Hiring your personal injury attorney can be a scary process. There are so many things you need to be cognizant of, and the risk of getting the wrong attorney can be pretty high. It’s for that reason that you need to ask certain questions before going forward with a personal injury attorney. These questions are pointed, they’re direct, and they’re answerable by any personal injury attorney who can be trusted. So the next time that you’re looking out for an injury attorney, make sure that you ask them these 10 questions before going ahead and bringing them onboard. You’ll be glad you did.
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1) What’s Your Contingency Fee?
Most agreements for personal injury fees are based on a contingency fee agreement. What this basically means is that there’s not a legal fee unless there’s a monetary recovery. Keep in mind that contingency fee agreements are fully negotiable and will typically fall between 25 percent and 40 percent. It’s important to ask this question because it’s one of the most crucial aspects of the personal injury law process.
2) Am I Responsible for any Advanced Case Costs if We Lose?
Along with the contingency fee, lawyers for personal injury will also charge any costs that were advanced. These costs can be relatively substantial, and you should keep in mind that they’re almost always going to be taken away from the client’s share of the cash. Make sure that your personal injury attorney takes the case so that you won’t be responsible for any of the costs, even if you lose. Be sure to inquire for a guarantee that you won’t be responsible at all for out-of-pocket expenses.
3) Have You Worked on These Types of Cases Before?
It’s important to know that your personal injury attorney knows what it is that they’re doing. Lawyers love personal injury lawsuits, and there is plenty of competition going on in the industry. Make sure that the personal injury lawyer you’ve chosen has tried or has experience with your type of case. Personally ask for your lawyer’s results and experience. Ask to speak with former clients if that’s at all possible. You need to be the one who’s in charge of the consultation. Don’t be intimidated or bullied, you’re the one hiring them.
4) Do You Have the Time to Work on My Case Right Now?
Be careful about going to the big and famous name. Lawyers love to get people signed up only to sit on their cases and sign still more people up on top of them. This won’t happen in every case, but it definitely happens often enough to merit a warning. This delay is doing harm to you. It’s delaying the money that you are entitled to, that you deserve.
5) When will My Lawsuit Be Filed?
Many lawyers don’t like to work on a case unless there is a deadline. It’s all too common for lawsuits to sit for a year or longer because there is no statute of limitations in place. If you have a lawsuit, it would do you well to file that suit sooner rather than later. Unless that delay can be justified, you should probably ask if your suit can be filed within two weeks.
6) Will My Case Go to Trial? and If It Does, When?
Your lawyer should be expecting that every single one of their cases will go to trial. If you’re being told that it’s going to settle, be sure to find out what it is that you’re settling for. It’s very difficult to be properly compensated if you’re not going to go to trial. Ask the attorney for time frames. It can be difficult to give specific answers, but it’s relevant to ask this.
7) What Is My Case Actually Worth?
You want to ask this question no matter what. There are a lot of factors when determining what your case is worth. Every attorney will have some sort of idea, even though it could be a broad range of numbers based on liability, discovery and unknown medical issues. Your personal injury attorney should at the very least be able to give you some specifics and uncover some of the unknowns for you. Use your own judgment in this matter. If it seems like your lawyer is promising something that’s unrealistic, that’s because they probably are. Only you can prevent yourself from getting fooled.
8) Will You Be the Lawyer Handling My Case?
Always beware of the initial meet and greet being done by one lawyer, only to find that you never see that lawyer again. Find out specifically who’s going to be the one handling your case. Who will your contact be? Who will you be speaking with on the phone? Be wary, for instance, about meeting the person in charge, only to find out that you’ll be working with the associate later on. You need to be doing your due diligence, and no one can do this but you.
9) What Will My Participation in the Lawsuit Look Like in the Case?
This is actually a very important question. Lawsuits are a process based on teamwork. Make sure you understand what your role will or won’t be well before you hire your attorney. If you are quite passionate about your case, you’ll probably want to get more involved in it. Will your lawyer allow you to do this? Not every single lawyer will, so it’s important to ask. Only you can prevent getting goofed, so you need to make sure that you run a sort of spoof trial before the actual trial in order to get these questions answered.
10) Will You Get Me More Money Than Other Attorneys and Why?
Personal injury lawsuits are basically all about the money. Sometimes you’ll be able to make change, but the majority of cases focus on making the most for you. You just need to hire the lawyer who gives you that best possible opportunity. It’s your one opportunity to get the results that you want to see. This is why it’s so vitally important to go after it and make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. If you’re not fighting for you, then no one is. You’ll have to campaign for your own best interests and fight for them in order to find a personal injury attorney who will do the same. You will achieve the results that you’re searching for if you’re firm in your judgments and go for it.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can be a scary process. There are so many things you need to be cognizant of, and the risk of getting the wrong attorney can be pretty high. It’s for that reason that you need to ask certain questions before going forward with your attorney. Contact Adam S. Kutner, Accident & Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. These questions are pointed, they’re direct, and they’re answerable by any attorney who can be trusted. So the next time that you’re looking out for an injury attorney, make sure that you ask them these questions before going ahead and bringing them onboard. You’ll be glad you did.
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