Are you thinking about representing yourself in your personal injury case? Doing this is a big mistake.
It only takes one small mistake to wreak havoc in a complicated lawsuit. If you try to do this on your own without experience, you run the risk of your claim being dismissed.
If you need help dealing with an injury after being in an accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer is a great way to move things along. Use the six questions below to help you find a personal injury attorney who will help you win your case.
1. Do You Specialize in Personal Injury?
The world of law is extensive and varies a lot based on the type of lawsuit you’re bringing to court. A personal injury lawsuit will vary wildly from one where you’re suing because of some other reason. A general practitioner who doesn’t specialize in personal injury might have difficulty working on your case.
Before you hire a personal injury lawyer, ask them how much experience they have with personal injury cases. Ideally, they should have a record of wins from their past clients. Your lawyer should be able to give you examples of legal cases they’ve won in claims that are like yours.
Going this route means that your lawyer will know what to do in every aspect of your case. They won’t need to research too many specifics about personal injury cases when they come across something they don’t know how to handle.
2. Will You Be the Person Working on My Case?
Law firms come in all sizes, and you might not know for sure how large the firm you’re working with is when talking with an attorney. You might see someone on a billboard and speak with them when interviewing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the ones who will work on your case.
The public faces of these firms are busy and often pass their casework off to their associates.
Ensure you understand whether or not the person you talk with will be the one working on your personal injury lawsuit. If you’re expecting to work with them and end up working with someone you’ve never met before, it can be a hassle to figure out what’s going on.
If you’re in this situation, you need to meet the people who will work on your case. Get a good idea about their backgrounds and temperaments, so you know for sure that they’re a good fit for your case.
3. How Do You Handle Fees?
Some personal injury cases might be open and shut. For those situations, a fixed fee might work well to save you money. However, not all cases will be over quickly.
If you have a lengthy personal injury case, the last thing you want to do is pay your lawyer hourly. You might end up with more legal fees than you get in your settlement.
In these types of cases, the best personal injury lawyer will charge you based on a contingency. This means that you don’t pay anything upfront or hourly. Instead, your attorney will only charge you if they win your case.
You don’t have to worry about this fee coming out of your pocket. Your lawyer collects their fee from the total amount they win for you in your case.
4. Do You Have Time for My Case?
Some lawyers provide a lot of personal attention. They keep their caseloads low, so they can give as much attention to their clients as they need. These lawyers are great to work with because you know for sure that your personal injury case is getting the attention to detail it needs.
Unfortunately, not all lawyers work that way. They try to maximize profit by working with as many clients as they can. You won’t know for sure if your lawyer is paying enough attention to your case.
It’s easy for them to miss an essential detail in these situations.
Ask your potential lawyers about their current caseload to see how much attention they can afford to give you. If you want a gauge about their time-commitments and responsiveness, ask them how long it takes to get a reply to your questions.
If someone commits to a quick turnaround-time for questions, it’s a good sign that they’ll give your case the attention it deserves.
5. What’s My Role in the Case?
Not all lawyers handle their clients’ roles in their cases the same way. Some lawyers like the clients to be hands-on and provide input throughout the process. Other lawyers want to handle things themself and let the client sit back and relax.
The question is, which one of these scenarios do you prefer?
If you want to take an active role in your personal injury case, you’ll need to find a lawyer that meets those needs. Check with lawyers during the interview process to see what they expect from you during the process. Their answer will be able to tell you if their working style matches with what you want out of your partnership.
6. Do You Have Any References?
Even a good interview won’t tell you everything you need to know about a lawyer. They’re going to do their best to impress during your time talking, so the chances are they will downplay some of their weaknesses. If you want to get the full picture of working with someone, you’ll need to speak with past clients.
Any reputable personal injury lawyer should be able to give you access to clients who will confirm their skills. Use your time talking with past clientele to learn what the process is really like during the legal process.
Just remember that someone with the right qualifications won’t always be the right fit to represent you in court.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of a Good Personal Injury Lawyer
You have a long road ahead of you if you’re dealing with a complicated personal injury case. Finding a reliable personal injury lawyer is essential in these situations if you want to form a successful claim. Use the question above to find the right person for the job.
If you enjoyed this post, head back to our blog. You’ll learn more about things you can do to handle tasks in your everyday life.