The Top Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Hiring
Tens of thousands of people die in motor accidents every year. Millions more are injured.
When people get behind the wheel of their car, they’re not thinking about harrowing statistics like that. Their focus is on where they need to go.
All it takes though is one external mistake to shatter that blissful ignorance and potentially alter the course of one’s existence.
If you’ve been the victim of a mistake like that and are now struggling through pain and disability, you may be thinking about hiring an attorney. The questions to ask personal injury lawyer list below can help you narrow your legal council choices. That way, you can be sure that you’re bringing on the best possible professional to manage this very difficult moment in your life.
1. “Do You Specialize in Car Accident Cases?”
When you’re in a vehicle accident and are chasing down an injury settlement, you may find yourself up against insurance companies, plaintiffs and their attorneys. You’re going to need every advantage that you can get to be successful.
That’s why we recommend only partnering up with personal injury attorneys that deal in car accident cases. A lawyer that primarily deals with workplace injuries but dabbles in vehicle accidents is not the person that you want in your corner.
2. “How Long Have You Been Doing This?”
We can’t tell you how many law firms we’ve seen promote “40-years of experience” only to find that they came to that number by adding up each of their 8 employee’s 5-years of experience. That’s a huge problem because experience has a massive impact on the outcome of personal injury cases.
People are so inundated by how many personal injury cases are won that we never stop to think about the thousands of cases that fail to produce settlements. Most of those losing cases fall short of their goals because of poor legal maneuvering.
To make sure that your lawyer will know how to manage your case when the times get tough, don’t just ask them “How long has this firm been working with accident victims?” Ask them how long have they personally been trying cases.
3. “What Is Your Success Rate?”
This questions to ask personal injury lawyer suggestion is probably something that you were already planning on discussing. In case it hadn’t crossed your mind though, we thought we’d remind you.
The easiest way to get a clear picture of how well an attorney is going to perform for you is by asking them how well they’ve performed for others. A way to discern past performance is to ask an attorney what percentage of their cases they’ve won.
If a lawyer you’re interviewing doesn’t want to answer that question or tries to side-step it by telling you how much in damages they’ve recovered for their clients, be very skeptical.
4. “How Many of Your Cases Go to Trial?”
Nobody in an accident settlement negotiation wants to go to trial. Trials cost everybody involved time, money and outcomes are unpredictable.
Despite that, if your case does go to trial, you want to know that your lawyer is going to be prepared to support you.
To that end, ask your prospective lawyer what percentage of their cases end up in front of a jury? Then ask, of those cases, how many win?
If you find that your attorney tends to perform poorly at trial, it could be that their legal firm does not put adequate resources into jury cases. That should concern you.
5. “How Long Will My Settlement Take to Receive?”
No attorney can know for sure how quickly they can get you your settlement. Based on the broad details of your case and their existing case loan though, they should be able to give you an estimate.
Always go with a legal team that seems more bullish on your settlement’s timeline. These are the teams that are committed to making your case a priority.
6. “What Do You Charge for Your Services?”
A massive consideration when hiring a lawyer is how much they charge. Fortunately, the vast majority of personal injury attorneys work on contingency. That means that they pay themselves a portion of the settlement that they win you.
This convenient arrangement makes it so injury victims don’t need to worry about paying legal fees out of pocket. Just make sure that the percentage of your settlement that your lawyer wants to take is in line with what other attorneys in your area ask for.
7. “Will I Be Liable for Anything If You Lose?”
When people mull over prospective questions to ask a lawyer this is one that they usually forget since, as we mentioned, most injury attorneys only get paid if they win.
While it’s true that the majority of lawyers won’t charge you legal fees if they lose, they may ask that you reimburse them for expenses they incurred while trying to fight your case.
Expense reimbursement isn’t a standard ask among losing attorneys so feel free to shop around for a lawyer that doesn’t carry this charge.
8. “Who Will I Be Working With?”
Just because you met with an attorney that you like doesn’t mean that’s the attorney that’s going to be handling your case. Always ask the person that gives you your consultation who they’re going to have working with you day-to-day. Make sure your case’s attorney works for the firm and isn’t a contractor.
If you’re not satisfied with how your case is going to be relegated, find a firm that better values your business.
Wrapping up Our Questions to Ask Personal Injury Lawyer List
Our questions to ask personal injury lawyer list will help you cut through the legal clutter to locate the perfect professional.
We wish you the best as you work on getting your settlement and invite you to read more of the content on our blog if you’d like additional lifestyle advice.