Contacting Your Prospective Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been in an accident, you may need to contact a personal injury attorney. This is especially true if you’re unable to work due to your accident and your medical bills are piling up. You’ll need to be compensated especially if someone else is at fault.
There are several questions you need to ask during that first meeting. Here are the seven most important questions.
1. How much will It cost?
The majority of personal injury attorneys work under a contingency fee agreement.
This means they don’t get paid unless they obtain some type of recovery. Most attorneys charge about 33% of whatever you recover. So, say you win your case at trial or settle out of court for $100,000. Your attorney will collect $33,000.
2. If I lose, will I be responsible for any case-related costs?
Some personal injury lawyers charge for case-related costs (also known as out-of-pocket costs).
Ask your lawyer who’s responsible for these costs, in case you lose your case. If they do charge these fees you may want to go with the personal injury lawyer that only collects a fee if you win.
3. Do I have a valid case?
This is probably the most important question you should ask during your initial consultation.
Your lawyer should give you an honest and detailed evaluation of how your case is likely to play out. They should be able to tell you if you have a legitimate case from a legal standpoint. This is based on the law and the information you provide.
4. Have you tried any personal injury cases similar to mine before?
Ask the lawyer about their experience and the results they got. If you were in a car accident, you want an attorney who has tried car accident lawsuits.
You also don’t want an attorney who has very little trial experience. Because winning in court is not just about skill, but experience as well. For example, an attorney with very little trial experience may not give you the very best chance at winning. They may be too quick to settle the case and might accept a lower settlement offer, then what you might get from a more seasoned trial attorney.
You should choose an attorney who has experience taking cases to trial and winning.
5. Will other attorneys be working on my case?
Many personal injury attorneys don’t handle every aspect of a client’s case. A legal secretary or a paralegal may assist in preparing legal documents and letters. Junior associates may do much of the legal work, while your attorney handles the more complicated legal concerns and oversees the junior associate’s work.
You may not like the fact that your attorney passes out the work to junior associates and other staff members. It may be important to you, that you get a particular attorney and not just the law firm.
If so, then this is an important question to ask. However, this practice is very common, and it helps keep legal fees down.
6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
Your attorney should be able to tell you what the strengths and weaknesses of your case are.
For example, if there’s video footage of your accident, that’s extremely strong evidence. That may help you get a quick settlement. However, if there’s no video, photo evidence, or an eyewitness account this will make your case a little harder to prove. Either way, your attorney will work with you to help establish what happened. The answer to this question will help you know where you stand.
7. How long will it take to resolve my case?
The answer to this question depends on how complex your case is. Your attorney should be able to provide a rough estimate of how long it might take. Keep in mind that your lawyer can not control how quickly this process takes, nor offer any guarantees.
The stress of an injury and financial loss can be very hard to bear. That’s why you need to find the right lawyer to help you with your injury claim. The answers to these questions will help you determine the best lawyer to represent you.