How do I find a Houston Personal Injury Attorney?
When an injury is suffered, it can lead to serious emotional, financial, and health consequences that affect you or your family’s lives forever. Such injuries can lead to extensive medical treatments which require multiple trips to doctor offices, large medical bills, and lost time spent with family and earning money at work. While not all injuries can result in a lawsuit, the following are some common injuries that can lead to legal compensation:
– If an injury happens from any accident involving transportation, including cars, trucks, taxi services, buses, or any other form.
– If an injury occurs while on the premises of a building from slipping, falling, or being hit by an object due to unsafe conditions.
– If a criminal act leads to intentional harm and injuries.
A Houston personal injury attorney can help you through the long and highly technical process of recovering a settlement or court award to help you with your injuries.
What to tell your attorney
A Houston personal injury attorney must be provided enough information so that they can accurately evaluate your case to determine how best to help you. It is important that you provide information about your medical history, the injuries you suffered, and the events leading up to the injury.
Discuss all aspects of your case, even if you believe certain facts may hurt your case. Your Houston personal injury attorney must abide by confidentiality rules, so they will not disclose what you tell them.
Where to look for a Houston Personal Injury Attorney
Houston personal injury attorneys can be found throughout the city of Houston and will often advertise their services to the public. Many times, these firms will use television, radio, and newspaper advertisements in the hopes of obtaining new clients. While these sources can provide you with a good resource of names and locations of personal injury lawyers, you should never rely on the promises or claims made when choosing your attorney.
Instead, use all available tools to evaluate a Houston personal injury attorney before choosing the one that is right for you. Contact friends and family members for recommendations. The internet can also provide valuable information to help you choose. You can use the search function at the top of this page to search through lawyer listings. Legal professionals are also available to help you find the answers you need in your search for a Houston personal injury attorney.
Do I need a specialist?
Personal injury, while a specialty in itself, also has several different sub-areas that lawyers can specialize in. In Houston, you may find attorneys that work with all types of personal injury cases or take only take a select type. The general rule is that the more serious your personal injury is, the more specialized your personal attorney should be. Always ensure that any lawyer you choose has previous experience working on personal injury cases, as any mistakes can greatly affect your final outcome of the case.
Preparing for an appointment
Before meeting with a Houston personal injury attorney, it is important that your come prepared with everything needed for the lawyer to learn about your situations and file a lawsuit. Be prepared to bring in any documents relating to your case, including police reports, medical records, diagnosis, or any correspondence with insurance companies.
Questions prepared in advance can also help both you and your lawyer prepare for your case and get a better understanding of how the legal process works in Houston courts.
Evaluating Experience & Education
Any Houston personal injury attorney must have the basic requirements in order to represent you. They must have graduated from an accredited law school in the United States, meet ethic testing requirements, and pass the Texas State Bar Examination. During their practice, they must keep their bar membership active.
While these are the basic requirements for all lawyers in Houston, a good personal injury lawyer will also come with years of experience representing clients who have suffered similar personal injuries as you have. Check with local sources, such as the Houston Bar Association and Personal Injury Professional groups to ensure that any personal injury lawyer you are thinking about hiring has the proper experience and credentials.
Personality & Values
Good Houston personal injury attorneys will have a strong knowledge and developed expertise in the laws and procedures of personal injury in Texas. They will be well organized individuals who can meet deadlines, make court appearances, and know how to get through the legal system as efficiently as possible.
While almost all Houston personal injury attorneys are honest professionals, you must always be aware of their actions to ensure that your rights are protected while they represent you. If you see any red flags on the part of your attorney’s behavior, you should immediately contact the Texas bar association to secure your legal rights. Some red flags include your lawyer becoming unavailable to contact for extended periods of time, inconsistent billing, or missing deadlines for your case.
Rates, Fees & Retainers
While a Houston personal injury attorney may charge a variety of fees using different rates for their professional services, it is important that your have a basic understanding of the different forms available. Always get your fee agreements in writing and ensure that you understand them before making any agreement.
A Contingency Fee is the most common type of fee charged by a personal injury attorney. In this payment structure, a lawyer will take a certain percentage from the final award or settlement given to a client. In Texas, this amount will usually be between 30% and 40%. This is a very popular payment form, as the client does not need to put any money up front and the lawyer risks all expenses should the case be unsuccessful.
An Hourly Fee is a type of fee that is calculated based upon the total hours spent on your case. Often, these fees require an upfront payment, called a retainer, that secures their legal work.
A personal injury attorney may also require the payment of all litigation expenses, including filing fees or expert during your case.
Interviewing your attorney
Make sure to discuss the following with your Houston personal injury attorney:
What are your fees and are there any other expenses I should expect?
How long do you believe this case should take?
Have you had any experience with prior cases similar to mine?
When and how can I contact you?
When will you contact me for updates?
What can I do to further help my case at this point?