Six Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation
There are many potential reasons you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer. If you have been harmed as a result of another party’s negligence, a qualified attorney can help you pursue compensation.
Choosing the right attorney can play a critical role in the outcome of your case. You may feel overwhelmed if you’re not sure how to go about hiring an attorney.
Finding the right lawyer to handle your case doesn’t need to be as difficult as it may seem. By asking certain questions during your free consultation, you can get a better sense of whether an attorney can serve your needs.
Below are six questions you should ask during your consultation.
What Types of Cases Do You Have Experience Handling?
Personal injury cases come in many forms. You should also ask if the attorney handles any type of other cases. Lawyers who handle only personal injury cases tend to be more familiar with the issues and challenges specific to cases involving accident victims.
The following are merely among the more common examples:
Each personal injury case is unique. You’ll want to confirm that an attorney has some experience handling cases similar to yours before you decide to hire them.
Due to attorney-client privilege, a lawyer might not necessarily be able to go into major detail when discussing cases similar to yours that they’ve handled in the past. However, they should be able to provide you with a general idea of whether they have the right background to offer the representation you deserve.
What Are Your Fees?
You need to consider your budget when hiring a personal injury lawyer. That said, most personal injury attorneys use the contingency fee model when charging clients.
Someone in need of the services of a personal injury attorney is likely already facing financial struggles, such as unexpected medical bills. They do not need to exacerbate their financial situation.
That’s why, with the contingency fee system, attorneys only charge clients if they recover compensation for them first. Their fee is typically a percentage of the compensation they helped secure.
Still, you shouldn’t assume an attorney uses this approach. Ask for thorough information about their fees and costs to ensure you’re hiring someone you can afford.
How Long Will it Take to Reach a Settlement?
You may be eager to arrive at a settlement when filing a personal injury claim. However, it’s important to complete as much of your medical treatment as possible first. You don’t want to accept a payout, only to realize it isn’t enough to cover the total cost of treatment and related losses.
Be wary of attorneys who promise they can settle your case quickly. While there are instances when a personal injury case can be settled very fast, an honest attorney may explain that the process can be somewhat lengthy, depending on a number of factors. Your goal is to find a lawyer who prioritizes recovering a fair amount of compensation over recovering minimal compensation quickly.
What Damages May I Recover?
The types of damages you may recover when filing a claim can vary depending on the circumstances. For example, you can typically recover compensation for your economic damages. Examples of economic damages include medical bills and lost wages.
In some cases, you can also potentially recover compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. However, this usually won’t be an option if, for example, you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Knowing what types of losses you incurred and what damages you may be able to seek requires a thorough understanding of the law. To get a better sense of the damages you may recover, ask about this topic during your initial consultation with an attorney.
Be aware that no honest or ethical lawyer can promise that you will definitely recover any specific amount of compensation. If a lawyer makes guarantees, you may need to look elsewhere for representation. A lawyer who can’t be trusted to be honest during a free consultation can’t be trusted to offer quality representation.
How Often Do You Go to Trial?
Those who’ve never had much experience filing personal injury claims or lawsuits might base their assumptions about the process on what they see on TV. In pop culture, these types of cases often result in courtroom trials. These types of cases are more dramatic when depicted on-screen than most real-life personal injury cases.
Many personal injury cases are actually settled out of court. This tends to be ideal for everyone, as a trial can drag out the process.
However, it is sometimes necessary to file a lawsuit and go to court if an insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement. Thus, you want to be confident your attorney has the ability to properly represent you in a trial if your case requires one.
How Will We Stay in Touch if I Hire You?
Personal injury attorneys can handle numerous cases at one time. You shouldn’t necessarily expect your lawyer to be able to respond immediately every single time you reach out for information about your case.
That said, you do deserve to know that you will be able to reach out to your lawyer and learn more about your claim or lawsuit’s progress easily when you have questions. You also want to be confident you’ll get an answer in a reasonable amount of time.
Ask an attorney about how you will communicate with them if you decide to hire them. They should be able to clearly and honestly explain how you can contact them and how long you will realistically have to wait before getting a response.
It’s also wise to pay attention to how comfortable you feel when speaking with an attorney during your first consultation. While hiring a qualified lawyer should be your top priority, it also helps if you feel you can be honest with them when discussing what may be painful topics.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Do you believe you have reason to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in New York, NY? If so, schedule a free consultation with our team at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
Our track record of recovering millions of dollars in compensation for numerous clients over the years illustrates why we are qualified to represent you. Call us today or contact us online for more information.