Thinking of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer? Don’t Forget to Ask These Questions
Have you been injured in a car or plane crash? If you have, you may have cause for a lawsuit. Distracted drivers are a big problem on American roads. When you look at Americans who are between 18 and 24 years old, about 97% of them admit they have cell phones. People who are distracted by such things as texting or talking on the phone cause a lot of accidents. In 2012, accidents with people who were distracted killed more than 3,000 people and injured more than 421,000 people. If you have been in such an accident, you may want to find a lawyer who handles personal injury claims. Before you hire anyone, you need to ask some questions. You may be unsure about what to ask an attorney. Here’s some help with that.
What to Ask an Attorney Before You Hire a Law Firm:
- Ask about the contingency fee. Personal injury lawyers most often charge what is called a contingency fee. This is a fee that they are paid if, and only if, they will a case. This is a big deal because when law firms use this kind of billing protocol you can tell they are only going to take on cases where they think there is some potential to be paid. This is one reason most personal injury lawsuits are not the frivolous endeavors people assume they are. The fee may seem high at between 25 and 40% but if you have a good lawyer it is worth it.
- Ask about other fees. While the main legal fee will be taken care of by the contingency fee, there may be other costs that the client is expected to take care of. When thinking about what to ask an attorney, it is critical that you know if there are any other costs that you will be responsible for. These are also costs that you might be responsible for even if your case is unsuccessful.
- Ask about their personal injury case experience. Whenever you are hiring any kind of lawyer, when you are thinking about what to ask an attorney, finding out what kind of experience they have with that kind of law. Lawyers, like doctors, specialize. You want one who knows all about personal injury settlements and how to get the best one for you. The vast majority of these cases do not go to trial so they have to be good at negotiating. This is one of the first questions to ask a personal injury lawyer.
- Ask about who will be handling your case. You may meet with an attorney and they are going to be the main person who is listed on your case but who will handle it day to day? When you call the office with questions, who will you talk with? Will it be your attorney or their legal assistant? What other staff do they expect to work on your case? You need to know who is working on the case, you have hired them. You need to know who you hired.
- Ask about a timeline. The law firm you hired works for you. You should get specific answers about when they will file your case. You need to know when things are happening and when you can expect it to be resolved. Lawyers, even the best ones, are not fortune tellers or psychics but they should have a sense of how quickly they can make things happen. Unless there is some really extraordinary thing happening, your personal injury lawyer should have your case filed within two weeks. Sometimes when people are thinking about what to ask an attorney, people assume they will push things as quickly as possible but that is often not the case.
If you think you have a case after suffering an injury, you will want to find the best personal injury lawyer. A big part of doing that is knowing what to ask an attorney. There are other questions you can ask but these are the basic questions for which you need answers. If you do your research, you will find the right lawyer for your case.
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