How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for You

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | February 20, 2024
How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for You

A victim of an accidental personal injury nearly always benefits from hiring an attorney to aid in maximizing their compensation. No matter the size or type of accident, having experienced legal representation by your side is critical as you navigate this process.

Hiring the right personal injury lawyer in Chicago for you takes careful consideration of several professionals to determine which can offer the specific support you need.

Time is short when pursuing compensation for injuries, due to deadlines and the quality of evidence you need to prove your case. Seek a free consultation with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

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Key Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Your Case

There are a number of factors that play a role in the selection of a personal injury lawyer. The more you know about the attorney, their experience, and their reputation in the community, the more empowered you can be throughout your case. Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Determine Their Experience

How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for You

It is possible to say that every personal injury case is unique. The circumstances, evidence, people, and outcomes differ. Yet, experience is the most important trait for personal injury attorneys. Experience helps attorneys to know how to ask questions, where to find information, and how to develop winning legal strategies.

The amount of experience an attorney has can also enable them to make key decisions in the case, including knowing when to pursue a higher claim and how to negotiate challenging cases.

Some key questions to ask about the attorney’s experience include:

  • Does the attorney have experience within the local court system where your case will be heard if it goes to trial?
  • Does the attorney understand the specific negligence factors in your case?
  • Does the attorney’s firm have experience in cases with the same conditions, injuries, and complications as yours?
  • Does the attorney have trial experience in cases like your own if it becomes necessary to move to trial?
  • Does the attorney have experience handling the complications evident in your case, such as permanent disability or wrongful death?

An attorney with experience in the specific area of personal injury you are facing can navigate this legal process with you with fewer obstacles. They also likely have a strong relationship with the local court system to support the best possible outcome.

Determine the Attorney’s Track Record of Success

Experience is mandatory, but success is not the same. Success means helping victims receive compensation for their losses. Has the attorney successfully recovered compensation for victims in a case similar to your own?

Some attorneys may have experience getting lowball settlements for their clients. This may be acceptable in some situations, but if your case has a lot on the line, you want an attorney who has won big settlements before. They have the most desirable knowledge and insight for you.

Review their past cases with a close eye.

Determine if they have had:

  • Verdicts with successful payouts
  • Success with catastrophic injuries that adequately represent the financial support the individual needs
  • The ability to recover financial compensation in very challenging circumstances

Most attorneys are happy to discuss their most challenging class with you, especially if it relates to your case. Ask questions. Find out what they did to make a difference and their perspective on your personal injury case.

The Department of Justice estimates that up to five percent of personal injury cases go all the way to trial. You want to be sure that if your case is one of the challenging ones, you have an attorney capable of fighting the hard battle.

There is a wrongful death

Wrongful death is a very different type of personal injury case than injury-only cases. There is a great deal of loss here, but proving your family deserves compensation is often very challenging. These actions, brought on by the family members or the estate of the lost person, must be carefully considered and planned, taking significant experience from a trusted and proven attorney.

If you are a family member filing a wrongful death lawsuit, hire an attorney with specific proven experience in this area. That helps to minimize the risk of losing the case when evidence may be challenging or claims against your family member may arise.

Consider the attorney’s availability

Personal Injury Lawyer

Seek out an attorney you can reach and communicate with easily. Many times, personal injury cases are very emotionally taxing. They lead to pain and suffering, emotional trauma, distress, and lost income.

You should know you can reach your attorney if you need to do so without any type of delay or frustration.

Attorneys are professionals who handle multiple cases at one time. Their time is limited. They should still show you the time and effort they put into supporting you throughout your case. If, when seeking out their help and guidance, they are hard to reach or not client-oriented, they may not be a good fit for you.

Consider the following to assess the availability of the attorney to meet your specific needs and goals.

  • How will they communicate with you, and does that align with your needs? This can include phone calls, in-person meetings, remote video meetings, text messages, and other methods.
  • Are they friendly and personable enough to meet your expectations? If you do not get along with the attorney, they may not be the person to work with for you.
  • Is the attorney professional and someone that you feel comfortable representing you? Again, if not, it may be better to hire someone else to help you.
  • Does the attorney have time in their schedule to meet with you? If they are booked far out, that often means they may not have enough time to dedicate to your case.
  • Will you work and speak directly to your attorney or their support team? If it is their support team, who will be communicating with you, and what type of experience does that person have?

Though attorneys are highly regarded professionals with much to offer you, remember you are hiring them to provide legal services to you. That means you should receive respect, time, and good customer service. If that does not happen, you may want to consider an alternative professional.

Many personal injury cases require a significant amount of additional support beyond just filing a claim. They require research, investigation, and insight into complicated health conditions. This often means attorneys must turn to third-party resources to help them prove their case.

Some attorneys have better access to these services than others do. A good example of this is access to medical experts. Consider a traumatic brain injury, one of the most complicated and most significant personal injury cases.

These cases often involve a significant understanding of the brain’s structural design and functions. It also takes understanding the complexity of these injuries and how they will impact a person for years. An attorney with strong knowledge and resources has the supportive resources they need to meet client needs.

The same applies to accident recreation. Does the attorney have access to a specialist in this area, perhaps one certified by the National Association of Professional Accident Reconstruction Specialists? If so, that means there is a relationship established to benefit you, the victim, to use these services as a way to prove what occurred and how it happened. There are many accident cases in which decisions come down to the statements of those involved. These professionals provide another layer of support for your case.

Many attorneys have resources like these readily available to them, on hand, to provide them with support and guidance. They should also have additional resources such as a network of local professionals in various construction industries, automotive design or repair, and experienced medical professionals. These resources can all prove to be invaluable in some personal injury matters.

An Attorney Needs to Believe in Your Case

Personal Injury Claim

As you consider all of the factors important to you in choosing a personal injury attorney, do not overlook the importance of hiring a personal injury attorney who believes in your case. An attorney’s job is to represent you and to provide you with clear, even frank information about your case.

If they feel they cannot prove your case or they cannot provide a legal strategy that can increase your ability to receive compensation, it may be time to move on to another professional.

Choose an attorney with the time, ability, and willingness to fight for the compensation you deserve. There are a few ways to understand this. The attorney should listen to you describe what occurred.

They should ask questions and even question what you said to determine just how accurate that information is. They should then provide clarity on what may be challenging to prove. This shows the attorney is truly interested in your case.

They should then be willing to determine your losses beyond medical bills and property loss. Is the attorney willing to understand how much this has changed your life? If so, they may be willing to work hard to prove that you are owed compensation.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

Ask your personal injury attorney what your case is worth. Most attorneys will provide basic figures initially but, more importantly, will clarify whether you have a case and what it will take to prove your claims. You do not benefit from inflated numbers or any details that are not accurately represented.

Instead, ask about the attorney’s experience with other cases like yours.

  • What have they helped others in the specific situation receive in compensation?
  • What types of compensation do they believe you qualify for?
  • What factors may limit your ability to claim the highest level possible?
  • What can you do to prove that you are owed more in your case?
  • What does the attorney believe you can receive for non-economic losses?

Having this conversation early on is important. It allows you to judge what type and amount of work the personal injury lawyer will put into your case to prove your rightful compensation. Most importantly, it helps to create a realistic level of expectation in your case.

Determine How the Attorney Is Paid

Another very important component of your initial conversation with a personal injury attorney should be about the cost. You are purchasing a service that requires an expert’s time commitment. The best personal injury attorneys are always upfront about the cost. There are several things to expect here.

A free consultation

Most personal injury attorneys provide a free case evaluation or consultation. This is an opportunity to meet with the attorney or their representative to discuss your case openly and with all the rights to privacy afforded under the law. This allows you to get to know the attorney.

Anthony Bruning
Personal Injury Lawyer, Anthony Bruning

Your personal injury attorney may offer some basic information but is not giving you legal advice at this point until (and unless) you form a legal agreement with them.

A contingency fee

Many personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency agreement. This means you do not pay for your legal services until you win your case and receive your settlement.

Then, a portion of your settlement is used to pay for the legal fees owed to your attorney. This method is often ideal for personal injury cases because many people are out of work due to the negligence of others. Find out if your attorney offers this service.

Schedule a Time to Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney Now

You are facing a life-changing situation. You must hire a well-qualified attorney to represent you in a court of law and with the insurance company. The personal injury attorney you hire often has a direct impact on the outcome of your case.

Meet with our team to learn more about the legal services we offer. Find out why our clients choose to work with us.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

Author's Bio

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