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FINDING THE RIGHT PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER Knowing the questions to ask can help in the search ALFRED M. KWINTER AND JASON F. KATZ Singer, Kwinter Y ou or a member of your family has suffered a serious injury. You need to get a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and you must act quickly. Insurance companies often attempt to interview victims and obtain statements that later can be very damaging. Also, entitlement to insurance benefits is time sensitive and your rights may be affected if you wait too long to retain legal representation. To find a top personal injury law firm: 1. Ask the lawyer who acted for you when you purchased your home or made your will to refer you to a top personal injury firm. Lawyers usually know who the best people are. 2. Ask someone you know who has been involved in a serious accident if they were satisfied with their lawyer. 3. Ask the health and rehabilitation professionals who are treating you if they have a recommendation. They usually know the leading law firms. Ask the right questions. What is the lawyer's experience and can the lawyer prove it? Select one who can prove his or her reputation through groundbreaking cases and appropriate financial awards. Does this lawyer show empathy for your case and do you feel you can 14 trust him or her? If you feel rushed or uncomfortable, move on. You must always feel that your lawyer is pursuing your best interests. Will this lawyer keep you informed? A lawyer who is vague about communicating with you is unlikely to make you feel assured and may have taken on your case intending to make a quick settlement. How will you be charged? Most personal injury lawyers get paid only when your case settles and should not ask for funds to pay for disbursements except in certain extremely complicated matters. If you are asked for a fee up front, you are typically not dealing with a seasoned and experienced personal injury lawyer. How much is your case worth? If a lawyer gives you an amount as to what your case is worth, beware! There are legal caps set as to how much someone can recover in Canada for pain and suffering but there are too many factors that enter into the final result to be able to value a case at the first interview. Will you have to go to court? More than 90 per cent of all cases settle prior to trial. There is an excellent chance that you will never end up in court but if you do, you need to know in advance what court room experience and success your selected lawyer has had in trials. Singer, Kwinter never asks for a fee up front except as noted above and is well known for its dedication to clients. We are tenacious and willing to fight for our clients. For more than three decades the firm has built an enviable record for winning groundbreaking awards and has even changed the law in pursuit of justice for our clients. Having a serious injury is daunting enough. Make sure you select a personal injury lawyer who fits into your care team and will help ease the burden so you can focus on your recovery. Alfred Kwinter is the founding partner of Singer, Kwinter and recently won the largest award for chronic pain in Canada. Jason Katz has successfully represented accident victims throughout Ontario for many years. Singer, Kwinter was named one of Canada's top five personal injury law firms by Canadian Lawyer magazine in 2011. PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS SINCE 1974 PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS SINCE 1974 PERSONAL INJURY

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