Before Hiring a Lawyer, Talk to Them About Their Track Record

If you have been injured in an accident recently and are considering a claim or lawsuit, you will want to hire a personal injury attorney. But you should not hire just any attorney. It is of great importance that you conduct due diligence when you hire an attorney to represent you.

When you are sitting down with an attorney you may hire, they will probably give you a complimentary consultation where you can discuss the case and ask them questions. Below are some of the questions you should ask the attorney before you decide to hire them.

How Long Have You Practiced Law?

If you have suffered a serious injury in an accident, you will want to have an experienced personal injury attorney representing you. While some simple accident cases can be handled by an attorney with limited experience, it is always good to have your personal injury case handled by a veteran with ample trial experience.

What Sort of Legal Cases Do You Handle?

An experienced attorney is a good thing, but it is of limited value in a personal injury case if their cases are primarily in child custody or real estate. Personal injury is a very specific type of law, and you should have an attorney with at least three years of personal injury experience, and more is better.

How Many Cases Have You Had Like Mine?

If you have been in a rear-end car accident and have suffered whiplash, you would probably be better off having a personal injury attorney with experience in cases like yours. Whiplash is an injury where the defense may attempt to minimize your injuries, so it will help to have an attorney in your corner who knows how to negotiate on a tough case such as this one.

How Do You Get Paid?

You will obviously need to know if you can afford the attorney and how they are compensated. Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means the attorney is paid out of the settlement or verdict amount. The amount varies, but it often is one-third of the monies won at the end of the case. Many attorneys will also pay for the various fees and costs along the way as your case is investigated. These costs will be reimbursed to the attorney if they prevail.

What Is Your Approach to a Personal Injury Case?

If the attorney has a lot of experience in negotiating a fair settlement, this is a good thing, but there are cases where the defense or insurance company is going to fight and go to trial. It is good to know how your attorney will approach these very different types of cases. Some attorneys thrive in a combative trial situation, while others may be more effective in negotiation.

How Well Do You Communicate With Clients?

Lawsuits and claims can take weeks, months or even years in a few cases. It is important to have an attorney who is a good communicator. You should be able to get an update on your case every few weeks at minimum without going through a lot of hassle.

What Is the Likely Outcome for My Claim?

Toward the end of the interview, it is fair game to ask the lawyer whether they think you have a chance of winning or receiving a good settlement. If the attorney works on a contingency basis, it is unlikely they would take the case unless they are very confident they can win.

Remember there are many personal injury attorneys out there, so you should feel free to speak to several before deciding. By asking the above questions, you can be confident that you are hiring an attorney who a is a good fit for you and your legal case.

 

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