Most people think that the process of hiring a lawyer raises a lot of concern. Almost one hundred percent of those who have used the legal services of a lawyer value as very important, to know if they are choosing the most appropriate lawyer to solve their legal problem.
Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case doesn’t escape those doubts either. In addition, it is obvious that after you have suffered serious injuries you want compensation to pay your medical bills, recover lost wages and other personal injuries.
The first thing you can do is turn to reliable sources to find the best personal injury attorneys, who can fit your needs and lifestyle. For example, you can ask among your friends and acquaintances if they have had a legal problem similar to yours and which attorney advised them about their legal rights.
You can also turn to reliable online directories that have years of experience in the legal market, where you can see the profile of law firms and clients’ assessments of the best lawyers.
Once you have one or more candidates, it is advisable to start a research process to evaluate which legal service is best for you.
To help you make your final decision, here are ten important questions you should ask your attorney on your first appointment.
1. How many years of experience do you have in the personal injury practice?
It is very convenient that your personal injury lawyer is not a beginner, but rather a trained professional.
Usually, lawyers with less expertise work hand in hand with more expert ones and collaborate on important tasks during the development of the claim. These key tasks allow them to develop professionally.
2. Have you worked on personal injury cases like mine?
It is advisable to choose an attorney who has experience in the practice of personal injury in particular. That is, not because an attorney is very good at solving types of cases such as divorces or criminals, they will necessarily be able to represent you with the same success to face a personal injury problem.
When the lawyer responds to this concern you should be able to know how competent he is to represent you with your specific matter; for example, such as a whiplash injury due to car accidents, blow to the back from slip and fall, a punch to the face, food poisoning from a contaminated meal in a restaurant, wrongful death of a loved one, medical malpractice, etc.
3. How many cases similar to this have concluded in a trial or settlement?
An experienced personal injury attorney should be able to answer you, if he has handled cases similar to yours, and should also be able to give you examples that let you know your success rate, either by achieving a solution in court or through an agreement.
It should also demonstrate your skills in negotiating with insurance companies and all parties involved. Valuing the success of the law firm is very relevant.
4. Do you have a supportive team of lawyers and paralegals or do you work alone?
The answer to this question is very important, because it can offer you an idea of the resources available to the lawyer.
For example, if you work alone, you may be a busy lawyer and may not be able to put in the effort you expect. But if you have a law firm to help you research and collect the evidence you need, your case is more likely to develop successfully or there are more people to give you details of progress.
It is also true that every personal injury case is different and some require more work than others. But if you want to meet the legal team that accompanies your attorney, you may require it.
5. Can I call frequently to find out the progress of the case?
One of the most frequent complaints faced by clients is the lack of communication from some lawyers.
The attorney you want to hire should tell you how often there will be reports about your personal injury case. Ask about their frequency policy for phone calls, emails, and messages, and ask that it be in your contract in writing.
6. What will be your strategy for handling my personal injury claim?
An attorney with years of experience, in personal injury cases similar to yours, should be able to demonstrate all the steps to take to achieve a successful resolution.
As the attorney explains, you will be able to demonstrate your organizational ability, knowledge of the law, and procedures on lawsuits. Also, consider that personal injury laws vary by state, so you should also make sure your attorney knows that jurisdiction and the deadlines for filing claims.
7. How likely is it to end up with a speedy settlement or trial?
An attorney who has handled personal injury cases should be in a position to estimate the reasonable time it will take to achieve termination of your case. He or she can also explain, depending on your circumstances, what the process for proving the fault of the party responsible for the accident will look like, and strategies for collecting the evidence you need.
Law firms that offer extraordinary and quick results to the injured person usually inspire distrust.
8. Now that you know my problem, tell me if I have a valid claim or not?
An experienced attorney can let you know if it is worth initiating a claim according to the facts you have exposed to him. Sometimes, some people are injured, but there is no legal path to claim compensation or make a lawsuit.
A good lawyer can provide you with an accurate analysis of the possibilities of your claim, without offering you false hope. It can even give you a free evaluation.
9. Does your law firm have a professional liability insurance policy?
In the United States it is very common for personal injury lawyers, as well as other legal practices, to have insurance that covers professional negligence. This way clients are protected, if mistakes or professional malpractice occur while developing their legal case.
10. Could you explain how to pay your fees and other expenses?
Answering this question is time-consuming, but it is very important to ask. You will not want to receive surprise bills, or unforeseen expenses.
Most attorneys who work personal injury cases do so for contingent fees; that is, if you win the case they charge an agreed amount. If they lose the case, they receive no compensation. It is also possible to establish an installment payment agreement. And you will most likely be offered your first free consultation.
Another formula used is to turn to a litigation financing company. However, before accepting loans of that type be very cautious.
Accident lawyers cannot guarantee you a specific end result, but they can come close to what you expect. Also, if your personal injury case involves a new area to explore, or some kind of injustice that hasn’t been dealt with before by a court, then it may be harder to fix it. But certainly, do not miss the opportunity to consult opinions and your legal options.
We recommend you read:
- What is personal injury?
- Types of Accidents That Result in Personal Injury
- How much can I earn in a car accident lawsuit?
Talk to a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney Today
This article is meant to be helpful and informative, but legal matters can become complicated and stressful. A qualified personal injury attorney can attend to your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a qualified personal injury attorney near you to discuss your particular legal situation.