Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
You’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own. Now you are facing medical bills and lost wages and there is more treatment in your future. Personal injury attorneys represent people who have been injured by the negligence and misconduct of others.
Areas that fall under personal injury include an automobile, truck, or motorcycle accident; pedestrian and bicycle accident; a slip and fall in a place of business or someone’s home; medical malpractice; and workplace injury. If you have suffered a loss, your personal injury claim can be filed in civil court seeking monetary damages.
Unlike a criminal case, monetary renumeration is the only thing that can result from a personal injury claim to compensate you for your losses.
In the U.S., personal injury claims that go to trial represent just 2% of the claims filed, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The majority settle out of court.
Because there will be a lot of communication necessary to have a successful claim, you will want to understand what questions to ask a prospective personal injury attorney. You want to make sure you choose the right attorney who will fight for you in court, will be easily accessible, and who has a record of successful outcomes for the injured.
What Experience Do You Have with Similar Cases to Mine?
Some law firms advertise that they can do every type of law that crosses their threshold. But you want to know that the attorney has handled cases like yours in the past. You do not want to be his or her test case in any particular area of the law
Ask about those cases and how similar they were to yours? What particular tactics did the lawyer employ to win the case? What, if anything, did s/he learn from that case to use in future cases? Was there something that makes the circumstance of that case different from yours? If the case was substantially similar, how much compensation could you expect?
Tell the lawyer you understand there are no guarantees and that every case is different. You are not holding him to a number but just gauging the relative worth of your case.
Are There Any Challenges with My Case?
Comparing your case to similar cases this lawyer has experience with, might there be any factors that make your case substantially different? How can you help in filling any gaps that may exist?
Have you sought out all potential witnesses to the accident? Are there any factors about your case that might favor the defense? Remember the insurance company for the other side will always try to blame you. Is there something about your case you have not told your lawyer? This is not the time to be anything but transparent.
What Type of Settlements Have You Won for Other Clients?
Understanding that this is not your case, ask about the other types of claims and settlements that resulted from cases he or she has filed in the past. It’s always a good idea to gain some insight into the level of confidence your lawyer exhibits.
You will also want to understand how often they will communicate with you and provide you with updates as the case progresses. Will you be able to speak to your lawyer or another lawyer each time you communicate?
How Do You Charge for your Services?
The discussion about money can be uncomfortable but it is important. Make sure you understand what is expected from you. Most personal injury cases will be paid on a contingency fee basis, that is, a percentage of what is recovered. Make sure you get that number. Make sure you will not pay unless they win.
How will expenses be covered? As part of that percentage? Are there any other expenses you might expect to incur such as depositions, travel, storing of evidence, or a videographer? You want to be crystal clear and get the agreement in writing.
Greene & Phillips has nine personal injury attorneys who are licensed to handle your personal injury case in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. We have extensive trial experience and experience negotiating with the insurance company for the defendant. Feel free to visit our FAQ page and come in for a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our office today at 1-888-510-1020. We look forward to serving you!