Every year, millions of people suffer loss of income and sometimes permanently debilitating injuries due to accidents or medical mistakes. In situations like this, legal assistance is invaluable. In Kentucky, just as in the other states of the Union, finding a competent, experienced, and trustworthy personal injury attorney can be tricky. Therefore, you might wonder if it is truly worth all the fuss and expense to hire a lawyer for something that can seem pretty cut-and-dried, or at least obvious from the outside.
Navigating a Possible Minefield
The idea of “going solo” is not all that unusual; Small Claims Court encourages pro se filings, and its paperwork is simple enough that most people understand it easily. In a similar vein, you can find several sources offering to walk you through filing your claim. They assert that you do not need an attorney in these cases, but that you can do a perfectly good job on your own without paying a contingency fee.
The fact is that the lawyer’s contingency may prove to be a bargain in terms of potential headaches and losses. Legal definitions, forms, and accompanying deadlines are not known to be flexible things. Miss one crucial filing or talk to one party (even your own insurance company) “out of turn” about your claim, and you could lose thousands of dollars.
Two Types of Personal Gold
When it comes to seeking recommendations for any service, no doubt you ask friends and relatives first, and the same principle applies here. While you can search your Kentucky directories for advertising, a personal touch is well worth the extra effort. You will have not only a smoother introduction to your legal partner but a modicum of confidentiality in the search itself – something you cannot count on with more impersonal referral services.
Be sure not to overlook other attorneys as potential referral sources, too. The lawyer who handled your house purchase or your will may not have expertise in personal injury cases, but odds are he knows someone else who does. Also, members of the bar know one another’s reputations, and can helpful in steering you away from someone who may not be compatible as much as in helping you find one who is.
Once You Make Contact…
You can certainly screen attorneys over the phone, but since most attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation, it is an even better idea to do it face-to-face. Get the basics out of the way first: how long the attorney has been in practice, how big a portion of his total case load is personal injury work – and from what side of the “aisle” he is used to operating (plaintiff or defendant). Find out if he personally will handle your case or hand it off to an associate and if the latter is the case, ask to meet that associate as well. You will want to feel completely confident that this lawyer will fight for every right you have, that he will not urge you to settle too soon or for too little, and that he understands the particulars of your situation well enough to present it to your best advantage.
Based in Louisville, the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, offers Kentucky clients’ answers to tough questions and gives reassurance about their rights during the difficult time following an injury or accident. Contact Seth Gladstein by calling today to make an appointment for a free consultation.