15 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
Choosing the right lawyer could make a major difference in your personal injury case. Your lawyer should share your concerns, understand your goals and be willing to fight to accomplish them. Find the right Los Angeles personal injury attorney by asking 15 key questions during your free consultation.
Do You Accept Cases In My Practice Area?
Make sure the lawyer you are considering accepts cases in your practice area. After an auto accident, for example, you need a personal injury lawyer who specifically handles car accident cases. Most lawyers have this information available on their websites.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
The level of experience your lawyer has could make or break the lawyer’s ability to win your case. Experience is paramount to a lawyer’s skill, knowledge and connections with the courts in your county.
Do You Have A History Of Positive Results?
Although past case results do not guarantee the attorney will win your case, it can prove the law firm has the ability to successfully resolve claims. Ask about past case results specifically in your practice area.
Can You Bring Cases To Trial?
Personal injury claims rarely to go to trial. However, it is important for your lawyer to have the ability to go to trial in case your claim does not resolve via insurance settlement negotiations. Find a trial attorney in your city with experience taking claims to court.
What Is Your Trial Success Rate?
Ask about the ratio of cases taken to trial to cases won. Make sure your lawyer has won previous cases before a jury. Your personal injury lawyer should prepare all cases as if they will go to trial for the strongest possible claim against the defendant.
How Happy Are Your Past Clients?
Check for law firm reviews or client testimonials to see how satisfied the lawyer’s past clients are with his or her work. Testimonials can give you an honest idea of what to expect from the lawyer.
Does Your Law Firm Have Any Awards Or Recognition?
Awards, accolades and honors are not everything; however, special acknowledgments obtained can confirm the lawyer’s dedication to his or her craft.
Who Will Be Handling My Claim?
Many large mill-type law firms pass their clients off to non-lawyers at the firm, such as paralegals and assistants. Make sure the lawyer you are speaking with will be the person handling your claim.
How Much Do You Communicate With Your Clients?
Communication is important during a personal injury case. Your lawyer should not leave you in the dark about your claim. Ask about the lawyer’s communication policies and how long it takes on average for him or her to return phone calls.
How Much Do You Charge?
Be upfront about your needs in terms of affordability. Most personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will only pay your lawyer for a case he or she wins, and only then out of the award achieved.
Will I Still Have Out-of-pocket Costs If You Lose My Case?
The lawyer you hire should be straightforward about how he or she charges – including any out-of-pocket costs you will incur. Ask whether hiring an expert, going to trial, filing paperwork and other processes will come out of your pocket if the lawyer fails to secure you financial compensation.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Ask how much the lawyer believes your case could be worth. This can help you negotiate with insurance claims adjusters. Your lawyer should at least be able to provide a list of various damages you may be able to recover.
How Much Time Will It Take To Resolve My Case?
The lawyer you select should give a realistic view of how long it might take to resolve your claim. A personal injury case could take a few months to over a year to complete depending on the factors involved.
What Is My Role In The Case?
Knowing how much the attorney will expect you to participate in the case can prepare you for the future. Some law firms are full-service and will take care of everything on your behalf while others may work together with you for a claim resolution.
Can I Do Things to Help My Case Right Now?
Finally, ask if there are steps you should be taking right now to improve your chances of securing a positive case result. The right lawyer should be able to give you legal advice as to what to do after an accident, such as collecting medical documents or taking photos. You should feel confident in the attorney you choose to represent you.