Are you interviewing various personal injury attorneys? Here are some questions you should always ask before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
In the event you suffer a form of injury, you should hire a lawyer to represent you for a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is a legal action that an injured person brings against the person or persons who are believed to have caused some form of harm.
There is a wide variety of injuries and subsequently, a variety of specializations in the world of litigation.
Due to the complexity of personal injury law, securing compensation for injury and other losses after a serious accident can be difficult without legal assistance. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers are trained in and experienced with the various forms of personal injury litigation and can be critical to achieving a just result. In order to find the right personal injury lawyer, there are important questions you should ask.
Are they a good fit?
Your lawyer is someone you will be working closely with. Therefore, it is important that you feel comfortable with them and feel that you can trust their advice. Interviewing more than one attorney before your decision can help you decide who is best for the job.
Who is handling my case?
Depending on the firm, the partner handling the case may vary from the initial point of contact. Finding out who is responsible for your case is helpful to understand their level of experience and also gives you a point of contact to ask questions about your case.
What is the cost of doing business?
Oftentimes, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning there will be no fee unless you recover money through your personal injury claim. Typically if you recover money damages, the lawyers’ fee ranges between 25 and 40 percent of the gross award.
Asking about their fees before engaging in an attorney-client relationship is important, as is ensuring that the fee agreement is explain, and is in writing. Additionally, make sure you know the quality and the qualifications of the lawyer handling the lawsuit.
What about case-related expenses?
Lawyers charge for case-related costs prior to the settlement. Make sure to ask your prospective lawyer who will be responsible for “out-of-pocket” expenses if your lawsuit does not result in a favorable outcome.
What is my case worth?
Your lawyer should have knowledge of how different factors may impact a settlement, such as preexisting medical issues or strength of liability. An experienced and thoughtful lawyer will have a good idea of case value, while also explaining how facts learned during the lawsuit will impact the ultimate outcome.
Make sure you know the quality and the qualifications of the lawyer handling the lawsuit.
Reputation matters. Having a lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases is very helpful to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Ask your potential lawyer about his or her experience as well as the results of the cases. For example, a lawyer who is primarily focused on workers’ compensation claims may not do as well with an auto accident personal injury claim.
What is your availability?
It is not uncommon for lawyers to have a hefty caseload. Asking your prospective lawyer how much time they anticipate attributing to your case is an important consideration. Depending on the personal injury claim, time can be a big factor. Emphasize the importance of getting the investigation started as soon as possible, and ask when the case will be filed. If the personal injury lawyer is unable to meet your expectations or the urgency of your situation, you may want to consider someone else.
What is the typical timeline for a case like mine?
Ask your personal injury attorney how long it generally takes to have a case resolved. Though there are many factors to consider, having a rough estimate can put your mind at ease about their experience and capability to resolve cases like yours.
Will the case have a trial?
Though cases can be settled before trial, it is best to have a lawyer capable of preparing all cases if there will be a trial. This preparation ensures there is as much evidence as possible to support your suit, and also puts the insurance company on notice that an early, inadequate settlement will not happen.
Before you make a selection, be sure to read about your prospective lawyer’s experience and have a discussion with them to help you determine who would best represent you. Verify they have the experience and the ability necessary to take your case on. Keep in mind that having a close working relationship is going to be a factor. Being selective and ensuring you have proper representation can save you a lot of stress and trouble in the long run. Weigh your options carefully so that you give yourself the best chance of achieving a just result in your personal injury lawsuit.
In the end, it is beneficial to consult a personal injury attorney for their specialization and expertise in handling personal injury claims. Due to the complexity of personal injury claims, finding a personal injury lawyer who is a good fit for your needs will be key. Choosing a personal injury lawyer is an important decision that can make or break your case and impact your quality of life after an injury. Being compensated for injuries and other losses has the potential to reduce the severity of hardship experienced by the person injured.
James Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.