Sometimes, it can be difficult to secure compensation for your injuries or losses after an accident. You may need the service of an experienced injury attorney to represent your interests in settlement negotiations. Never try to file a personal injury lawsuit without consulting with an attorney. And before you hire one, there are specific questions you should ask.
Your attorney is someone whom you will be working with for as long as the case is open. Therefore, you should feel comfortable with him and see him as someone who has your best interest.
Before you choose an attorney to work with, talk to at least two to know what to expect.
Here are ten questions to ask an Injury attorney about your claim.
How much do you charge?
Most injury attorneys in America work on a contingency basis. It means that you don’t have to pay any money unless you get paid for damages in your lawsuit. If you win the case, your attorney will take a percentage of the proceeds, usually between 25 to 40%. The percentage is based on what you negotiate with the attorney at the beginning of the case.
Have you litigated injury cases similar to mine in the past?
Don’t assume that an injury lawyer has handled a similar case like yours. Ask every lawyer you meet about his experience and outcome. If your injury occurred due to a slip-and-fall, you might not need an injury attorney who only works on car accident lawsuits. The same way you won’t want to hire an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation cases to represent you in your road accident case.
How much time can you devote to my case?
Some lawyers take too many cases all at once and will delay your case while they try to get additional clients. In your interview, ask your potential injury attorney how much time they can devote to your lawsuit. Tell them that it’s crucial to get going with your case immediately. Ask him to tell you the exact date your case will be filled.
How long will it take to resolve a case like mine?
Ask him how long he thinks the case will last. Several factors can influence the duration of a case, but if your potential attorney has any experience, he should be able to give you a rough estimate. Ensure that he’s committed to resolving your case as soon as possible.
Will my case get to trial? What are my chances of winning?
Think twice about lawyers who tell you that your case won’t get to trial. Your injury attorney should expect every case to get to trial and prepare as if the case will be tried before a jury. You should feel comfortable entering settlement negotiations with a defendant with such a mindset. Such an attorney will go into settlement negotiations with as much evidence as possible. And if your case eventually goes to trial, you want to ensure that your attorney has won the case before a jury.
What is my case worth?
Your injury attorney should have a good idea about the worth of the case. He may not have the exact amount, but at least he should be able to provide an estimate and explain how factors such as discovery, liability, and preexisting medical issues might impact your settlement. That’s why you should talk to two or more lawyers before you choose who should handle your case. Don’t get carried away by attorneys who make unrealistic estimates.
Who will handle my case?
Ask the lawyer who at the firm will handle your case. Some injury firms will front senior partners to potential clients who they may never get to meet again once you reach and sign an agreement. Ask your contact who will represent you and who you can talk to when you have questions about your case. Find out if less experienced associates will be the ones handling your case and, if so, who will be supervising them.
What is my role in the lawsuit?
Before choosing an Injury attorney, ensure that you know your role in the lawsuit, and what is expected of you. Some clients want to be involved in every move regarding their case, attending depositions, and other meetings. Find out if your lawyer allows this. However, some lawyers do not. Some clients want to kick back and relax and watch from the sidelines. However, ensure that you and your injury attorney are on the same page about what they expect.
Can I meet with a past client?
Don’t be afraid to ask your potential injury attorney about their past clients. Your potential attorney may be able to provide you with the contact of at least one satisfied client. Don’t depend on website copies alone. Those may have been heavily edited.
What else do I need to know regarding my case?
After asking all the above questions, ask your potential attorney if there’s anything else you should know about your case. At this point, he may give you a recap of all the details regarding your case. And if there was anything left out in the initial conversation, you should learn about it when you ask this final question.
These questions are a great start to help you evaluate the strength and experience of your injury attorney. However, after interviewing a few lawyers, your decision to choose should come down to who makes you feel more comfortable.