Even minor accidents can have major ramifications on your health and financial security. If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be facing heavy medical expenses and the need for ongoing treatment, while your injuries prevent you from working or participating in hobbies and activities with friends and family. In this type of situation, you need an attorney you can trust, one who will defend your interests and assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover. The following offers some useful advice on the types of questions to ask when choosing a personal injury lawyer to represent your case.
Choosing The Right Lawyer
When choosing a lawyer to represent you in insurance company negotiations or in a personal injury claim, you want a firm that is results oriented and client focused, with proven knowledge and understanding as to how Oregon law applies to these types of cases. Questions to ask include the following:
How long have you been a practicing personal injury lawyer?
Experience counts in personal injury cases. You want a lawyer who not only understands the law, but one who also understands the extent of the damages clients involved in these cases typically suffer. At the Johnston Law Firm, attorney Mark Johnston has been successfully representing clients for over a decade, earning the respect of clients and the Portland legal community. Insurance company representatives are familiar with his negotiation skills, as well as his unwillingness to settle for anything less than the maximum amount of compensation the clients is entitled to receive.
How successful are you in representing cases like mine?
Any firm you are considering should be able to point to clear indicators of their success in representing clients. Check how your potential lawyer ranks with legal rating services such as Avvo, which provides a snapshot of their legal background, along with unbiased client reviews and peer ratings. Our firm’s Avvo rating is 10 out of 10, the highest possible score for Portland car accidents, personal injury, insurance claims and wrongful death cases. Yelp reviews are another good source of information, as are client testimonial pages on the firm’s website.
How many cases do you currently handle?
Having a basic understanding of the volume of cases a law firm handles can tell you a lot about the type of service you are likely to receive. Large firms with multiple lawyers and legal staff typically handle a large volume of cases, but clients may find themselves speaking with clerks and paralegals rather than to an actual lawyer. At the Johnston Law Firm, while we want to help as many people as possible, we limit the overall number of cases we take, so that our clients can be assured of getting comprehensive, personalized service This means your questions are answered promptly, your concerns get addressed, and your case is resolved in the timeliest manner possible.
What type of fees do you charge?
Attorney’s fees in personal injury cases are regulated under Chapter 20 of the Oregon Code. This offers you, the client, some protections against being overcharged for a lawyer’s service, but there is still plenty of variation in how much individual firms choose to charge for their services. At the Johnston Law Firm, we represent personal injury victims on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we achieve a successful result in your case, and our fees are factored into your overall settlement amount.
How soon will my lawsuit be filed?
Lawsuits in personal injury cases generally must be filed within two years of the accident. This gives your lawyer time to investigate the scene, to determine responsible parties, and to estimate the extent of damages you are likely to suffer, both now and in the years to come. If an insurance company is involved, a settlement may be negotiated without going to court. If an agreement cannot be reached or the at fault party is uninsured, your lawsuit should be filed as soon as the required evidence is collected in your case.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you have been injured in an accident or as the result of someone’s reckless actions, contact our experienced Portland personal injury attorneys today. At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide the trusted, professional legal representation you can count on to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.