Are you going to consult a personal injury lawyer anytime soon? Do you need some help in choosing the right lawyer for you? Well, here we are to help you interview your potential personal injury lawyer.
Safety should always be your major concern and you must always be eligible to get the compensation for your injuries.
However, before you speak to your personal injury lawyer, you must know the questions you need to ask so that you make the right decision. If you’re dealing with a lawyer for the first time, you can have a confusing experience if you aren’t prepared to take an interview and might not have an idea of what to expect from the lawyer.
Following are the most important 7 questions that you should ask your personal injury lawyer:
01. Have you dealt with similar cases in the past?
Before you put this question to your personal injury lawyer, you should know that there are a lot of different niches when it comes to personal injuries.
If you want to hire the right lawyer for you, make sure that your potential lawyer has handled cases similar to your own. The lawyer should tell you about their clients who were injured or hurt in a similar way or had the same accidents as you.
Also, ask about the result of those cases so that you know what to expect from the lawyer. Another thing to remember is that just because a lawyer specializes in a particular niche, it doesn’t mean that he/she is skilled in it too.
Check for any court or settlement awards and similar outcomes in such cases. Though the past performance is also not a guarantee of any future results, it will help you make a strong decision.
02. How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
When you ask this question, make sure he/she tells you that he has good experience in the field. A young attorney won’t have the experience and skills to handle your case and if he/she is handling such case for the first time, you might face an issue in the future.
If you have a complex case, make sure you hire an attorney who has decades of experience.
The good thing is that you can hire a lawyer with 2 years of experience and a lawyer with 20 years of experience in the same field, for the same fees. Like any other field, this field also requires experience and the more experienced the lawyer, the better it is for your case.
03. How long will you take to resolve the case?
Long and delayed cases can cause problems for you as time out of work will pile up and medical bills will gather too. It is thus imperative to know about the time your lawyer will take to resolve the case, and also how much time he/she will be able to devote to the case.
There are some lawyers who take too many cases at once and add too many clients. This can cause problems for you because the lawyer won’t be able to give much time to your case if there are other clients too.
It is also important to ask the attorney about how long will your daily routine be disrupted by the investigative doctor visits and attendance at legal proceedings.
There are a lot of things that can affect the total duration of a personal injury case and thus it is important to get a general estimate.
04. Will other lawyers be working on this case?
Most of the times the personal injury lawyer who is hired choose junior attorney case managers for the proceedings. When you talk to your personal injury lawyer, make sure that you ask whether there will be any other lawyers present during the hearings or it will be only him/her. Most of the bigger law firms may use more than one lawyer for the same case.
The junior attorney case managers or lawyers might be well qualified to handle your case, but still, it is imperative to know who exactly will attend the case hearings.
If there are any other lawyers working on your case, make sure you meet them and ask questions too.
05. How will you communicate throughout the case?
When you hire a lawyer, you must make sure that he/she will communicate you and take you in confidence throughout the case. Ask them when they will be available for talks and whether they will contact through emails or call.
Also, ask how readily and quickly he responds to the calls or messages of the clients and keeps them updated on the case. If your lawyer keeps you in the loop all the time, it is a plus point for you as you’ll be aware of all the possibilities.
06. How much will it cost to hire you?
Some of the lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that the personal injury lawyer won’t charge you unless he/she wins the case or you.
On a contingency basis, the legal fees will be a percentage of the compensation award, and it is thus important to find out the actual percentage and if there are any additional costs to the legal fee.
There are some lawyers who say ‘no legal fees’ but they also agree on leaving the costs of small things such as copying postage and documents.
Some lawyers will give you monthly statements which you have to pay. No matter what, it is always a good idea to know how much it will cost to hire your personal injury lawyer.
07. What is your track record of verdicts and settlements?
It is better for you if your personal injury lawyer has a long list of successful case outcomes. This is because the insurance companies already know about the attorneys handling the case and they know well who will go to the court and who will not.
The insurance companies keep this information so that they can evaluate the risk before paying. If there is a serious claim, the first question that the insurance company will ask is “Who is handling the plaintiff?”