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What to Expect from Your Personal Injury Lawyer

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What to Expect from Your Personal Injury Lawyer

What to Expect from Your Personal Injury Lawyer 

 

A personal injury lawyer comes into your life when you are at a particularly vulnerable point. Following an accident, you may be experiencing pain and discomfort, as well as emotional turmoil and stress. If your injury is severe, you may be wondering what lies ahead and how your family will cope. But just as your doctors, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, and counsellors help you during this time, a lawyer can provide invaluable support. Your medical professionals can help you to regain physical and emotional stability, and your legal professional can help you to maintain financial security. What can you expect from your personal injury lawyer? Each firm has a different philosophy and each lawyer has a different way of handling cases, but the best lawyers will become part of your story, part of the way that you got through one of the toughest times of your life.

 

You’ll need to hire a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. There are some time restrictions on legal action, and if you hesitate, you may miss critical deadlines. Also, it’s best for a lawyer to be in on your case from the beginning, gathering evidence while it is still fresh. On the other hand, you’ll want to take enough time to ensure that you’re choosing the right lawyer.

 

Looking for a Lawyer 

 

 

How will you find a personal injury lawyer? There are many in Toronto and the GTA, and the selection may seem overwhelming. You can start by looking at websites to see if there are any law firms whose values mesh with your own. What is the firm’s core values? Does the firm emphasize hard work? Team work? Diversity and inclusion? Which values resonate with you? Some firms have more experience in certain types of injuries; you can check to make sure that your particular situation is one that the firm has experience with in the past. Following an accident, money is often a concern, but most personal injury law firms will take your case on a contingency basis – that means that until you receive a settlement, you won’t have to pay them. Check to make sure that that holds true for the firms that you’re considering. Don’t look too far afield for a law firm; you’ll want one that knows the city and can come to visit you reasonably easily.

 

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possibilities, call a few law firms and ask for consultations. Most times, Ontario lawyers provide a free 30-minute consultation during which you can ask questions and assess whether or not he/she is the right representative for you and your concerns. Make a list of questions to ask during the consultation. These might include:

 

  • Have you had many cases like mine? What were the outcomes of those cases? Without divulging personal details, the lawyer should be able to tell you about other cases similar to your situation, and how they were resolved. Don’t be afraid to ask the lawyer to provide you with a recommendation from a recent client.

     

  • What is my case worth? While your lawyer will not be able to answer this definitively, and you shouldn’t hold him/her to the answer, most times the personal injury lawyer will be able to give you a range.

     

  • What is your contingency fee? Different firms charge different percentages for the contingency fee. These typically range between 25% and 40%, but may be negotiable.

     

  • How will you communicate with me? Sometimes clients find their lawyers infuriating, because they fail to keep in communication, and the client has no idea whether or not the case is progressing. Ask about the lawyer’s communication style and what to expect. Any good lawyer-client relationship is a partnership, and you should expect to be party to all major decisions and events.

     

  • How long will my case take to resolve? Again, this will be an educated guess on the lawyer’s part, but it’s best to have an estimate.

     

  • Does your firm provide services in my language? In the GTA, people speak more than 200 languages! If you prefer to communicate in a language other than English, let the lawyer know. Sokoloff Lawyers, for example, offers services in more than 30 different languages.

 

Making the Choice 

After having a conversation with a lawyer, you will have a pretty good idea of whether or not you can communicate well with him/her. Choose a representative who is friendly, easy to talk to, and who offers you clear, understandable answers.

 

 

Be prepared to provide a lot of information; insurance companies require large amounts of paperwork. Request copies of all of your medical records. Find out if there are witnesses to your accident, and get their contact information. Write a statement that explains the impact of your injury on your own life, and on the lives of your family members.

 

Personal injury cases can be lengthy; choose someone you like to be on the journey with you! After all, your personal injury lawyer will be the one representing you and your accident to get you the compensation you deserve.