If you are considering obtaining legal advice for an injury, loss or death arising from a motor vehicle, motorcycle, boating or “slip and fall” accident, here are some tips to help you find the best lawyer in Kelowna (or Okanagan) for your legal needs:
1. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation. Interview the lawyer to assess:
- Is the lawyer communicating with you on a level that you understand?
- Do you feel comfortable talking to the lawyer?
- Is the lawyer considerate of your injuries and loss?
- Do you feel this is a person you can rely on and trust?
- Does the lawyer have the experience or expertise to handle your claim? How many years of experience does the lawyer have?
- Does the lawyer ever represent ICBC? If so, be aware that he/she cannot sue ICBC for bad faith claims, which could limit your legal rights.
- Is the lawyer capable and prepared to take your case to court, if necessary? If so, what courtroom experience does the lawyer have?
- Does the lawyer have certified mediation training?
- What is the lawyer’s specific knowledge of your type of injury or injuries in a medical sense? For example, does he/she know the medical diagnosis for fibromyalgia? Do they appear to be knowledgeable about soft tissue injuries, chronic pain, or psychological trauma?
- How much will the lawyer bill you? What is a percentage or contingency fee? What about expenses or disbursements incurred by the law firm? What about your out-of-pocket expenses?
2. Personal injury law often requires the input of numerous experts; e.g., various medical experts, neuropsychologists, accident reconstruction experts, occupational and vocational therapists and economists, to name a few. These experts, including your own family doctor, charge from hundreds to thousands of dollars for their expert opinion. It is important that your lawyer not only know what type of expert opinion will be required, but also to be able to fund payment of all of these opinions until the case is resolved. You do not want a lawyer who is not prepared to hire and fund the experts required to properly prepare your case.
3. Sometimes, an MRI is required, but waiting times are often long and can delay matters. Does your lawyer have the ability to skip the waiting times and expedite your MRI?
4. Don’t be afraid to research the lawyer’s legal reputation. Ask acquaintances, study the lawyer’s website, do Google searches. Remember, you are looking for a lawyer to best serve your needs in injury matters. Lawyers specializing in family matters, real estate transactions or business law may be great lawyers, but are not necessarily the best lawyers in Kelowna to look after your accident related needs.