable amount of time to heal but allow you to eventually return to normal daily activities. A catastrophic injury is an injury that creates so much damage that you will not be able to return to work in the near or distant future. Catastrophic injuries create permanent damage.
What are Some Examples of Catastrophic Injuries?
Many catastrophic injuries damage your central nervous system, which includes your brain and spinal cord. Because your central nervous system plays a critical role in communicating messages between your body and brain, severe injury can lead to a wide range of functional issues.
A lost limb might also be considered a catastrophic injury. A severe burn is another example. In short, any injury that significantly impairs your mobility or mental function can be considered a catastrophic injury.
How do I Choose the Right Catastrophic Injury Lawyer?
Legal action can help you receive appropriate compensation for the losses sustained during or as a result of a catastrophic injury. The first step is finding the right attorney to represent your case. This can be a stressful process, especially if you have never needed these types of legal services in the past.
Begin by looking for an attorney with extensive experience representing catastrophic injury clients. This is a specialized area of law, and not just any lawyer will do. You want a team that has the skills, training, and experience needed to make a strong case on your behalf.
Don’t be Afraid to Shop Around
When it comes to legal representation, you have choices. Research the firms in your area to create a short list of potential attorneys. Read reviews and any news pieces you can find that mention those firms. There are numerous online review sites that can help you learn more about the experience others have had with an attorney or law firm. While online reviews can sometimes give a skewed perspective, they do provide a glimpse into how active a lawyer is in his or her area of practice.
Interview and Narrow Your List
Take some time to meet with prospective lawyers to discuss your specific set of needs and learn more about how they approach catastrophic injury cases. You can set up an in-person visit, which allows you to evaluate body language and other non-verbal cues. You can also conduct interviews on the phone, an option that allows you to speak with several attorneys without having to leave the comfort of home.
Bring a list of questions and concerns. It can help to write out the details of your case, which allows the attorneys to gain an overview of the type of services you’ll need. Be sure to write down answers and take other notes during these interviews, so you can compile that information afterward to make comparisons.
Communication Style Counts
You’ll be working with your catastrophic injury lawyer over an extended period of time, so it makes sense to select a legal professional whose communication style is a good fit with your own. While excessive phone calls and office visits will only drive up the cost of your final bill. That said, insufficient communication can leave you wondering how your case is progressing, and lead to significant frustration.
Understand the Costs
One of the most common complaints among clients who are unsatisfied with their legal services is a lack of clarity about the cost. Be sure to discuss the fee structure of each lawyer you are considering. Learn how expenses accrue and how those expenses are communicated as the process moves forward. There are numerous pricing structures that are used in the legal industry, so make sure you understand how expenses are logged, and how your final costs will be communicated.
Trust Your Instincts
It is entirely possible that you will end up with a list of several candidates who all seem to offer a good fit for your legal needs. That leaves you having to make a choice, which can be stressful. There is nothing wrong with making your final decision based on a gut instinct. After you meet or speak with several candidates, you will develop a feel for how they run their business and handle client communications. Feel confident that your personal judgement will guide you toward a lawyer who will represent your case and guide you through the process in a professional and personable manner.
Sign Your Contract and Prepare for Next Steps
Once you’ve done the work of researching and interviewing candidates and have chosen an attorney, it’s time to sign the contract and move into the next phase of the process. Catastrophic injury cases require significant documentation, so be prepared to gather information that supports your case.
While your attorney will handle most of the details needed to move your case through the process, your active participation can make a world of difference in the eventual outcome. Be ready to provide the information your attorney requests, and be open to seeing new doctors to expand the information in your medical record.
If you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury, finding the right lawyer to represent you is an essential part of moving forward and getting the compensation you need to cover your expenses. This information is provided in the hopes of answering any questions you have regarding how to find the best possible legal representation for your specific set of needs. You should always feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.