Personal injuries are always unexpected and often come with serious financial responsibilities, so seeking adequate legal representation from a personal injury lawyer is essential.
9 Important Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
When filing a lawsuit, you must have a good working relationship with your lawyer. Since both of you will be working hand in hand to fight for your rights, you should hire someone capable, experienced, and trusted.
Here are nine critical questions to ask your lawyer to help you determine whether they are a good fit for you, according to personal injury attorney Los Angeles CA.
What Is Your Overall Experience?
A lawyer’s experience is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when choosing one. Ask questions that’ll give you a general idea of the lawyer’s success rate and achievements, such as:
- Their success stories;
- Any awards or recognitions they’ve gotten;
- Their attitude towards going to trial.
Have You Ever Litigated Cases Similar to Mine Before?
Since personal injury cases are quite broad, you need to ensure that your lawyer has experience handling the particular type of injury you have. For instance, if you were in a trucking accident, you want to ensure the firm has dealt with other trucking accident cases.
After confirming a lawyer’s experience, you next want to know how much they’ll charge you. Generally, these lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, implying that they only get paid a specific percentage -between 25% and 40%- of the financial compensation you receive after winning the case.
While it might be tempting to go with a firm that charges a lower fee, you must always put quality before price first.
Will I Have to Pay Any Fees if I Lose?
Statistics show that only about 4% of personal injury cases make it to trial. This means that you’ll most likely be getting a settlement. However, if you go to trial and lose, you must know if your lawyer will charge you miscellaneous out-of-pocket fees and how high these may be.
How Long Will My Case Take?
There is no definite answer to this question, as many factors influence the final result, including:
- The lawyer’s caseload;
- Experience and.
However, this question helps you measure the lawyer’s seriousness and if they’re dedicated to resolving your case in the shortest possible time.
How Much Time Can You Devote to My Case?
Whatever you do, you want to ensure that your lawyer sees your case as a priority and not just another case number. You need to ask them what their caseload looks like to ensure you’re not employing an overbooked lawyer who would barely have the time to give you the representation you deserve.
What Is My Case Worth?
Since most cases aim for a financial settlement, knowing just how much you can expect to get is important. Your lawyer should be able to provide you with a price range based on your personal circumstances. However, be wary of a lawyer that gives you a specific dollar amount or unrealistic figures.
What Challenges Does My Case Pose?
It’s important to know just how bumpy the road ahead is, and there’s no better-suited person to tell you this than your lawyer. When asking this question, you should pick a lawyer who is honest with you over one that sugarcoats the truth. Furthermore, it would be best to ask how the lawyer plans to navigate and overcome the identified challenges.
What Is Expected of Me?
Before hiring a lawyer, you must discuss their expectations of you. For instance, do they want you to be fully involved in the case or only partially involved? Discussing this will ensure that you are both on the same page as the case progresses.
Related Questions: What Are the Criteria for a Claim?
To file a lawsuit, you must be able to prove the following:
- That there was negligence or a breach of duty on the part of the defendant
- That this negligence resulted in the injury, which is also known as causation and must be proven by a medical expert
What Is the Time Limitation on These Claims?
The time limitation on a claim is 3 years, which implies that the lawsuit must be filed in court within the 3 years from the day the accident occurred or from the day of knowledge.
In the case of children, the limitation period starts on the child’s 18th birthday. This means that up till age 21, the child can file a claim for an accident that happened at any time during their childhood.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer?
You should hire a lawyer immediately after an accident. This enables the lawyer to gather important information, such as witness statements and evidence, while the incident remains fresh. It will also give them more time to adequately prepare for the case, thus increasing your chances of coming out successfully.
If you’d like to file a personal injury claim, the above questions will help you sift through the numerous attorney options you would probably have and choose the best one for your needs.