Whether you’ve been in a car crash, a workplace accident, or a slip-and-fall at a local business, it’s important to call a personal injury lawyer. If you’ve sustained any injuries, the right attorney can help you receive the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, as well as lost wages and other losses experienced due to the accident.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process from start to finish, but they don’t know your personal situation until you tell them. It’s important to come into any situation like this armed with the right questions for your attorney, not only to ensure you’re getting the best representation possible, but also to calm your nerves by getting the full picture of what to expect.
Here are a few questions you need to ask your attorney during your consultation.
What is your experience with personal injury cases?
Most lawyers, if not all, will provide you with a free consultation before you officially sign on to work together. This is beneficial to the attorney because they’re able to get more details about your case and make a prediction about the outcome, helping them decide whether the case is worth taking. This is also beneficial for the client, because it allows you a space to ask questions about their experience with accidents like yours. Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions about their experience in this area. “Have you taken on a case like mine before?” is a great question to open the door, and then feel free to dive deeper into their credentials.
Will we have to go to court?
With personal injury cases, it’s usually pretty unlikely you’ll end up in the courtroom. That may be good news for you if you’re not looking forward to a drawn-out proceeding, but if you are unable to negotiate a fair settlement out of court, your attorney may need to file a lawsuit.
Talk to your attorney about the likelihood of settling out of court based on their experience with cases like yours. You should also ask about their experience in the courtroom. Many personal injury lawyers go the bulk of their career outside the courtroom, so it’s important to gauge how comfortable they’d be if they do need to file a lawsuit to get you the compensation you deserve.
Who should I talk to if I have questions along the way?
There will likely be many people at the firm working on your case like office staff and paralegals. The attorney representing you may also share duties with another member of the firm, or they may work with you one-on-one the entire time. If you have questions or remember any important information during the course of your case, you need to know who to call directly. Be sure to ask what the best point of contact is at the law firm so you know how to get in touch in the most effective way possible.
Do you charge on contingency?
Contingency in the world of personal injury means your lawyer will not charge you unless you win the case, at which point they’ll receive a portion of the settlement, usually about a third. While this is a typical payment structure in the personal injury world, you should ask detailed questions about payments when you have your first consultation. Some lawyers work on an hourly rate or for a flat fee, although hourly would be the least common in the personal injury space. Ensure whatever financial agreement you land on is one that will be beneficial for you no matter the outcome of the case.