What Questions Should I Ask When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be a daunting experience. A quick online search will give you results for countless attorneys who may be able to help you. One of the best ways to find a lawyer who best fits your needs is to ask them a lot of questions.
Treat the introduction meeting like a job interview and make sure that the lawyer you hire is transparent and trustworthy. Moreover, an attorney should preempt your questions and attempt to answer them before you even ask the question - as you see here https://attorneybrianwhite.com/.
Here is a list of some of the most important questions you can ask a personal injury lawyer before you hire them.
What is your experience with cases like mine?
Don’t assume that all personal injury lawyers are well-versed in cases like yours. Personal injury attorneys specialize in a variety of different practice areas. Some of these include medical malpractice, transportation accidents, nursing home abuse, slip and falls, worker’s compensation, and product liability. If you are injured in a car accident, you'll need to hire a lawyer specializing in auto accidents.
How do you communicate with clients?
You want to make sure that you and your lawyer are on the same page regarding communication. It may not be a good match if you prefer to be informed about every detail but your lawyer likes to only meet with clients over big decisions.
Some lawyers prefer to communicate face-to-face, while others use digital platforms like email or text. You want to find an attorney who matches your communication style so you never feel like you are being left out of the decision making.
Who will be doing the work on my case?
Attorneys have several cases that they manage. Large law firms have a staff that includes senior attorneys, junior associates, paralegals, legal staff, and even law clerks or interns. You want to know who will be handling the majority of your case.
It is not a red flag if the attorney you meet with will not be handling every aspect of your case personally. Many personal injury lawyers rely on their staff to help. Having a paralegal do work will be less expensive than if it is done by a senior attorney. However, you want to make sure that the lawyer is transparent about who will be working directly on your case at the firm.
What are my fees?
There is nothing worse than getting a surprise bill. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer will only get paid if you are successful in your case. The lawyer will take a percentage of the money you received, usually between 25-40%.
You want to find out ahead of time what the lawyer expects for payment. Some attorneys charge on an hourly basis, although this type of pay for personal injury work will become expensive quickly.
Additionally, ask the attorney what type of other costs you may have during your case. There may be filing fees, administrative costs, expert witness rates, or information-gathering expenses like hiring a personal investigator. Make sure to find out if you are expected to cover these costs out-of-pocket at the time of service.
What is your success rate?
You need to know about the attorney’s results. Do they prefer to settle or do they like to go to trial? Have they presented cases before a jury? What is there success rate? It is especially important to find out what results they have for cases that are similar to yours. This information lets you know what kinds of possible outcomes you may have. It shows you the attorney’s experience and how often they win a case.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
While your attorney cannot give you an exact answer, they can give you a ballpark figure. This is important to know because you may have several medical bills that you need to pay. If you know the typical timeline, then you will be able to plan how you will pay your bills after you are compensated for your injury.
The timeline of the case is also important if you are being charged by the hour. The longer the case takes, the more you will end up paying.
What happens if I lose the case?
Some lawyers have case-related costs if you lose your case. This means that you will be responsible for this fee if you are not successful. Make sure to know this ahead of time. Also, ask what other types of ramifications may happen if you are not successful with your case. Is there a way to appeal the decision?
What are your next steps after a loss? While not ideal, it is still valuable to know so you can prepare for both success and defeat.
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