Nov 262022

When You Need a Personal Injury Attorney: Questions to Ask Before Hiring
Seeking legal counsel and representation is no small matter. Whether youre facing a criminal charge, protecting your rights as a consumer, or trying to receive what youre owed from an insurance company following an accident, entrusting your case to a professional in the legal system is a big decision. If youve sustained injuries from an accident and believe they are the fault of someone else, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney. Before you do, here are some important questions to ask.
What Are Your Areas of Expertise?
Not all attorneys practice multiple forms of law. If youre only looking for a personal injury attorney, you may want to consider one who specializes in that alone. This ensures your attorney is experienced in similar cases to yours and the nuances of the law that apply to it.
What Is the Best Way to Communicate With You?
It is vital to have a clear understanding of how you and your lawyer will maintain communication. Some prefer email, while others are more relaxed with a text message. Talk about when and how you will communicate and if virtual meetings would be possible during this time.
What Type of Fee Structure Do You Have?
Answering this question will save you from any surprises down the line. It is important to know if the attorney is charging on an hourly rate or a contingency fee. Depending on the case and the attorney, one or both can be true. Make sure youre aware of any other costs associated with the case, and what measures you need to take to protect yourself from extra expenses.
Do You Have Any Past Experience With Cases Like Mine?
Make sure the attorney you choose is experienced in cases of a similar nature. Even if they arent, that doesnt mean theyre not suitable for the job. Just ask what part of the process their experience covers.
Will You Be Able to Dedicate Your Time to My Case?
Its important to make sure your attorney is able to dedicate sufficient time and resources to your case. Be sure to ask what your attorneys other commitments look like, to ensure you are their priority.
Can We Set Up a First Appointment?
Getting a sense of who youre working with is an important part of the process. Ask your attorney if they could conduct a consultation with you via phone or video. Depending on the case, a physical visit might be necessary.
Questions About Intangible Qualities
Its just as important to be aware of your attorneys intangible qualities in other words, how they match up with your personal needs. Are they good at communicating with the client? How do they handle stress? Do you feel comfortable with them overall? Do they have any special qualities that could benefit your case?
Other Topics to Consider
It is important to consider other topics beyond just the questions to ask before hiring a personal injury attorney. This includes understanding what is expected of you as the client, the timeline of a typical case, what evidence or documents are needed, and the legal process itself. All of these will shape your decision of whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney and who that should be.
Questions to Ask Your Lawyer
In addition to fully understanding the fees, communication policies, and evidence needed to pursue your personal injury case, its important to ask your attorney questions to see if joining forces is a good fit. Ask your attorney about their knowledge and experience in personal injury law, what legal strategies they would use for your case, any resources they may need from you, and what their overall success rate is with similar cases. All of this information can provide you with peace of mind in making a sound decision for your particular situation.
Questions About Fees
Personal injury lawyers generally charge on a contingency fee basis, meaning that the lawyer collects a fixed percentage of the finances recovered through a settlement or a court-awarded judgment. It is important to understand the fees your lawyer would charge and whether they would cover court costs, or whether those would be separate and you are responsible for them.
Questions About Legal Tactics
When it comes to tackling your personal injury case, its common for lawyers to deploy certain tactics they use regularly. Its important to gain an understanding of which strategies your lawyer will employ, how they have used these strategies in the past, what strategies do not apply to your case, and what contingencies they have in store in case their strategies do not work out.
Questions About Evidence
Your personal injury case will rely heavily on evidence. Ask your lawyer the kind of evidence they will need to build your case, what evidence should not be included, and how much evidence may be overkill, as too much evidence may actually weaken your case.
Questions About Timeline
Some personal injury cases may take weeks or months before a settlement or judgment is reached. Your lawyer should provide a timeline you can expect for various stages of the legal process, such as discovery, depositions, court proceedings, and settlement offers. This will give you a better understanding of what you may incur financially during the process.
Questions About Success Rate
The lawyer you choose should have a proven track record of success. Ask about their overall success rate, how many cases of a similar nature did they try and win, and what is their strategy when it comes to bringing a clients case to court.
Questions About Processes
In addition to understanding your lawyers success rate, its also important to learn more about their approach to tackling your case. This means understanding their process for investigation, evaluation, and strategy. Ask about the steps they will take to try and win your case, who they will have to contact, and who will be in charge of managing your case.
Questions About Updates
Keeping up to date on your personal injury case is important. Youll want to know if your case is proceeding as expected and when there are any changes that need to be made. Ask your lawyer how frequently they will provide updates and how they will be delivered. This way, you can feel sure that you will always stay in the loop on the progress of your case.

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