Published on January 5th, 2015 | by Personal Rights0
5 Things You Should Ask a Prospective Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re simply wondering how to find a personal injury attorney, the answer isn’t overly complicated. You can search online, choose from a directory maintained by your local bar association, or even just call one of the numbers you’ll find on TV commercials or billboards all around you. The question you really should be asking, however, is how to find a personal injury attorney who meets your particular needs. Here are some questions you should ask to ensure that any attorney you consider working with will be a good fit for your case:
- What Types of Injury Cases Do You Handle the Most?
Obviously, you should be considering only experienced personal injury attorneys. But beyond that, there are quite a few areas of focus you should take into account. There’s no special designation for catastrophic injury attorneys or auto accident injury attorneys or work-related injury attorneys, but that doesn’t mean that specific expertise is irrelevant. A personal injury case might rest on a few very small points, and you’ll want your lawyer to know those aspects of the law thoroughly.
- What Percentage of Your Cases Are Successful?
An attorney can’t control everything, and every lawyer will lose cases sometime. But when you ask this question, you’re not just ascertaining the lawyer’s skill level; you’re also investigating whether he or she is good at assessing the merit of cases and advising prospective clients with weak cases not to risk losing money on a lawsuit. You want an attorney who will be honest with you as to your chances of winning.
- How Long Will My Case Take?
The bottom line is that lawsuits of any kind take time. That’s one reason it’s often best to pursue a settlement outside of court if possible (even if it means taking slightly less compensation). An attorney who promises to have your case resolved within a fixed timeframe is promising things out of his or her control — sometimes court cases get delayed over logistical problems such as the scheduling of judges — and that’s a bad sign.
- How Do You Handle Billing?
There’s more than one ethical way to handle billing of personal injury cases, so there’s no clear-cut answer as to what you should be looking for. But you should ensure that you completely understand how billing will work, including both what will be billed and when payment will be expected.
- How Will My Opinions Be Taken Into Account?
When you hire an attorney, you’re paying for that legal expertise. But you’re still the client, and you should feel comfortable injecting yourself into the process, sharing your thoughts and asking any questions you have. If your lawyer seems unwilling to involve you or is annoyed by your questions, you should look elsewhere for a better fit.
Do you have any tips for how to find a personal injury attorney who puts his or her clients’ needs first? Join the discussion in the comments.