Common personal injury questions you should ask an attorney
A personal injury claim can get you rightful compensation to deal with medical expenses and financial hardships that come after an accident. However, getting adequate compensation can be difficult as the opposite party will try hard to prove it was your fault. You need a skilled personal injury attorney on your side to build your case and get you justice.
There are hundreds of personal injury attorneys offering their services. But you need to find the right one who can be your trusted advisor and work closely with you to get you justice. To make things manageable for you, here is a list of common personal injury questions you should ask an attorney.
What areas do you specialize in?
There are several types of personal injury claims, like slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, and auto accident injury. Different lawyers specialize in contrasting fields of law. Some lawyers practice in personal injury cases while some concentrate in divorce cases. It would be best if you went to a lawyer who specializes in personal injury laws.
Have you taken similar cases in the past? If yes, what was the outcome?
Personal injury cases are complicated. Just because the lawyer is practicing in the personal injury law field does not make him/her an expert. The Lawyer’s track record will give you an idea of the lawyer’s expertise in fighting such cases. Most jurisdictions allow lawyers to share details of their previous cases; hence getting the information should not be a problem.
You need to select an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows to use the collected evidence to your advantage and get you the maximum compensation possible.
What are your fees?
It is one of the crucial questions to ask the attorney. Most personal injury attorneys take contingency fees from their clients. In other words, they take a percentage of the final settlement amount their client receives. The contingency fees vary with lawyers. Some may ask for 20% of the final settlement amount, while some may ask for 40% of the final amount. Hence, you need to get clarification of the fee they will charge for the personal injury case.
Will other attorneys work on my case?
It often happens the attorney you meet is not involved in preparing or fighting your personal injury claim. In some cases, non-attorney case managers handle the case, and junior attorneys in the law firm attend the hearings.
The junior attorney might be well-qualified and experienced to fight your case. Still, you must know who will be fighting your personal injury case. This question is mainly aimed at legal firms that have many attorneys working for them.
How long will it take to get the final result?
Legal battles in the court can be lengthy, and it may take months to get the result. For clients, the delay in receiving compensation means facing financial hardships as medical bills pile up. Asking this question is necessary as legal proceedings may disrupt your life as you will be required to be present at the hearings.
No attorney can give you the exact date or time when you will get the result. However, they can give you a general estimate based on past personal injury proceedings.
If I lose the case, will I have to shoulder the costs?
The circumstantial evidence plays a big role in proving the liability in the court. No attorney can guarantee you positive results. If the lawyers charge contingency fees, ask how it will affect if you lose the case. Some lawyers mention the case-related costs that the client needs to be borne if they lose the case.
What is my personal injury case worth?
An experienced lawyer would determine the maximum settlement amount that can be demanded from the opposite party. The lawyer may not tell you the exact worth of your case but provide you an estimate after analyzing pre-existing medical issues, liability, and discovery that might affect the verdict and the compensation amount.
What is my role in the personal injury case?
It would help if you asked the lawyer what you will be required to do after filing a personal injury claim. Some lawyers want their clients to attend hearings, dispositions, and other meetings related to the case. Many lawyers handle the case but want their clients to remain on the sidelines.
Choosing the right personal injury attorney is the most crucial step to get maximum compensation for your suffering. The questions and answers help you make an informed choice and grant you an excellent opportunity to build a beneficial and satisfying relationship with a personal injury lawyer.
Story by Jeannie Mai