10 Questions You Should Ask to Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured at work or while driving, you may have many questions. How will you earn money if your injury prevents you from working? How will you pay for medical bills? How long will it take to get better?
Some of these questions should be discussed with your family or your doctor.
However, some of the questions you have should be directed to a personal injury attorney. He or she can help you navigate the seemingly overwhelming process of being made whole again after getting hurt.
Don't forget to ask your attorney some important questions, too- before you retain them to help you. You want to make sure you have the best personal injury attorney available for your specific situation: someone who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Here are ten questions you should ask to find the best personal injury attorney to recover what you may be entitled to after an accident.
1. Where Do You Practice?
One of the first questions you should ask when you are interviewing a personal injury attorney is where they are located. You will probably want an attorney who practices in the state where the injury occurred and where the lawsuit might be filed.
You will definitely need a personal injury attorney who knows the local laws. It's also advisable to hire someone who knows the legal community as well: lawyers who have established a strong local practice are well known to the judiciary.
Hiring someone who is known and respected in the area can be helpful to your case.
2. Are You a Member of the Bar Here?
Make sure your personal injury attorney is a member of the bar where you were injured and plan to sue.
You can hire the most famous Wall Street attorney, but even he will have to work with local counsel to appear before the court if he is not admitted to practice in the state where your claim is based.
Check out the website of any personal injury attorney you consider hiring. They should list the bars of which they are members, and if they do not- find someone else.
3. How Long Have You Been a Personal Injury Attorney?
Yor best friend's son may have just graduated law school with honors, but that does not mean you should hire him to represent you.
If you have been injured, you need someone with experience to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled. Find someone with years of experience under their belt.
4. What Kinds of Cases Do You Usually Work On?
If you were injured in a car accident, make sure you ask the attorney in question whether they have experience in this kind of case.
Personal injury law covers many different scenarios, including dog bites, construction accidents, and slip-and-falls.
You want the lawyer who has a good track record in cases similar to yours.
5. What Kinds of Settlements Have You Negotiated For Your Clients?
Most personal injury cases do not go to trial. A good personal injury attorney will try to settle the case so that his or her client gets compensated as quickly and fairly as possible.
Ask about the attorney's track record. They may have stories of cases similar to yours where they were able to settle for high sums of money on behalf of their clients. They may also have stories of cases where the judge awarded their clients large sums.
The best personal injury attorney will give you references from clients with whom he or she has worked previously.
6. Do You Represent Clients With Workman's Compensation Claims?
If you have been injured on the job, a whole different set of laws applies than if you were injured in a car, at the grocery store, or on public property.
Make sure that if you were injured in your place of employment or while performing your job that the lawyer you are thinking about hiring has experience in this area as well.
7. What Kind of Support Do You Have?
You will not be your lawyer's only client. You will want to know how the lawyer will handle conflicting dates on the calendar. If he is on vacation or in court for someone else, who is looking out for your interests?
Looking at the attorney's website and also meeting in person at their offices will give you a sense of how much internal support they have. You want a lawyer who has a strong support system like paralegals and administrative staff who can keep the business going while he pays attention to your case.
8. How Do You Bill?
Many personal injury attorneys are paid when their clients are paid. They charge what is called a "contingency fee," meaning they will get a percentage of your award.
Make sure you establish upfront how much your lawyer will charge and whether it will be hourly or based on your settlement. You will also want to know the rates for expenses like travel, filing fees, and copying.
9. How Long Might My Case Take?
The best personal injury attorney will refrain from giving an exact date for the result of your claim. There are too many variables which may arise. It is hard to predict how the other side will react and what legal and other issues may come up.
You may also need to get medical reports, witness testimony and other evidence which can take a long time.
A good personal injury attorney will be honest with you about the length of time the process may take. They should also commit to giving you regular progress reports and to being available to you for questions and other issues which arise as the process continues.
10. What Do You Think About My Case?
You want an honest assessment of your chances before you proceed. You also want an attorney who believes in your story.
You may tell an attorney the facts as you recall them, and they may advise that you should not expect a large settlement (perhaps your own negligence played a part in the accident.) They may even choose to decline to work with you, if they do not see a high likelihood of success and thus payment for their time.
You want a lawyer who is honest with you about your chances. You also want a lawyer who will fight on your behalf. The initial consultation is the time to determine whether they are the right champion for you.
The Best Personal Injury Attorney For You: Committed to Your Case
By asking pointed questions about their background, approach, and opinions on your particular situation, you can find the best personal injury attorney suited to your needs. Do your research so that you can retain someone you trust to work hard and achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf.
For more information about personal injury claims, contact us.
This site is intended to provide general information about our firm. You should never assume the specific or general information applies to your case without first consulting with an experienced attorney. Sending an e-mail or requesting an initial consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly for specific advice.
If your claim(s) are not timely filed you may be prevented from pursuing your claim. If you have already filed your claim, and you do not actively pursue your claim(s) it may be dismissed.