Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer Before Hiring
If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by the actions of another individual or entity, you may very likely need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. However, we strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled lawyer who has extensive experience handling these claims. There are some questions we encourage you to ask any attorney you are thinking about working with so that you can weed out specific lawyers and zero in on one that you think will help you recover the compensation you need.
Can You Tell Me About Your Experience and Qualifications?
It is very important to understand that you need a lawyer with experience handling your particular type of claim. There are plenty of attorneys in your area, but you need a personal injury lawyer. More specifically, you need to make sure you have a personal injury lawyer who has experience with your particular situation. For example, some attorneys handle mostly vehicle accident claims, and they may not be the best person to handle a product liability claim.
You need to make sure you are with the right attorney for the right situation.
How do You Typically Communicate With Clients?
You need to ask how your attorney intends to communicate with you. All too often, individuals get put off onto paralegals or legal assistants, and the attorney becomes unavailable to answer questions or concerns from the client. You need to make sure you have an attorney who is willing to take your call within a reasonable time frame and answer the questions you have related to your situation.
What are Your Rates?
You need to know how much your attorney will cost. Typically, personal injury lawyers will handle claims on a contingency fee basis, which means the injury victim will pay no compensation until after the attorney secures the compensation they need. The total legal fees will equal a certain agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or jury verdict.
How Much is My Case Worth?
You can ask your attorney how much they think your case is worth, but please understand that they will not be able to give you a solid answer right away. There are so many variables that go into a personal injury claim that an attorney will only be able to give you an estimate based on their experience with similar cases. You do need to know a ballpark answer of how much your case could be worth, but an attorney will never tell you that they know “exactly” how much you will receive. If an attorney does this during the initial consultation, they may not be the best fit for you.
Will You Take the Case to Trial?
Some attorneys rush to take settlements because they want a quick payout. However, quick settlements are not always in the best interest of the client. You need to make sure you have an attorney who is willing to take your case all the way to trial if that is what it takes to ensure you are treated fairly and that you recover full compensation.
Will You be the One to Handle the Case?
Sometimes, more well-known attorneys in the firm will use their name to get people in the door and then hand the case off to others in the office. Sometimes this is other attorneys, but sometimes it is paralegals or legal assistants. You need to make sure that you know who is handling your case and who your point of contact will be.