Top 7 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
If you are involved in an accident, you may be facing pain, financial concerns, and changes to your lifestyle. You may also be facing some confusion about the best way to proceed. Of course, if your injuries are due to someone else’s careless behavior, it is only natural that you want to hold them accountable. But where do you start?
The first place to start is contacting a personal injury attorney. Once you start the process of looking for an attorney, you will quickly find a plethora of options in your area. You no doubt have seen billboards and commercials about large law firms. You may also have friends or family who know a good attorney in your area.
No matter where you start your search, there are some questions that you can ask prospective attorneys to determine which one is right for you. Put together by a Douglasville lawyer, here are the top 7 questions to ask a personal injury attorney to make sure you make the best choice for your situation.
1. What areas of law do you specialize in?
Much like you wouldn’t go to a chiropractor to treat your toothache, you shouldn’t hire a general attorney to handle your personal injury case. Make sure the attorney you are interviewing has experience managing personal injury claims like yours. If you were injured in an auto accident, make sure that he or she has successfully managed auto accident claims.
2. Who will be working on my case?
Many times, clients respond to advertisements or websites based on the information about the primary attorneys listed. But once the law firm is hired, they find that someone else is handling their case – another attorney, an associate attorney, or even a paralegal. Find out before you hire an attorney who will be working on your case. You want the most appropriately skilled attorney on your side when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
3. What sort of fees and payment schedule should I expect?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe fees up front. Instead, if a verdict or settlement is obtained in your favor, attorney or legal fees will be deducted from that amount. Find out before hiring an attorney if he or she bills by the hour, and if they work on a contingency fee schedule.
4. How long does a case like mine usually take?
Every case is different, but skilled personal injury attorneys usually have some idea of how long certain legal processes may take.
5. Will my case go to trial?
Many personal injury cases settle without going to trial. Skilled attorneys can often negotiate a settlement with the defendant(s) that allows you to receive compensation without going through a formal trial process. Just be wary of any attorney that promises one option or the other.
6. How much is my case worth?
The value of your case will depend on a variety of factors, such as the extent of your injuries, permanent disability, etc. However, skilled personal injury attorneys will be able to give you some idea of what your case is worth based on the information you provide. Be upfront with medical bills, lost income, property damage and other financial losses.
7. How can I stay updated on the progress of my case?
A good attorney will have communication options that work for everyone, no matter how much technology you use at home. Find out what the primary methods of communication are, and be upfront about any limitations you may have. Also, discuss how often you want to be updated.
In addition to these questions, make a list of personal questions related to your case. Use this as a guide as you look for the right attorney.