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10 Important Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer

August 4, 2020

Hiring a personal injury attorney is an important decision to make. After an injury, you need compensation to recover from your damages — and your lawyer is the person who is responsible for securing this compensation. To ensure you hire the right person, ask these questions during your free consultation.

#1: How Much Experience Do You Have in My Practice Area?

You want to hire a lawyer with relevant experience in your case’s practice area. You don’t want to hire a lawyer who handles only auto accident cases, for example, if your case involves a defective or dangerous product. Ask the attorney how much experience he or she has in your practice area and the types of cases he or she has handled before.

#2: Do You Work on a Contingency Fee Basis?

Personal injury claims should be accessible to all injury victims, and most personal injury law firms operate on a contingency fee basis to limit out of pocket costs. With a contingency fee, you do not have to pay legal fees unless you win a settlement, and your lawyer will take a percentage of your settlement as payment. Ensure your lawyer works on contingency to avoid unexpected costs.

#3: Have You Worked on Cases Similar to Mine?

In addition to relevant experience, you want a lawyer who has seen positive results in cases similar to yours. This experience will allow the lawyer to pass on strategies, resources, and knowledge to your claim. Hearing about the results of similar cases may provide insight into how the lawyer operates.

#4: Who Else Will Be Working on My Case?

Many people hire an attorney to handle their case, only to be in communication with junior attorneys, case managers, and other staff members. While these individuals may have the qualifications to handle your case, you may want a specific attorney to work with you. If this factor is important to you, ask who will be handling your claim.

#5: How Frequently Do You Go to Trial?

Most personal injury cases settle out of the courtroom, but your lawyer should not hesitate to bring your case to trial if necessary. Trial cases often result in a higher payout and insurance companies can offer insufficient offers during negotiation. Your attorney should do everything in his or her power to achieve maximum possible compensation.

#6: Have You Won Any Awards or Honors?

You want to hire the best attorney for your claim, and looking for a history of awards and honors from legal organizations can help you identify strong candidates. Ask the lawyer if he or she has received any of these awards in the past, or if he or she holds any prestigious leadership positions or legal memberships.

#7: What Resources Can You Offer My Claim?

An under-resourced law firm may not be able to bring your claim all the way to trial, and may try to cut corners for a faster payout. You want an attorney who can connect you with expert witnesses, who will work tirelessly for the best possible outcome, and has the financial capacity to bring your claim to trial. 

#8: What Does Your Track Record Look Like?

You want to hire an attorney with a history of successful verdicts, high-profile settlements, and positive reviews from clients. Ask your lawyer what his or her recent case results look like, and read online reviews to hear from the experiences of former clients.

#9: What Issues Can You Foresee with My Case?

You don’t want a lawyer who won’t be upfront with you about the viability of your claim. Asking an attorney what issues he or she can see with your claim allows you to see if he or she will be honest with you. In addition, this question can help you gain insight into how the lawyer will approach your claim and the steps he or she will take to combat any foreseeable issues.

#10: What Is Your Communication Policy?

Open communication is key in a personal injury claim, and you don’t want to hire a firm who won’t return your calls or emails. Ask the lawyer how often you can expect to hear from him or her or another staff member, and the best method to contact the firm.

Remember, hiring a lawyer is an important investment in your future recovery. While self-representation may seem viable, your attorney will provide several benefits that you cannot find on your own, from connections to resources and knowledge of your case area. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and his or her qualifications.

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