How do I Choose the Best Sexual Assault Lawyer?

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  • Written By: L. Dunne
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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If you have been sexually assaulted, try to find a sexual assault lawyer that you are comfortable with. Aside from any criminal charges the state brings against your assailant, you may also be able to bring a civil law suit against him or her. Sexual assault is considered a personal injury, and you may be able to recover financially for the damage the assault has caused. When choosing your sexual assault lawyer, you may want to consult with more than one law firm. Consider the reputation of each firm and the costs involved in bringing the lawsuit.

Finding a lawyer who can handle your case according to your wants and needs is crucial. Not all sexual assault cases are good candidates for a civil law suit, and it is important to discuss all aspects of your case and to be open from the beginning so that the sexual assault lawyer can determine if your case is a good candidate. This can also help with the decision of who should handle your sexual assault case. If one lawyer or firm decides you are not likely to win the lawsuit, speak to several others.

You should not hesitate to meet with several law firms regarding your case. This gives you options for the handling of your case and helps in determining who is most compatible with you. These meetings should be free consultations. Usually, there will be no fee for an initial case evaluation. The first meeting is as much for the lawyer to make his or her decision as it is for you.

For most personal injury cases, the lawyer is paid a contingency fee rather than a flat hourly fee. This means the amount owed to the sexual assault lawyer is based on the amount settled on or won at trial. Of course, there may be additional administrative and court costs that are owed from the settlement, as well, but the contingency fee is typically between 33% and 40% of the amount awarded. It is usually not in your best interests to choose a firm with flat hourly rates for this type of case.

Reputation is important when choosing a sexual assault lawyer. You may want to check for cases won or settled favorably by a particular lawyer. You can check with the the state or local bar association for a list of personal injury or sexual assault lawyers in your area, as well. A good lawyer should be busy, but both the lawyer and staff still need to have the time to devote to each client.

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