11 Questions To Ask Personal Injury Lawyers Before Hiring Them
Hiring a personal injury lawyer may at times seem like a daunting task. If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need to find the best attorney to represent you. This improves the chances of winning the injury claim and getting a fair compensation. To make an informed choice, you need to ask the precise questions. Below are 11 questions to ask your personal injury lawyer that will make the difference between winning and losing your case.
1. Ask the lawyer, “How many years of experience do you have and are you Board-Certified in Personal Injury Law”?
It is crucial to verify a lawyer’s experience and the field of specialization. You will need an experienced lawyer when dealing with delicate cases that are emotional and painful. Ask if the lawyer has overseen a similar injury case and what the result was. Very few lawyers are board certified in their field of practice. Hiring a board certified lawyer will enhance your comfort level and trust in getting a positive outcome of your case.
2. What kind of cases do you handle on a daily basis?
General practitioner lawyers take on different types of legal cases and only handle personal injury cases occasionally. They are a disadvantage when going up against law firms that specialize in the defense of personal injury claims. It is virtually impossible for a general practice lawyer to be the best in personal injury and medical malpractice law. Serious personal injury claims can only be handled properly by lawyers who work on personal injury cases day-in, day-out.Only hire seasoned lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases.
3. What percentage of cases are referrals from other lawyers?
You can easily know the best personal injury lawyers in your area by asking the lawyers who practice in that area. Always find out what percentage of the lawyer’s cases are from referrals from the other lawyers. Professionals in all fields have a knowledge of who is good and who is not. Start with your friends who practice law or lawyers who handle different type of cases and you will be certain to find the right injury lawyer.
4. Do you have the time to take on my case?
Lawyers have a habit of signing up clients, sitting on the cases while they try to sign up new cases. Some lawyers can wait up to 12-18 months before filing a case just prior to the statute of limitations. This happens all too often, and you will need to be careful before hiring your lawyer. This may harm you by delaying the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Ensure the lawyer devotes his/her full time to your injury claim.
5. Do you have the financial and staffing resources to handle my case?
Serious personal injury lawsuits are very expensive to take to court.Typical personal injury claims involve three or more medical experts, safety experts and specialists who will testify on the nature and extent of a client’s injuries. If your lawyer lacks the resources to finance a case, the lawsuit will lack substance, and you will be pressured into taking a scanty compensation. Hire a lawyer with enough resources to take the case all the way to trial.
6. Will I be working directly with you?
Respected attorneys have a dynamic paralegal staff. You may meet and greet, and never see that lawyer again. The worst experience is being shuffled through a legal factory not knowing which associate to deal with or ask your questions. Cases involving life-threatening injuries, death or lifelong disabilities deserve personal attention from a caring personal injury lawyer. Avoid dealing with associates by finding a lawyer who is prompt, open to communication and willing to work one-on-one with you.
7. Can you provide former client testimonials?
Client testimonials give a hint on how you will relate with your personal injury lawyer. Successful relationships are the best indicators of a good lawyer. You will relate better with a lawyer who is well endorsed by former clients. Read through a couple of feedback on the company website and ensure that it is legitimate.Positive client feedback enhances the trust factor and credibility of the lawyer.
8. Do you actually try lawsuits in court?
Some lawyers always take the option of settling and never going to court. These lawyers have very little or no jury experience at all. You should be able to ask how often the lawyer tries cases in court. This is a very important question since the defense lawyers know the personal injury lawyers who try cases and those who do not.The insurance company uses this to assess their risk. Hire a lawyer who is willing and able to try the case in court to get top dollar compensation.
9. Do you lecture other lawyers?
Professional colleagues highly respect attorneys who teach at legal seminars or continue their legal education. Lawyers who write columns for legal publications have the authority that other lawyers lack. Check out the lawyer’s website or the resume to know whether the lawyer teaches or writes articles in legal journals.
10. Are you a member of a legal organization that specializes in representing injured people?
There are both state and national organizations that are dedicated to representing injured victims. These organizations organize lobbying activities and sponsor legal education programs. The American Association of Justice is the most prominent national legal organization dedicated to the rights of injured people. Always find a lawyer who belongs to these groups to represent you in a serious injury suit.
11. Are there any additional fees?
Make sure your lawyer informs you of all the possible fees. These fees must be in account of whether you win or lose your personal injury case.Lawyers may charge a minimal or no fee if they fail to win the case. Other lawyers charge hourly regardless of the outcome or the length of your case. Get a written estimate of all the fees before allowing the lawyer to take on your case.
Personal injury cases are often a long and emotional journey.You have to make sure that you choose your lawyer wisely.The rough legal road is made smoother by hiring the right personal injury lawyer.