10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
There are over 19,000 lawyers currently employed in the United States.
Hiring a personal injury attorney is important, but it’s not always easy to find one who is right for you. You may think that all lawyers are the same and that any will do.
But this isn’t true at all. There are many personal injury lawyers, and they each specialize in different areas of law.
You need to find one who specializes in your case. The best way to do this is to ask some questions and get a feel for the attorney’s experience and knowledge.
If you are wondering what questions to ask before hiring a personal injury lawyer, this simple guide is for you.
1. How Long Have You Been Practicing Law?
Experience is a very important factor when hiring a lawyer. The longer an attorney has been practicing law, the more experience they have.
This means that they will handle your case quicker and more efficiently than someone with less experience.
2. What Areas of Law Do You Specialize in?
There are many areas of law, but only a few apply to your case.
An attorney who specializes in one area is more likely to be experienced and knowledgeable than someone who practices law in all areas. If you’re looking for a lawyer, ask them what areas of law they specialize in.
The more specific their answer is, the better. If they say things like “I handle all cases,” then chances are good that they don’t have experience in your area of law.
3. Have You Handled Cases Similar to Mine Before?
An experienced lawyer is likely to have handled cases similar to yours before.
They should give you examples of past cases that are similar. And they should be able to tell you how those cases turned out.
Ask the attorney what he or she thinks the best outcome would be in your case. If you’re not happy with the answer, then that may be a sign that this lawyer is not the right one for you.
4. Can You Provide References or Testimonials?
Another way to find out if a lawyer is experienced and good is by talking to the attorney’s other clients.
The attorney should be able to provide references and testimonials from past clients. If they don’t have any, then that’s not a good sign.
You can also check your local bar association for complaints against the lawyer or law firm in question.
5. How Do You Charge for Your Services?
When you meet with an attorney for the first time, discuss how they charge for their services.
Some lawyers will charge by the hour, and others will have a flat rate or contingency fee. Ask to see an example of their billing statement and make sure you understand how they bill.
If you have a limited income, then it’s important to look for an attorney who charges on a contingency basis rather than hourly.
6. What Is Your Success Rate?
When you’re looking for a lawyer, make sure you ask them about their success rate.
You should expect a lawyer who has had many cases to discuss how many they’ve won. And what factors contributed to their victory.
If a lawyer cannot give you an answer, then this may be a red flag. You should also ask them about previous cases that have been lost and why they lost those cases.
7. Will You Be Handling My Case?
If a lawyer has many cases, then there’s a chance that you won’t be able to speak with them directly. Instead, you may have to work with an associate or paralegal who is not as experienced in their field.
This may not be a big deal, but it can lead to complications.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with this arrangement before proceeding. If you’re not comfortable, then it might be best to find a lawyer who will handle your case directly.
8. What Is Your Communication Policy?
You should get a clear idea of how the lawyer will communicate with you.
If they want to email, then this is fine as long as they respond quickly and clearly. If you prefer to speak on the phone, make sure that this is possible before proceeding.
You should also ask what they expect from you.
Are there forms that need to be filled out? If so, how often will they contact you and what kind of information do they want?
Make sure that your vision for this is compatible with the lawyer’s expectations before proceeding.
9. How Do You Plan to Approach My Case?
There are many ways to approach your case, from aggressive to passive.
You may prefer an aggressive approach, or you may feel more comfortable with a passive one. If you are unsure, ask your lawyer how they plan to proceed with your case.
This will give you a better idea of what to expect from them. It will help you make an informed decision about whether to hire them.
10. Do You Have Malpractice Insurance?
A lawyer should have malpractice insurance, or they shouldn’t be practicing law. Malpractice insurance protects you from liability in case the lawyer makes a mistake that causes harm to your case.
If a lawyer doesn’t have malpractice insurance, they are not well-established enough to be trusted with your case. Or they are trying to save money by not purchasing it.
Either way, this is a bad sign. It shows the lawyer is not concerned with protecting the client’s interests.
Personal Injury Attorney: Know What to Expect
By asking the right questions, you can learn a lot about your personal injury attorney.
You should feel comfortable with the answers and confident that this is the right person for your case. If not, keep looking until you find someone who meets your needs.
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