How to Hire a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer (from a Survivor)
After a spinal cord injury, the last thing you want to worry about is hiring a lawyer, but if your injury requires the attention of one, especially if you think personal litigation may be something you want to do, this is an important task you must focus on. Hiring the wrong lawyer can be detrimental to your future.
But it’s also a difficult decision to make. It can be one of the most difficult decisions you may make when dealing with an acute spinal cord injury. Remember, you can always pass off this task to someone you trust if needed. For those who have never hired a lawyer before, I hope the list of tips below is helpful.
Look for Firms/Lawyers that Specialize in SCI
Many lawyers, and law firms for that matter, love to specialize in several things in order to attract as many clients as possible. But, just like when you go to a restaurant, you never can trust the quality of the food when the menu is too big. It is just logistically impossible to give the attention needed to to every part of the menu so it is of high quality. This is why hiring a lawyer that specializes in spinal cord injury is so important. If a lawyer focuses all of their attention on a certain field, like spinal cord injuries, it gives the client the advantage.
Ask for Recommendations from People You Respect
As it goes with all recommendations in life, it's always a good idea to get a recommendation from someone you respect or look up to. If you know any lawyers or judges, you definitely want to ask them who they’d recommend. You could also ask your spinal cord injury doctor, people in the rehab field, other people that you know who have spinal cord injuries, or other professionals like businessmen, teachers or anyone else who may come into contact with lawyers.
Avoid Hiring Family or Friends
Some surefire life advice is to never hire family or friends for anything business related, and this is definitely the case when hiring a lawyer. Even if you respect your family member and trust them, or if your friend has experience with personal injury cases, you should avoid this. It can become a very difficult situation when things like payment come to the forefront. It is always better to be able to talk about this kind of thing with people you do not have a personal relationship with.
Always Interview Potential Lawyers Before Making a Final Decision
Before you make your final decision, you should always interview potential lawyers. You can do this by setting up an appointment with them, but make sure that this first meeting is free. During the interview, you'll need to ask them a list of important questions. We will not list all of them here, but here are some of the most important ones you should consider:
- Do I need the services of an attorney?
- What is your legal experience in SCI cases?
- How many SCI cases have you handled? What were the results?
- When did you graduate from law school?
- Will you personally be working on my case?
- What are your rates and how will I be billed? Do you require a retainer up front?
Hiring a lawyer is never an easy task, but I hope the advice here helps you organize your search for a lawyer. It can be a stressful time after spinal cord injury. But, with the right lawyer, you can see some exciting results when it comes to your future, and that is priceless.
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Spinal Cord Team