Why do you need a lawyer at all?
Ideally, the insurance company should compensate you after you have suffered an injury but that does not always happen. It is typical of insurance companies to make you run from pillar to post and finally, deny any compensation. In whatever few cases compensation does flow out, it may happen after a lot of harassment and time wastage.
The insurance companies employ each legal trick available to deny you compensation and it is easy because you are not expected to know personal injury law. A personal injury lawyer can forcefully present your case and the lawyer knows every trick in the in the lawbook. So, probability of securing compensation increases.
The lawyers usually charge the contingent fee which means that you pay your lawyer a percentage of your compensation. However, if you do not get any compensation, you do not need to pay even a dime. The charges vary across states — a lawyer in Texas charges differently from a San Jose attorney. Still, charges range between 30% and 40% of the compensation. You may attempt to negotiate the charges but reputed lawyers usually do not budge on their rates.
There are a lot of places — TV ads, Yellow Pages, newspaper ads, referrals, and so on. It is true that you feel confused amidst so many choices. The idea is, of course, to select the right lawyer. Usually, if you are new to such cases, it may be wise to rely on referrals. It is extremely important to select a personal injury lawyer specifically. Note that lawyers are of different categories — workers compensation law for example.
There is no such obligation at all. Most, if not all lawyers do not charge you for the first meeting. The first meeting usually is about your case details, lawyer experience and capabilities, and the cost of the suit. Note that regardless of the outcome of the case, you must bear certain costs such as the case filing fee. Of course, in the event of you not selecting the lawyer, it is reasonable to assume that the lawyer is informed.
It is not easy but analyzing the track record of the lawyer may be a good starting point. You may ask people or even participate in the online forums to find feedback. Also, you need to consider your budget as well.
Hiring a lawyer does not mean your involvement ends. You need to keep track of the developments regularly and discuss the progress with your lawyer. That is the key to speedy and competent case handling.