According to the American Bar Association, there are about 1.3 million lawyers working in the U.S. today. More than 10% of them are personal injury lawyers.
Do you need to hire an attorney to represent you during a personal injury case? If so, you shouldn’t just pick the first personal injury lawyer you can find at a local law firm and trust them to provide you with legal services.
Instead, you should do your homework on personal injury lawyers in your area and select the one that looks best to you. You should then schedule a legal consultation with them so that you’re able to ask them a bunch of important questions.
Here are 15 questions to ask a lawyer before hiring them to set you up with the attorney services you need.
- How Much Experience Do You Have?
First things first: When you sit down to speak with a personal injury lawyer during a legal consultation, you should begin by asking them how much experience they have. It’s imperative that you work with a lawyer who has a ton of experience within the personal injury field.
Personal injury cases can often be very complicated. They can deal with everything from car accidents to medical malpractice to dog bites.
You need to have a personal injury lawyer in your corner who has been around the block when it comes to these kinds of cases. It’ll put you in a much better position if you choose to hire an attorney like this.
Visit AlphaAccidentLawyers.com to learn about some of the most experienced personal injury lawyers in Washington.
- Have You Worked On Cases Like Mine Before?
Just because a personal injury lawyer has been involved with handling personal injury cases for years now doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve worked on cases like yours before.
Most personal injury lawyers know the ins and outs of working on car accident cases. But they might not be quite as familiar with, say, wrongful death cases.
It would be worth asking a personal injury lawyer whether or not they’ve ever represented someone with a case like yours during your initial legal consultation. It’ll be nice to have someone who understands what you’re going through on your side.
- Do You Think I Have a Strong Case?
The last thing you want to do is go through the entire legal process after filing a personal injury claim and come up empty. You’ll waste a ton of time and possibly a lot of money if this ends up happening.
With this in mind, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask a personal injury lawyer how strong of a case you have. Ideally, they’ll say you have a slam-dunk case on your hands. But even if they don’t say this, it’d be good for them to have some confidence in your case before moving forward with them.
If a personal injury lawyer sounds apprehensive about taking on your case because they believe it might be weak in some way, you shouldn’t hire them to help you. You’re not going to be able to rest assured knowing that they believe in your case and a positive outcome for it.
- What Could My Case Potentially Be Worth?
The whole point of filing a personal injury lawsuit is so that you can secure compensation to pay for things like:
- Medical bills
- Car repair costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- And more
As a result, you’ll need to check with a personal injury lawyer to find out what they think your case could be worth. They should be able to provide you with a ballpark estimate based on the information you’re able to give them regarding your case.
If a personal injury lawyer doesn’t think you’re going to be able to get much compensation, it could have an impact on your decision to file a lawsuit in the first place. It’s why you should bring this up during an initial legal consultation.
- How Would You Handle My Case?
Not every personal injury lawyer is going to handle your case in the same way. Some might push hard for an out-of-court settlement, while others might tell you that they’re going to want to take your case all the way to court without even considering any settlement options.
You should try to get a sense of how different personal injury lawyers would approach your case. It’ll help you decide which one is going to go in the direction that you’d also like to go in order to obtain compensation.
- Do You Think You Could Settle My Case Out of Court?
Most personal injury lawsuits don’t ever end up going to court. More often than not, they’ll be settled outside the courtroom to save everyone from having to take a trip to court.
Are you interested in trying to settle your case out of court? If you are, this is yet another thing you’ll want to bring up while discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer.
Many personal injury lawyers are experts as far as settling cases out of court goes. But there are some who would prefer not to do this. So if you have your heart set on trying to strike a settlement deal, there may be certain lawyers that wouldn’t be your best bet.
- Is There a Good Chance of My Case Going to Court?
Some personal injury lawyers can look at the details of a case and see that it’s going to be one that will end up in a courtroom. They’ll have experience with these types of cases and understand the complications that’ll land them in court.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask a personal injury lawyer if your case might land in this category while you’re having your initial consultation with them. It’ll help you mentally prepare for the possibility of taking your case all the way to court in the coming months.
- What Happens If My Case Makes It to Court?
If your personal injury case does go to court, what is it going to be like? If you haven’t ever filed a personal injury lawsuit, you might not have the slightest clue as to what you should expect.
To alleviate the stress that is so often associated with going to court, you should ask a personal injury lawyer what this would be like for you. They’ll be able to talk to you about what it’s like going to court so that you know what to expect.
- What Will I Need to Do During My Case?
A personal injury lawyer is going to do almost all of the heavy lifting if your case ends up going to court. You’ll just have to sit back and watch the show that they put on, for the most part.
There will, however, be some work that you’ll need to do in advance to help your personal injury lawyer build a case on your behalf. For example, you’ll need to get your hands on important documents related to your medical bills, lost wages, etc.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you what they would need from you in advance. It’ll ensure that you’re ready to spring into action as soon as you hire them so that you can begin building the strongest case possible.
- How Will You Help Me Throughout My Case?
As we just mentioned, a personal injury lawyer will do most of the hard work throughout your case. But you should figure out how exactly they’re going to be helping you if you decide to hire them.
You should also check to make sure that they’ll be the ones assisting you and not one of their colleagues. There are some personal injury attorneys who will pass their work off to those who work for them and never play a big part in some cases.
In a perfect world, you’ll want to shy away from working with any personal injury lawyers like this. You want to hire an attorney that’s going to be more hands-on than that.
- How Much Will You Charge Me for Your Legal Services?
One of the best parts about hiring a personal injury lawyer is that it shouldn’t cost you anything upfront. Most lawyers who handle personal injury cases will collect a portion of the settlement or judgment that you receive.
But it’s worth pointing out that not all personal injury lawyers are going to charge you the same fee for their services. Personal injury lawyer fees can actually range quite a bit. You should search for one that’s going to fit into your price range.
- Will I Owe You Money If I Don’t Win My Case?
Most personal injury lawyers aren’t going to charge you anything if they aren’t able to get you compensation during your case. It’s why they’ll usually only take on cases that they know have a good chance to win in court.
But there are some personal injury lawyers who will charge you a small fee for their services even if you aren’t victorious in court. You should make sure you get on the same page with a lawyer before hiring them to help handle your case.
- How Long Do Cases Like Mine Typically Take?
It isn’t all that uncommon for personal injury cases to drag out over many months and sometimes even years. For this reason, you’ll want to get an idea of how long a lawyer thinks your case could last.
They obviously won’t be able to provide you with an exact timeline for your personal injury case. But they can utilize their experience to estimate how long your case might take.
- What Could Delay My Case?
There are a million and one different things that could cause delays with your personal injury case. A personal injury lawyer isn’t going to list every single one for you.
But they should be able to tell you some specific things that could result in delays in your case. They’ll do it after evaluating your case with a critical eye and looking for anything that could set your case back.
All of this is going to make it possible for you to decide if these potential delays will result in a change of heart when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit. You might not have it in you to spend the next few years trying to win a legal battle in court.
- What Sets You Apart From Other Personal Injury Lawyers?
As you wrap up a legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you should ask an attorney to tell you what it is that sets them apart from your other options. They should be able to provide you with an answer that shows what separates them from their competition.
The right personal injury lawyer is going to make you feel like they’re going to do a much better job than other lawyers in your area. It’ll give you complete confidence in them and allow you to feel good about enlisting them for their legal services.
Arrange to Take Part in a Legal Consultation Now
There are some people who will choose to hire a personal injury lawyer without holding a legal consultation with them. A lot of these people come to regret this decision later.
You should hold legal consultations with each and every personal injury lawyer that you’re thinking about working with. It’ll make it easier for you to decide which lawyer you want to represent you.
Get more great legal advice by reading through more of the law-related articles that have been published on our blog.