First, it is important to realize that in virtually every state in the United States, personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. That means you will only be charged a legal fee if the attorney is successful in obtaining a recovery for you. Under a contingency fee, the attorney will be entitled to a percentage of the recovery. In New Jersey, for instance, an attorney is entitled to 33 1/3 percent on the first $500,000.00 recovered. In a future post I will go into further detail about how contingency fees are determined as the amount of monies recovered in a suit increases. For now lets discuss things you should know about hiring a personal injury attorney. In hiring a personal injury attorney, you will want to hire an attorney who has trial experience. Many states have board certifications for civil trial attorneys. There is also a national certification that is offered by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. While there are still many excellent attorneys who are not board certified, it is a helpful credential to use in screening attorneys. Secondly, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney that understands the problems that people with traumatic brain injuries experience. Although the diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury has been well-recognized for over the last twenty years, many plaintiffs attorneys still do not believe that people with a mild traumatic brain injury can experience long-term if not lifelong problems. Third, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney or law firm that has access to the financial resources necessary to properly prepare your case. Unlike when you break a bone and the only medical expert who will be necessary is the orthopedic surgeon, a person who sustains a traumatic brain injury will often be treated by many doctors from many specialties. Consulting neuropsychologists will be needed to examine the testing procedures and results concluded by the defense. Forensic expert witnesses require the expenditure of over $50,000.00, and will be needed to properly prepare a case which shows vocational loss and reduction in earning capacity. In summary, when hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you, it is recommended you retain a board certified trial attorney who has experience representing and trying traumatic brain injury cases, and who also has the financial resources to adequately prepare your case.