8 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
Law is something that requires years of focus and dedication to learn, which is why it is a complete mystery to so many. Each lawyer has a particular focus comprised of it’s own complexities.
People that don’t understand law in general will have even more trouble understanding the minutiae of personal injury law. So it may come as no surprise that many are confused as to what they should be looking for when trying to hire specifically for a personal injury lawyer.
Here’s a cheat sheet full of great questions to ask a potential personal injury lawyer to make it easier to see what the most important considerations are for success.
What areas of law are your specialty or focus?
Most lawyers have a specific area of the law that they focus on. If you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings, you hire a divorce lawyer. If you’re applying for a patent, you hire a patent lawyer to make sure that your individual product claims are legitimate.
If you get in a car accident, you’ll want to hire a personal injury lawyer. Not only do they know that side of the law much better than a divorce or patent lawyer, but they also will have much more experience as far as cases won relating to personal injury.
How many personal injury cases have you taken to trial, and what happened as a result?
This is a measure of experience, as well as trust from other people who have worked with this personal injury lawyer.
If there’s a discrepancy between how many cases were taken to trial and how many were won, inquire further.
Have you handled cases like mine before?
Not all personal injury cases are made equally. Just like a dent in a car is much different than a totalled car, so too are these cases. It’s helpful to know if a personal injury lawyer has seen a case like yours – they’ll be well-versed on the right steps to take and more importantly, how to win a settlement.
How long does it take to resolve a personal injury case (like mine)?
It’s good to arm yourself with knowledge and expectations, which are the main reasons to ask a personal injury lawyer this question. Obviously, you also cannot generalize based on all personal injury cases, so a personal injury lawyer can help to give you a time frame that is relevant to your specific situation.
Can I get references from some of your past clients?
A good personal injury lawyer will connect you with some of their satisfied clients from the past, or at the very least, can show some positive testimonials freely given by past clients. It’s a definite red flag if your potential personal injury lawyer doesn’t give you any kind of references or access to past clients.
Have you ever been suspended?
Another red flag is if your potential personal injury lawyer has been suspended from practicing law. If the answer to this question is, “Yes,” ask why and determine if it’s worth working with this person.
How many cases are you handling at present? Do you have time for my case?
This question measures a personal injury lawyer’s capacity. There is a statute of limitations in terms of when a claim relating to a personal injury case must be filed, and if one personal injury lawyer doesn’t have the capacity to help you, you can’t wait around until they’re free. You must move with purpose to ensure that justice can be served in your case.
What’s your contingency fee?
Most personal injury cases involve a contingency fee, which means you don’t pay unless the case is won, then the personal injury lawyer retains a percentage of winnings. You will negotiate this percentage with the personal injury lawyer, but it tends to be between 25-40% of case winnings.
The previous questions will give you a good idea of how to find a personal injury lawyer. Check out Avvo for additional resources regarding questions to ask a personal injury lawyer.
Big Al offers free consultations where you’re free to ask all the aforementioned questions, and any others that come to mind. Give him a call at 1-800-HURT-123, or visit the website hurt123.com for more information.