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What to Consider When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, such as an auto accident or trucking accident, or have been the victim of medical malpractice, you are likely hurt, angry and confused.  In addition to recovering physically and emotionally from the accident, you may be facing mounting medical bills and a loss of income due to the inability to work.  You may be entitled to compensation following a personal injury accident and a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can advise you of your rights and help you pursue any possible legal claims.  Before you hire a personal injury attorney, however, there are several important things to consider.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you are considering whether to hire a personal injury attorney or to handle your claim on your own, you may wish to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have thorough knowledge of the applicable personal injury laws and the legal issues involved with my claim?

  • Do I have the time and energy to invest in pursuing my claim?

  • Have I suffered serious injuries and/or damages?

  • Do I have experience dealing with insurance companies and handling the insurance claim process?

Certain personal injury claims involve such complex factual and legal issues that pursuing a claim on your own, without the assistance of a personal injury attorney, is ill-advised.  Some examples of claims that typically necessitate hiring a personal injury attorney include medical malpractice claims, birth injuries, construction accidents, spinal cord injuries, and serious auto accidents.

How Much Will a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?

Most personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingent fee basis, whereby the attorney does not get paid unless the client recovers compensation in the case. The personal injury attorney will receive a percentage of the compensation the client receives in the case.  If the client does not recover anything, the attorney does not charge any attorney fees for services provided.  The amount of the contingency fee varies from lawyer to lawyer, but most personal injury attorneys charge a contingency fee of approximately 1/3 of the personal injury award.

Where Can I Find a Personal Injury Attorney?

It is highly recommended that you hire a personal injury attorney that is familiar with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the legal claim will be made.  The Chicago personal injury law firm of Steinberg Goodman & Kalish is highly familiar with Illinois state laws, as well as applicable federal laws.

You will also want to hire an attorney that has experience handling cases pertaining to your particular situation.  For example, if you have been injured in a construction accident, you will want to hire an attorney or law firm that has experience representing clients in construction accidents.  At Steinberg Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago personal injury attorneys have experience handling cases involving medical malpractice matters, nursing home abuse and neglect, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, mass transit accidents, construction accidents, premises liability, and product liability.

Questions to Ask Your Attorney

Before retaining a personal injury attorney, you may wish to ask the attorney the following types of questions:

  • What are your areas of focus?

  • Have you handled similar cases before?

  • How many attorneys will be working on my case?

  • Will you take my case on a contingent fee basis?

  • Are there things I should do to help you with my legal claims?

  • How will you keep me informed about the progress of my case?

  • How long does it generally take for you to respond to my calls?

  • Is there someone else in your office to whom I can communicate if you are unavailable?

  • How often have you taken a case to trial?

  • Have you ever been disciplined by an ethics committee or suspended from the practice of law?

Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

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