Following a personal injury in Hillsville, it is smart of you to engage an attorney. It takes considerable work to file a claim, but negotiating a settlement is another game altogether. Insurance companies work to reduce settlements, and if you are not careful, the claims adjuster will find a way to deny your claim. For instance, if you were injured in a car crash and gave a statement to the insurance company where you seem to be sorry for the mishap, the claims adjuster may pass the blame on you. As per Virginia’s contributory negligence law, you cannot recover anything even when you have a minor share in the blame.
Your best bet is to hire a Hillsville Personal Injury Lawer, who can guide you through the case. If you are new to hiring an attorney, here are some red flags to watch for!
- Wants an upfront fee to review your case: Almost all law firms in Virginia offer free consultations, and therefore if an attorney is charging a fee to offer an assessment for your case, that is clearly not a good sign.
- Wants an hourly rate: An injury lawyer is expected to work on a contingency fee, a percentage of the final compensation. For instance, if you get X in settlement and your lawyer wants 33% as their fee, you have to pay that amount after other expenses.
- Wants to lie: Your lawyer should be aggressive and honest at the same time. They should negotiate the settlement without any fear, but that doesn’t give them the leverage to lie about your injuries or losses. Don’t hire an injury lawyer who wants to inflate your claim.
- Intends to go to court right away: While some personal injury lawsuits go to trial, your lawyer’s aim should be to get a fair settlement through negotiation. You don’t need an overtly aggressive lawyer who doesn’t want to think of anything but going to court.
- Is never available: There is no denying that injury lawyers are always busy and have many cases on their plate. However, that doesn’t mean that they ignore communication with you. When you meet a lawyer, ask them about getting updates on the case and how you can get in touch with them when required.
Finally, don’t hire an attorney who is ready to promise a guaranteed outcome. No matter how experienced, no injury lawyer can assure an exact settlement.