The decision to hire a personal injury attorney can often be confusing and stressful. Not only are you and your family dealing with the aftermath of the injury, but the law in personal injury cases can be confusing and complicated. There are so many questions that need to be answered including: do you even have a personal injury case?
The decision whether or not to pursue legal action can be a tough one to make. If someone has suffered “damages” and there’s been a monetary cost (either physically or mentally), then often this is a basis for a personal injury case to move forward.
When deciding to file a personal injury lawsuit, you’re likely to do a lot of research about what the steps are to initiate the lawsuit. The process can seem overwhelming, especially when it’s piled on top of the mental, physical and emotional damage that someone has suffered but being prepared can help you make the best decision for you.
Decide If You Want To Retain A Personal Injury Attorney
Not all injuries are serious enough to hire a personal injury lawyer. Often, minor injuries can be settled by working directly with the other party or insurance company. If an injury is serious enough to require substantial monetary compensation, or long-term rehabilitation, then consulting a personal injury lawyer is probably the best option.
Deciding to retain an attorney (and picking the right one) is vital to your case. Because there are so many factors that determine if a case will move forward, it’s important to choose a law firm that has the clients’ best interests in mind. Ben Davis, Partner at The Davis Kelin Law Firm in Albuquerque, decided to practice personal injury law because he wanted to “…help the little guy get justice, when he’s had no justice at all.” Look for attorneys who have your best interests at heart.
Gather The Evidence
Prior to meeting with an attorney, gather all the information and documents relevant to the case. You should include all evidence (police reports, witness statements, doctor and hospital reports), as well as photos and any expenses that you’ve incurred (including mileage reports). The more evidence, the better the chances are for maximum compensation.
Statute of Limitations
It’s important to file any claims or lawsuits within the correct time frame. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations depends on the type of lawsuit. A case generally must be filed between six months and three years. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the statute of limitations in your particular case. A case starts from the time of the incident, NOT the time that the lawsuit was initiated, so it’s important to make the decision to file as quickly as possible from the date of the injury.
Choosing an Attorney
Choosing an attorney is one of the most important decisions that must be made in a personal injury case, and finding one who is experienced and qualified can be a difficult task. Often, the easiest method is to ask family and friends for recommendations, however, you still need to research the law office to verify that they are the best choice for your case. Searching for an attorney online helps you find the best one for you.
Some attorneys are successful enough to get organic media attention.
Zackeree Kelin at The Davis Kelin Law Firm was recently covered in an episode of Dateline where he won a sizeable settlement for his client. Seeing other success stories can help you feel more confident about choosing your attorney.
It’s up to you to do your due diligence when picking a lawyer for your case. The law office website should give information about the attorney and their cases, and additional research, such as checking the state bar association will assist in your search. Don’t necessarily select the cheapest lawyer you can find– the right attorney will be worth it when you have a successful settlement. Ultimately, look for attorneys with great reputations and your journey towards filing a claim will be easier and more successful.