A personal injury can happen when you least expect it — on your morning drive to work, while walking around in your neighborhood or on vacation. Suddenly, you may have to deal with a mountain of medical bills, on top of pain and suffering and lost wages.

A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process to your greatest advantage. Your lawyer can take care of complex claims paperwork and insurance settlement negotiations on your behalf while you concentrate on healing.

Experience in your practice area

No two personal injury claims are exactly alike. However, the lawyer you choose should hopefully have experience in the general practice area of your case. Experience means the attorney will understand what the related laws are and how to handle your case type. Ask the attorney about his or her prior experience with car accidents, slip-and-falls, dog bites or another case type.

 Local law office

 Find an attorney near you in West Hartford, Connecticut. A local lawyer is most convenient for you to visit, but that is not the most important reason. An attorney who works in the vicinity is more likely to have a rapport with the judges and courtroom personnel in the county court that hears your case. A reputation of excellence in your community could help you successfully settle your claim.

 Litigation capabilities

 Although most personal injury cases do not go to trial, it is often in your best interest to hire a lawyer with litigation abilities. An attorney with courtroom experience who has tried cases to verdict before judges and juries can give your claim an edge. The ability to take a case to court often motivates insurance companies to offer higher settlements. If not, your lawyer could take the insurer to trial.

A personal touch

Try to avoid settlement-mill types of law firms. Your serious injuries deserve one-on-one attention from a lead attorney. During an initial consultation, ask the lawyer if he or she will be the one representing you, rather than handing the case to a paralegal or associate. Look for personal care and attention from your injury lawyer.