Oftentimes, people involved in car accidents or motorcycle accidents try to go it alone. They negotiate on their own with insurance companies and often wind up confused, frustrated, and get less than what they should. If injured, hassling with the insurance company or that uninsured motorist only adds insult to that injury. If there’s property damage, trying to get the attention of the claims adjuster can be more difficult than waiting weeks for the car to be repaired.
These are situations in which “doing it yourself” does a disservice to yourself. The solution? Hire a Rochester MN personal injury lawyer who is experienced in personal injury law. As a general rule, personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means that they do not get paid unless and until money is paid to the accident victim. So, the accident victim does not have to lay out any cash up front to get the services of a lawyer. That alone should reduce the concern about having to pay a lawyer at the outset.
So, if there’s no need to pay the lawyer up front, why use one? As any person who has gone, lawyerless, to court, navigating the judicial system is tricky and not for amateurs. If you represent yourself, the court will assume that you can do so competently and won’t cut you any slack because you’re not a lawyer. The “But, your honor, I’m not a lawyer” excuse will draw only an icy stare from the judge. There are all sorts of filing deadlines, procedural timelines, and evidentiary issues, just to name a few, that arise in every lawsuit, and without a lawyer, unrepresented parties usually have that “deer in the headlights” look. Additionally, if the other side has a lawyer and you don’t, the scales of justice are less evenly balanced.
How to find an experienced personal injury lawyer? Google the term and where you live and see what lawyers and law firms pop up. Call a local bar association lawyer referral service and get some names that way. There’s still the good old fashioned type of referral: ask others who have used a particular lawyer and been happy with the result. Ask lots and lots of questions before choosing a lawyer in this field. You want someone with experience, so ask about that experience. How many car accident cases have they handled? How many motorcycle accident cases? What kinds of settlements have they had? What kinds of verdicts? How many trials? Do they have any specialization in the area? Go to the firm website and see what’s on it. Don’t be bashful; keep asking questions until you’re satisfied.
It’s critically important that there be a “fit” between lawyer and client; the two must communicate openly and the client must be comfortable with that lawyer. The client must trust the lawyer to represent his or her best interests in the personal injury matter. Without that trust, the relationship fails.
Sometimes it’s perfectly all right to do it yourself. Sometimes, it isn’t. When involved in a car accident or a motorcycle accident, you want to get it right the first time. That’s what an experienced personal injury lawyer can do.
The information you obtain from this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
A Rochester MN personal injury lawyer at a local law firm can provide an experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney that can help with legal services.