Have you recently had an accident that wasn’t your fault?
If this has happened to you, you deserve justice. But to get this, you must hire the right personal injury attorney. If you’ve never had to hire one before, it can be hard to know how you would go about doing this.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for 6 important questions to ask a personal injury attorney before hiring them.
1. What Experience Do They Have With Cases Like Yours?
You don’t need a personal injury lawyer that specializes in your specific case, but it’s useful if they do. Having a solid career of winning similar cases means they know what they’re doing. The chances of getting the best outcome from your personal injury lawsuit get higher.
Look for a personal injury firm that specializes in your type of accident. Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective attorney about their experience either. Ask them to give you details about their results and their qualifications. You want to make sure they’re licensed too.
2. What Are Their Billing Practices?
A lot of issues people have with their attorneys often come down to billing issues. Sometimes it can be because one party was dishonest, but most of the time it’s a miscommunication. Before you hire an attorney, get their billing practices in writing.
You’ll find a lot of personal injury attorneys will work their cases on contingency. Especially when it comes to cases that are a personal injury claim.
This means that they only get paid if you win your case. Don’t get complacent though, you still need to discuss bills. You don’t want any billing issues to come up later down the line.
Some key things to find out include:
- how much they charge per hour
- when they expect payment
- how they handle any extra fees
- how they will take payment
Most of the time, attorneys who work on contingency will keep a list of your bill as you go along. They’ll work out the charges and fees if they end up winning your case.
If you don’t discuss this beforehand, it’s easy to feel blindsided. It can be a bit of a shock to get a bill after you’ve won and then see how much of your winnings they’ll take.
So, when it comes to billing, insist on clear and open communication between your personal injury attorney and you. Whenever requested, they should also give you a fee breakdown and bill. So, if you want to check how much you’re spending, don’t be afraid to ask them.
3. What Can You Expect in Your Bill?
If you’ve never hired an attorney before it may come as a surprise what sort of things they will bill you for. It’s common for attorneys to bill you for things like meetings, phone calls, and emails.
They might not tell you this though when they send the email out, meet with you, or are talking on the phone. They’ll lay this information out in the agreement you’ll sign when hiring the attorney. So, make sure you read it in full.
You might not expect to pay for these types of items, but it’s standard practice. It’s all part of the deal when you’re represented by an attorney. If you do have any concerns though, you must raise them with your attorney. They’ll be able to explain everything and put your mind at rest over what you’re paying for.
4. How Often Do They Win Cases Like Yours?
It’s important to note that how often a firm wins cases won’t always mean much for your specific outcome. But, this is still a question you want to ask. You want an attorney who has a great record of winning cases for their clients to get your best shot at yours.
An experienced attorney can provide statistics on how often they win cases. They’ll even be able to give a breakdown of their performance for different types of cases. It’s well worth checking, to give you peace of mind you’re choosing someone you can rely on.
5. How Often Will They Communicate With You?
Any attorney worth hiring will have other cases going on besides yours. So, remember not to bother them about yours all the time.
But, you also want to feel like you can talk with your lawyer and find out new updates when they come in. You should never feel in the dark about what’s going on in your case.
It’s a good idea to ask any attorneys how often you should expect communication. Also, ask them when you should contact them f you have questions about your case. Establishing good communication early on is vital, and both parties need to be happy.
6. Will I Go to Trial & How Much is the Case Worth?
If your attorney tells you your case will likely settle, be cautious about how much you settle for. This does not mean that personal injury settlements aren’t the best option for your case.
If they plan on settling from the start, there’s a chance they aren’t committed to a trial. It’s not always the case, but if it is, this would reduce your chance of winning in court. If your attorney says you might need to go to court, then ask them to try and give you a rough timeframe.
It can take around 3 years to resolve a personal injury case. But, if you have a proactive attorney working under the deadline you set, often they’ll get it done sooner. At this point, it’s also worth finding out what sort of estimate they could give for your case. Remember this could be a rough number, based on things like:
- medical issues
And other considerations. Your attorney should have some sort of figure for your personal injury compensation. They should be able to tell you this rough estimate, but also explain what’s unknown. If you get a figure that seems a little too good to be true, it likely is. Don’t be afraid to walk away and choose another attorney.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Made Easy
So, there you have it! Now you know these 6 questions to ask, you’re well on your way to hiring the personal injury attorney you need.
Remember, while it’s not a deal-breaker, experience in your type of case is a big advantage. Make sure, even if they work on contingency, you discuss billing. It’s important to understand what you’re paying for, so there are no surprises down the line. A good attorney should make you feel in safe hands, and take the time to explain everything, each step of the way.
If you found this article helpful, check out our other blog posts today!