Four Questions That Will Help You Land the Right Personal Injury Attorney
You’ve suffered a personal injury and have decided to have a meeting at a law firm. What now? You should know what to say and ask to determine if the attorney you’re seeing is the right person for the job. Not everyone is ready to handle your case or work with you harmoniously to get to a positive outcome.
Being injured should be taken seriously no matter what happens or where. That’s personal injury law 101, and every person can have a case if they weren’t at fault for the situation. Therefore, you’ll be telling any potential lawyer everything that happened, and see if they respond correctly and honestly about your situation.
You can also ask for personal injury quotes to determine if you can pay for their services. Always ask them about their contingency policies because you might not have to pay until they have won your settlement. Furthermore, try to find an expert with a great personal injury lawyer reputation, because you need someone who is known for satisfying clients. A good lawyer can help all personal injury victims in many ways, even if the situation doesn’t seem like a big deal.
Let’s find out all the questions you should ask to hire the right attorney.
Are you on the search for good personal injury lawyers? Being injured is never a fun experience, especially if your hardship leads to loss of work, financial troubles, and other stress. However, if your injury was incurred through no fault of your own, using personal injury lawyers to fight for your claim get you the compensation that you need to get back on your feet.
As you probably guess, not all personal injury lawyers are created equal. Some personal injury lawyers charge more than other, and some personal injury attorney are not as invested in getting you the best possible outcome. The trick to getting a fair settlement after being involved in a personal injury incident is finding a good attorney. To get you on the right track finding a good lawyer, we’ve put together a list of questions you should ask:
- What contingency fee will you take from the settlement?
In most cases, you do not have to pay your personal injury lawyer unless you win anything in your settlement. The contingency fee is the percentage of the settlement that will go to the attorney. You will likely find that most attorneys charge a contingency fee of somewhere between 25% and 40%. If the nature of the case warrants an especially large settlement, you have more leverage to negotiate a lower contingency fee.
On a side note: if the personal injury lawyer you’re considering does not charge by a contingency fee, you might want to consider this to be a red flag. If they charge you whether or not they win, the lawyer has no incentive to fight for your settlement. In fact, even if your case has no merit, they might be happy to take the case without advising you for this, just to take your money.
- Will I be responsible for any additional fees if the case is not successful?
Many personal injury attorneys also charge any additional costs that are incurred through their work, in addition to the contingency fee. Generally, these costs are taken from the settlement the client gets. However, in the case that the personal injury suit is not successful, some personal injury attorneys still expect their clients to pay these costs. Clients who are unsuccessful in their personal injury lawsuit still must cope with their injuries, but without any compensation to support them. Being responsible for additional legal bills may cause extensive hardship.
Make sure to check on what costs you’ll be responsible for if the settlement is not successful.
- What experience do you have with similar types of cases?
You might notice that every commercial break includes at lease one advertisement for a personal injury attorney. The competition between lawyers is fierce. Just because a lawyer is aggressive about getting your work does not mean that they are best equipped to deal with it. Make sure that you ask about other cases that the lawyer worked on that were similar to yours, and what results they got.
If possible, ask to speak with other clients the lawyer has worked with on similar cases. The referral (or lack of) that you get from other clients who used the attorney for similar cases is a very great indication of the type of outcome you could get with them.
- How much time do you have to work on my case?
Using a personal injury attorney that has a flashy commercial and well-known face might not be a good strategy. Many personal injury lawyers are more aggressive about getting new work than they are about working on the case. You don’t want to use a lawyer who is going to let your case sit on their desk for over a year, while they hit the pavement collecting more work. This not only leaves you without the compensation you need to get by, it could impact the outcome of the case itself.
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, ask about their caseload; how many other cases do they have pending? How long will it take for this case to be settled? How much time do they have to dedicate to it?
Do you have any other suggestions for finding the right personal injury attorney? Please share them in the comment section below!