Getting into a serious accident has more consequences than you might think.
Beyond the medical care and the time you’ll need to heal, there are bigger things to handle like insurance claims. You might even consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to support your case or to hold someone accountable for your accident.
Whatever the situation, you need to have an in-depth lawyer consultation.
This means asking all the right questions to ensure you’re working with the best lawyer available.
Here are a few things to discuss when you need to hire a personal injury lawyer.
1. What Kind of Experience Do You Have?
The first thing you should ask during a lawyer consultation is how long your potential attorney has been in the field.
This about more than the time that has passed since he or she graduated law school. It’s about how long they have been actively fighting personal injury cases.
Some lawyers have tried their hand at different specialties over the years. Others still practice a mix of different legal services.
Make sure you know the kind of background you’re dealing with before you decide to move forward.
2. Has Your License Ever Been Suspended?
Speaking about a lawyer’s background, ask if their license has ever been suspended.
If the answer is yes, this is a huge red flag.
A suspension is not a penalty to take lightly. This is often the result of malpractice or wrongdoing.
Get the full story from your potential attorney during your lawyer consultation. Sometimes, there is a good reason for the incident or enough time has passed since the suspension that you can be comfortable moving forward.
If it turns out the lawyer’s license was revoked, keep searching for someone else to represent you.
3. How Many of Your Cases Are Focused on Personal Injury?
Another good point to bring up is the percentage of personal injury a lawyer focuses on each year or each quarter.
Ask about a lawyer’s specialty when it comes to injury, too.
Every claim is different. Some are for workers’ compensation while others are the cause of an auto accident.
More so, not all of them make it to a courtroom.
4. How Often Have You Been In Court?
It’s vital to know the difference between handling a personal injury case from behind a desk or in front of a judge and jury.
Your lawyer should have experience beyond phone calls and filing papers. You have to be able to trust their ability to stand for your rights in the court of law.
This takes skill beyond legal knowledge.
You should use your lawyer consultation to read an attorney’s character, drive, and passion for their work. Such qualities will play into how well they make your case.
5. What Is Your Success Rate?
Good qualities are one thing, but the numbers never lie.
Be upfront during your lawyer consultation and ask for the attorney’s success rate with previous personal injury cases.
Maybe even narrow this rate down to your specific kind of case.
If you’re dealing with a sensitive situation like domestic abuse or police brutality — further explained at USAttorneys — a strong success in this area is a good sign.
6. Do You Have References or Reviews I Can See?
Another sign you’re moving in the right direction with your attorney of choice is a good review.
Ask him or her for references you can contact or reviews to read.
These are first-hand accounts of the kind of services you can really expect.
It’s not someone trying to sell you, rather someone who can back up the claims an attorney is making. Many people see reviews as a sign of good faith and a reason to trust their personal injury lawyer.
7. Are You a Member of Any Law Boards or Organizations?
Some lawyers make it a point to stand for justice outside of the courtroom.
These people are dedicated professionals who spend their time offering counsel on legal boards or as part of law organizations. They also make an active effort to continue their understanding and education of the law.
Such an individual is someone you can expect to be a trustworthy, well-suited resource to make your claim.
8. Will I Have Direct Contact With You?
Beyond establishing a level of trust, use your lawyer consultation to set expectations.
The most important of which will be communication.
Some attorneys operate with a team of people to help them manage their clients and take their calls. They will be hard to reach directly.
Others run a small practice and are easily accessible by phone call or email. These are the kind of lawyers you can call at the drop of a dime with questions or concerns, during business hours of course.
9. What Are Your Payment Expectations?
Another expectation to go over is payments.
Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee.
This is the practice of offering services in exchange for a percentage of your settlement earnings. If you lose the case, contingency covers you from making the payments out of pocket.
Double check an attorney’s policies just in case, though. Some may need you to cover a flat rate no matter the outcome.
10. What Else Do You Need From Me?
Just when you think you’ve gotten all of the details out of the way, go over everything one last time.
This ensures you’ve established a strong foundation to move your case forward. It’s your way of knowing your lawyer knows the full context of your injury and the goals of your claim.
It also makes you aware of what your lawyer will need from you in return.
He or she may ask for a follow-up meeting and medical records or other forms. They might want insurance information or face time with your employer.
Whatever it is, though, be clear about the timeline and necessary tools for your case.
Book Your Lawyer Consultation for Personal Injury
Now that you know all the questions to ask during your lawyer consultation, it’s time to find an attorney!
Personal injury lawyers are available all over the United States. There may even be a handful of options in your area.
The search process is simple, though.
Click here to get started.