In 2020 alone, Minneapolis and Hennepin County had 15,568 vehicle crashes that injured more than 5,700 people. Those who get hurt in an auto accident may or may not need a personal injury lawyer. Those with more severe injuries will likely seek the help of an expert who can navigate the legal realm surrounding accident cases. In Minneapolis, personal injury lawyers can handle vehicle accidents, workers’ compensation cases and class action injury lawsuits.
To get the best settlement possible, look for an expert who can communicate effectively with both you and with the other party. Here are some important details to keep in mind when hiring a Minneapolis personal injury lawyer.
How To Find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Minneapolis
If you run a Google search, you’ll see that Minneapolis has no shortage of personal injury lawyers. Finding one that best suits your needs will require a bit of work on your part, but it isn’t hard. Take the time to talk to multiple lawyers who specialize in your type of case to get the service and results you deserve.
Ask the following questions when interviewing a Minneapolis personal injury lawyer.
Who Can I Talk to as a Reference?
Good lawyers have a list of references who will be happy to discuss their experiences with you. Get a set of references from the attorney and call those references to find out their experiences with the lawyer. Find out how long they worked together, what communication was like and whether or not they felt they got fair results in their cases.
What Are Your Communication Systems?
Ask the lawyer how they’ll communicate with you and how often you’ll receive updates about your case. Personal injury cases can take months—if not years—to settle, depending on how severe your injuries are. You want someone who quickly notifies you of developments and stays in touch when things are slow. Find out how often you can expect to hear from the lawyer and whether or not that is via a phone call or email. Everyone has their own preference for how they want to be contacted, so find an attorney who communicates in the avenue you want.
Will My Case Go to Litigation?
Your personal injury lawyer will most likely try to settle your claim with the insurance company without going to court. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to pay a reasonable settlement, the next step is to file a lawsuit. This begins the process known as litigation.
About 95% of the time, your case will eventually settle, but a small percentage of personal injury lawsuits do go to a court trial. An experienced lawyer won’t guarantee anything but will give you a sense of whether or not your case is likely to go to court. If it does, you want to ensure that the attorney has a solid track record in litigation cases. Don’t hesitate to ask how many cases they’ve tried and what their success rate is.
What Are Your Fees?
Stay away from lawyers who want to charge an hourly fee. It is the industry standard for personal injury lawyers to work on a contingency. This means that instead of paying your lawyer’s fees up front, your lawyer will deduct a percentage from the amount you recover for your injuries. While there is no set rule for how much they can charge, the average range in Minneapolis is between 33% and 40% of your settlement amount. If you’re meeting with a lawyer who charges more, make sure they have the experience and track record to justify it.
Who Is on Your Team?
An excellent personal injury attorney has a team or set of resources that helps them do their job better. On their team may be assistants and paralegals. Find out what type of contact you’ll have with these people or whether you should expect to speak with the lawyer exclusively. Good personal injury lawyers also have a list of medical providers they work with to help you get the best care possible and recover as fully and quickly as possible. A personal injury lawyer who doesn’t have a strong team and network might not be a good fit for you.
Interview Multiple Personal Injury Lawyers
As you can see, finding the right personal injury lawyer is a process. Chances are, you need to speak with several to find the right fit. Asking multiple lawyers these questions will also help you set the right expectations for your case, as each lawyer will give you an idea of what you can expect from a settlement for your injuries. Hopefully, the range is narrow, and it helps you understand what the payout is likely to be for you.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Minneapolis
Nothing says that you need to hire a personal injury lawyer after an accident. However, without a lawyer, you’re left to negotiate with insurance companies on your own. Navigating the information from medical providers and how the law views your injuries is something you might not be well versed in.
That’s especially true if your injuries are serious, if the cause of the accident is complicated or if it’s not clear who is at fault. This is where personal injury lawyers earn their fees; they connect all the dots and take the stress off of you when negotiating with big insurance companies.
How Can the Minnesota Bar Association Help?
The Minnesota State Bar Association can assist those injured in accidents find a lawyer who can help them. Referral counselors can help you make appointments with lawyers and give you basic information about the legal process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a typical personal injury settlement?
Settlements vary based on the severity of your injuries and the impact they have on your life going forward. They can also vary based on the amount of money or insurance coverage the responsible party has. If you were partly at fault, that can also affect your settlement.
Can I ask my lawyer what my case is worth?
While your lawyer can’t predict a guaranteed settlement amount, they should have the experience to tell you the value range of your case. This is something that you have a right to ask and get a realistic answer to. It’s a red flag if your lawyer doesn’t want to give you an idea of what your case is worth.