9 Questions To Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury of any kind can throw your life off track.
Whether you were in a car accident, experienced a slip and fall, or suffered workplace injuries, there's no way to be fully prepared for the outcome.
When you're injured, you will likely incur expensive medical costs, lost wages from your job, and be forced to deal with an insurance company. If your injuries are due to someone else's negligence, you should always consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has success with personal injury cases. Personal injury law is very complicated and not something you should try to navigate on your own, especially when tending to an injury.
But what's the best way to find a proven law firm with a high success rate and a track record of success? The key is asking the right questions.
The article below will go over 9 of the most important questions you can ask when researching legal representation.
Table Of Contents
- Can You Handle My Case?
- How Many Cases Similar To Mine Have You Handled?
- What Do You Charge?
- Do I Pay Advanced Costs If We Lose?
- What Is Your Opinion Of My Case?
- Do You See Any Difficulties With My Case?
- How Many Cases Have You Won In Court?
- What's My Role In The Lawsuit?
- How Will My Personal Injury Lawyer and Their Legal Staff Communicate With Me?
- Can I Speak To A Previous Client?
- Filing A Personal Injury Claim
Can You Handle My Case?
You should get this question out of the way immediately.
Good lawyers know their limits, and they understand that they can only devote so much of their talent, energy, and time to their work. The lawyer you want representing you and your personal injury lawsuit should believe in the people and causes they represent. Those lawyers won't sign clients up when they know the case won't receive the attention it deserves.
A smaller personal injury firm is more likely to have issues with availability. Larger, more established firms with multiple lawyers, paralegals, record specialists, and other experienced staff may be ideal.
It is important to make certain your attorney has the time and energy to become familiar with your accident lawsuit and fight for you.
How Many Cases Similar To Mine Have You Handled?
Don't rule out an attorney that doesn't have experience with cases similar to yours if they are supported by a more experienced senior attorney in their firm.
On the other hand, you don't want your personal injury lawsuit to be the first one like it ever handled by a solo lawyer. Just because a seasoned lawyer or a law firm has been around for some time doesn't mean they have experience with cases similar to yours.
It's in your best interest to seek out a potential lawyer who has tried and won cases comparable to yours for previously satisfied clients.
What Do You Charge?
Almost every personal injury attorney will operate on a contingency fee basis. Working on contingency means that you don't pay your attorney anything unless they recover monetary damages in your personal injury lawsuit.
With a contingency basis agreement, you won't have any out-of-pocket expenses upfront. Instead, your accident lawyer will take a fixed percentage of the money you're awarded when they've won your case.
Verify with your attorney what that percentage is. Most of the time, it will range between 20% and 40%.
Do I Pay Advanced Costs If We Lose?
Accident lawyers generally fund the legal costs of litigation. The out-of-pocket costs lawyers finance include filing fees, medical records retrieval fees, police reports, and expert witness fees.
Personal injury lawyers will also work with you to establish medical liens with doctors and chiropractors. You will not be responsible for the medical bills until you receive your payout from the accident.
Most lawyers will stipulate which case-related costs are your responsibility if the case is lost. Find out what fees are required for you to cover if you lose your case.
Always ask this question when seeking legal counsel so you know if you will have to pay additional costs if the case is lost. Take the time to read over everything with your attorney and get your questions answered. You should fully comprehend any agreements you are asked to sign.
What Is Your Opinion Of My Case?
As a personal injury victim, it is very easy to assume that your case will be a slam dunk and that you will easily win substantial financial compensation. However, even similar personal injury accidents can be very different from one another.
Sometimes the law itself or the circumstances of your case may make a court case difficult. That's why it's in your best interest to work with skilled lawyers. You need a seasoned lawyer who is objective and unbiased.
Your attorney will tell you what your chances of winning are, about how much your case is worth financially, and if it's worth pursuing. This is often one of the most important questions you will ask an experienced attorney so you can avoid additional headaches and frustration.
Do You See Any Difficulties With My Case?
There are challenges and legal issues unique to each personal injury case.
This question will be difficult for inexperienced lawyers, but an experienced lawyer will easily point the difficulties out to you.
If you speak to an attorney who tells you that your case will be smooth-sailing, that should be a serious red flag. There's nothing easy or straightforward with a personal injury case.
The entire process is very complex, and any seasoned lawyer who has a track record of effectively settling different types of cases will be upfront with you about it.
A reputable personal injury attorney will be honest with you right away about the issues and difficulties you may face, and they will also propose a viable solution.
How Many Cases Have You Won In Court?
If your lawyer receives a fair, reasonable financial compensation offer before your case goes to trial, they won't need to have extensive trial experience to go in front of a jury.
But if both parties can't agree on a fair settlement amount, a jury trial may be inevitable.
You need to establish trust with your legal representation during this difficult time so you know they are willing to fight for the maximum compensation by preparing your case as if it will go to trial.
What's My Role In The Lawsuit?
Before you hire a personal injury lawyer, you need to be sure you understand what they will expect of you.
Some people want to be very hands-on and involved in their case and attend depositions and other meetings. If this is important to you, you need to know if your lawyer allows this because some lawyers do not.
Other people want to let their lawyers handle the case and remain on the sidelines. Be sure you are on the same page with your personal injury lawyer about what your legal relationship will look like.
How Will My Personal Injury Lawyer and Their Legal Staff Communicate With Me?
You want to feel confident that your personal injury lawyer is going to keep you up-to-date throughout the entire case process. Being left in the dark about what's going on with your case can cause a large amount of stress.
The firm you hire should provide you with specific information about who is working on your case, including names, phone numbers, and emails. Ask what form of communication they respond to the most. Some attorneys prefer to communicate through email so they can establish a detailed record.
Also, let them know how best to reach you. Maybe you have a job where you cannot answer the phone during certain hours. Maybe you respond more quickly to text messages.
Your lawyer should let you know how frequently they will keep you updated on the case during your initial consultation. Let them know how involved you want to be.
Can I Speak To A Previous Client?
Don't be afraid to ask your potential personal injury lawyer for a reference or two.
Your attorney should happily provide you with contact information for one or two of their satisfied clients.
Don't just rely on website copy, attorney advertisements, or promotional materials alone because these are often heavily edited.
Filing A Personal Injury Claim
If you've been involved in any type of personal injury accident, don't be afraid to ask these questions when trying to find a high-quality attorney. If you make the mistake of hiring the first accident lawyer you find on Google without doing any research, you may ultimately end up on the hook for your medical expenses and other property damage.
If you've been injured in an accident and need to speak to a lawyer, contact Helping The Hurt. They understand the struggle that every personal injury client faces, and their goal is to make each client feel appreciated and ensure their individual needs are met.
The team at Helping the Hurt has helped thousands of clients get the results they deserve, and they are prepared to help you today. Click "call now" or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation.