What Questions Should I Ask My Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you suffer an injury that is due to the negligence of another person or party, it is natural to be concerned about how it will affect you physically, mentally, as well financially. You can pursue a personal injury claim on your own. However, you will drastically increase your chances of being fairly compensated for your injuries by working with an experienced personal injury attorney. Making the choice to work with a proven attorney is the first step. Secondly, you must ensure that the personal injury lawyer that you work with is the right fit for you. Your choice in an attorney will have a direct effect on the outcome of your case. It's imperative that you choose wisely. Listed below, are important questions to ask any personal injury lawyer before deciding to give them your business.
What Are Your Fees?
You will be happy to know that most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that you will not have to pay a fee unless damages are recovered in your claim or lawsuit. If your lawyer successfully recovers monetary damages, they will recoup their fee. It is important to ask them what their fee percentage is (typically 25% - 40%) and when it is expected to be paid. Furthermore, ask your attorney if you are responsible for any fees if your personal injury suit is unsuccessful.
How Many Attorneys Will Be Working on My Case?
One name on the door of the law firm does not necessarily mean that there will only be one attorney working on your case. Ask your attorney how many lawyers will be working on your case as well as who you will be in contact with. Larger firms are often guilty of scheduling your initial appointment with one attorney and then assigning another attorney to your case after you have signed the agreement to work with them. Get clear answers before an agreement is signed.
What Is Your Success Rate at Trial?
Many personal injury suits are settled way before they have the opportunity to go to trial. However, your attorney should still be prepared in the event that it does go to court. Unfortunately, not all personal injury lawyers are experienced going to trial. This could leave your case in jeopardy and hinder your ability to be fairly compensated for your injuries. Before agreeing to work with an attorney, ask them how many times they have been to trial and what their success rate is.
Have You Taken Cases Similar to Mine?
Not all personal injury lawyers are created equally. Some are more experienced with slip and fall cases and others only focus on car accident injuries. It is never safe to assume that your attorney has the experience that you need. Ask your lawyer about their experience with personal injury claims similar to yours as well as their record. Personal injury law is robust and complex. It is best to work with an attorney that understands your needs and how to effectively represent you.
Do You Have References?
Though your attorney's website and LinkedIn profile may speak to their experience and success rate, it is suggested that you ask them for references to back up their claims. If they are experienced and truly successful, there should be no problem with producing at least one reference from a past client. Be wary of attorneys that cannot produce personal references. You can also lookup online reviews and ratings.