Unfortunately, if you are injured in an accident, there’s no guarantee that the other guy or his insurance company will do the right thing. It is the job of a personal injury attorney to make sure he does. Not all personal injury law firms, however, are the same. In fact, knowing the best fit for you, your family, and your specific situation can mean the difference between getting what you deserve and falling short.
Need to know where to start? Let us share seven questions for you to consider asking your personal injury lawyer during the first meeting.
1. How much will it cost? Personal injury firms mostly operate on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing upfront because your attorney will be subsidizing the litigation. Your attorney recoups a percentage of a final award, plus any costs that had to be paid towards the lawsuit. Remember, a lack of resources on your part should never prevent you from seeking justice.
2. What’s my case worth? Nobody can tell the future, but each case should fall within a range of prospective outcomes. Do your research and be cautious of anyone who promises financial rewards that seem too good to be true.
3. Do I still have to pay if I lose? Some lawyers may charge for out-of-pocket expenses if your case is ultimately unsuccessful. Make sure to ask about any extra case-related costs before signing the contract.
4. What’s your experience? An experienced attorney can make a big difference in securing the right outcome for you. Ask tough questions. For example: How many cases have you taken to trial? How many of those have you won? Were they all jury trials? How many years have you practiced? How many years have you specialized as a personal injury attorney? Do you handle other types of cases? What other types of law do you practice? You want an experienced personal injury attorney who has won multiple verdicts. A successful track record of handling cases like yours can be the best indicator that your case is handled appropriately.
5. What’s my responsibility? Like any professional arrangement, it’s important to get clear on what’s expected of you at the outset of the relationship. Communicate the degree of involvement you’re comfortable with and gauge the attorney’s response. You must be sure to always provide your attorney with up-to-date contact information.
6. How long will my case take? Again, no one can tell the future, but an experienced attorney should be able to provide a rough time estimate to complete your case. Make sure to communicate what you want but listen to your attorney’s input. Experience can provide context for how long your case will take to resolve.
7. Who will personally handle my case? The person you first speak with may not be the actual person who handles your case. So make sure to meet your prospective attorney and his or her staff, to decide if you’re comfortable. The attorney-client relationship should always be based on trust.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. If you or someone you know has been injured or involved in an accident, do not wait to contact our law office to schedule a free case evaluation today. We are your local law Tallahassee law firm.