Important Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
In the aftermath of an accident, you’ll need to do two things pretty quickly: seek medical attention and find an experienced personal injury lawyer.
But there are a lot of attorneys out there, and some may be a better fit for your case than others.
How do you know which lawyer is the right choice? How do you know what to expect out of your case? Do you even have a case?
In order to make the most educated decisions possible, you’ll need to ask a few questions. Here are some of the questions to ask when looking for a personal injury lawyer.
10 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Personal Injury Lawyer after your accident
1. WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY IN PERSONAL INJURY LAW?
Lawyers, like doctors, specialize in certain types of law. If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you want a lawyer specializing in personal injury law.
It goes without saying, that if you have experienced personal injury due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, you shouldn’t go to a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in personal injury.
To take it a step further, you want a personal injury attorney specializing in the type of personal injury you have experienced, such as car accidents or slip and falls.
While many personal injury cases never make it to trial, you want an injury attorney who knows the ins and outs of personal injury cases if the case does proceed to court.
2. Have You Ever Handled a PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM Like Mine Before?
While all lawyers at some point start with minimal experience, you don’t probably want your personal injury lawyer to garner their first experience as a lawyer with your case.
You want a seasoned lawyer who will know how to negotiate and proceed on your behalf. You can also ask here about their track record on similar cases.
If the injury attorney has handled a case like yours, ask them to talk to you about it. Of course, an attorney can’t divulge particulars. But they can share the basics of handling the case and outcome.
This type of question can give you an idea about the timeline and progression of a typical personal injury case.
3. HOW MANY PERSONAL INJURY CASES HAVE YOU won?
Knowing how much a law firm has recovered for past clients and their success rate is crucial when deciding on a personal injury lawyer.
Not all personal injury cases go to trial, but you should still be sure to ask about their experiences in the courtroom.
A good lawyer should have no problem being honest and transparent about how many of their cases have gone to trial and how many of those cases they have won before a jury.
The attorneys at Wettermark Keith have a long history of success, with over $1 billion recovered for clients and a 95% success rate.
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4. DO YOU THINK I HAVE A GOOD CASE?
Here, you don’t need a comprehensive analysis of your case by any means. However, asking the personal injury attorney for a few reasons why they believe there is a high chance of obtaining compensation is a always good idea.
This question is also a great opportunity to point out any areas of concern that may need to be addressed. It’s better to know about any threats to your case now rather than months down the line.
5. How Do You Expect My Case to Proceed?
One of the most important questions to ask a personal injury lawyer is how they would proceed with your case. While they can’t anticipate what the opposing side will do or how they’ll react, they should be able to talk you through your case.
This kind of question gives a good perspective on how a personal injury lawsuit is handled and what you should expect as your case progresses.
It’s important you understand that the longer your case goes, the longer you may go without compensation to pay medical bills or cover lost wages. This is the reason many insurance companies will try to get a settlement quickly.
You need an attorney who can move your case along and be forthright with you about the process.
This question also provides good information about how your attorney will communicate with others and with you.
6. What Will My Case Cost in Legal Fees?
Most personal injury lawyers are paid by a contingency fee, which means you don’t pay them anything unless you win — and if you do win, they take a portion of any money you receive.
If an attorney charges based on the hour, regardless of whether you win or lose, you could find yourself shelling out a lot of money while getting hit with medical bills and lost wages.
The attorney should be willing to spell out what the anticipated costs will be. Sometimes the attorney will ask for a small retainer to cover anticipated court costs.
While some people feel nervous about asking directly, it’s important you understand the cost of proceeding with your case, even if you will only pay it later on a contingency basis.
7. How Often Does a Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
The answer to this question may give you an idea of whether or not the attorney is just looking for a quick payout or whether they are truly invested in getting you the most compensation possible.
If they rarely go to trial, it may be a sign that they tend to go for the payout over fighting for your full compensation.
You should hire an attorney willing to go to trial if necessary and be prepared to win. You don’t want to hire an attorney who only settles to avoid trial cases.
8. IF I LOSE, DO I HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING?
This is an essential question to ask because some lawyers will require you to pay for any case-related costs in addition to a contingency fee.
You should always ask a personal injury attorney who will be responsible for paying these out-of-pocket costs in the event that your case is unsuccessful.
Here at Wettermark Keith, if we don’t win your case, you pay nothing.
9. WHICH PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY Will Handle My Case?
You want to know which personal injury lawyer will be working on your case. It’s not uncommon in some large firms to have the big-name lawyer meet with clients, then hand the case off to an associate.
Most lawyers have staff who support them as they work on a case. But you want to know which lawyer will be representing you in negotiations and if the case goes to trial.
10. HOW LONG COULD THIS TAKE?
The longer your case goes on, the more bills are piling up and paychecks are being missed.
Additionally, you may want an idea of how long you can expect to be tied up in legal proceedings.
Of course, it’s not reasonable to expect an exact time frame, but an experienced personal injury lawyer should be able to give you an estimate based on past cases.
LOOKING FOR A LAWYER WHO CARES?
These are just a few of the questions to ask your prospective personal injury attorney. There are plenty of other things you can discuss with the lawyers you are considering. That’s why we invite you in for a free consultation!
Ready to talk about your case? Contact us today.
HERE'S WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.