About 5 million Americans suffer from a dog bite each year.

Do you know what would happen if you had a dog that bit someone? Even if your homeowner’s insurance covers the liability claim, it’s possible that the medical bills would exceed the coverage payouts. Before you know it, your house guest could make you the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit!

Whenever you’re accused of causing someone else harm, it’s a good idea to seek out legal counsel. What’s the best way to hire an attorney? Read on to find out.

Hire a Lawyer With Referrals

For starters, the best way to hire an attorney is by getting a referral. Talk to friends, family members, and even co-workers, to find out if they’ve ever had to work with a lawyer.

Even if the lawyer they worked with doesn’t handle cases similar to yours, the referral can still be beneficial. Lawyers love networking. Even if the referral takes you to a law firm that can’t help you, they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Set Up a Consultation

After getting a referral, you’ll need to set up a consultation. Oftentimes, consultations are completely free. Your consultation will be an opportunity to discuss the details of your case with a legal professional. If after reviewing the details of your case the attorney can help you, the next step is to get into the details of the fee structure.

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How Will You Pay?

Are you dealing with a personal injury claim? If you’re being held liable for somebody else’s injury, you’re likely being charged with some type of negligence. In some cases, attorneys will be willing to set up a special contingency-based fee structure. Oftentimes, personal injury claims can be a two-way street.

For example, let’s say you were involved in a car accident. Even if you’re being held 80% liable for the crash, the other party could still wind up having to pay 20% of the damages. A contingency payment plan means your attorney takes a percentage of whatever settlement award you receive. Shop around for the best percentage fee, without sacrificing expertise.

When to Hire a Lawyer

Now that you know the ins and outs of how to hire a lawyer, you’re probably wondering, “should I hire an attorney?”. The answer depends on what you’re dealing with. For instance, did you get your first DWI?

It’s possible an attorney can get the charges dropped against you completely. If not, since it’s a first offense, an attorney should be able to reduce your DWI punishments.

Next, anytime your reputation is on the line, you should seek out legal counsel. Even if you’re certain of your innocence, the legal system isn’t always black and white. If you don’t have a qualified attorney in your corner, you could easily be found liable for something that was out of your control. It’s also a good idea to seek legal counsel when you don’t understand the charges against you.

Hire an Attorney to Secure Your Future

As you can see, it’s almost always a good idea to hire an attorney when legal problems pop up. Instead of trying to navigate the court systems on your own, you can have a trusted professional there to guide you. Since consultations are usually free, set one up today.

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Whether you set the consultation up from a referral, or an online search, it’ll be good to discuss the details of your case. After getting a legal opinion on how to proceed, you’ll be able to make the best choice for your future. For more life tips, read another guide.

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