You’ve sustained a personal injury and do not believe you were at fault. You’ve been off from work for weeks – maybe even months – and are struggling to make ends meet. Now what?
You might be thinking about hiring a personal injury attorney to help you get compensation for your mounting medical bills and lost wages. If you believe you have grounds for a successful personal injury claim, contacting a personal injury lawyer should be a top priority.
Personal injury attorneys get asked a lot of questions. A good personal injury attorney will be happy to answer your questions and guide you throughout the entire process. But which questions should you pose? Let’s go over five of the most pertinent questions to ask a personal injury lawyer.
Will I be responsible for court-related costs if I lose my case?
Most potential clients want to know how much a lawyer’s fees are and if they will be responsible for court costs if they lose their case. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis in which you don’t have to pay a fee unless you receive monetary damages from your lawsuit. In that case, a lawyer might take 25-40 percent.
Some lawyers charge out-of-pocket costs if a case is lost. You should always ask about these fees as you’re getting to know a personal injury lawyer.
Have you ever tried a case like mine before?
Every personal injury case is unique, and you should always have a good feel for the lawyer’s results. If a lawyer you contact predominantly handles auto accident cases, you might not want to have them represent you in a slip-and-fall suit. Some lawyers do specialize in one or two areas of personal injury claims, so be sure to find one that is familiar with cases like yours.
What is your trial success rate?
The old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is applies to the promises lawyers make up front. If a lawyer says, “We will settle your case,” proceed with caution. Your lawyer should anticipate that every case will go to trial and will prepare well in advance before the case is tried before a jury.
Should your case go to trial, you need to know that your personal injury lawyer has successfully taken cases in front of a jury. A 100 percent success rate is unlikely, but a good personal injury lawyer will have won the majority of their cases.
How much is my case truly worth?
You might not know how much your case is worth, but a personal injury attorney should be able to give you a good estimate. They should also be able to explain variables like liabilities, discovery, and preexisting medical issues, as these can all impact a verdict or settlement offer. If a lawyer makes an unrealistic claim about how much they can get you, then you have cause to be leery of them.
Who is going to handle my case?
Always be sure to ask which lawyer at the firm is going to handle certain aspects of your case. There are firms out there that will tote their senior partners to you at first and never see after you sign the representation agreement. Knowing your person of contact is important so that you can ask questions related to your case. If a less-experienced associate is assigned to your case, ask who will be supervising them.
Your personal injury attorney is supposed to be working for you. You should be able to ask them questions and get reasonable answers. Start by asking some of the most pressing questions and get a feel for how they operate. You deserve to have someone on your side who will get you the compensation you need to cover your damages.