10 Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring an Injury Lawyer
After an injury, you may think that you may not need a lawyer. After all, the evidence of injury is pretty clear, right? Maybe the other person was even arrested for causing your injuries. So what could a lawyer do for you that you can’t do yourself?
The answer is a lot. An experienced injury lawyer will know how to investigate your accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case for liability. They will also be able to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and fight for the best outcome in your case.
Before you hire an injury lawyer, though, there are some important questions you need to ask. Let’s take a detailed look at 10 of the most important questions you need to ask before hiring an injury lawyer.
- 1 Do I Need a Lawyer?
- 2 What Is Your Area of Focus or Expertise?
- 3 How Long Have You Been Practicing Law?
- 4 What Cases Have You Handled That Are Similar to Mine?
- 5 What Is Your Trial Experience?
- 6 What Is the Likely Outcome of My Case?
- 7 How Much Will It Cost to Hire You?
- 8 What Is Your Settlement Success Rate?
- 9 Do You Have Any References?
- 10 How Will You Keep Me Updated on the Status of My Case?
- 11 What Are the Lawyer’s Resources?
- 12 Conclusion
Do I Need a Lawyer?
This is often the first question people ask after being injured in an accident. The answer, unfortunately, is not always clear-cut. If you were involved in a minor fender bender with little damage and no injuries, it’s likely that you won’t need a lawyer.
However, if you were hit by a drunk driver or suffered serious injuries like broken bones or head trauma, then you will probably need an experienced injury lawyer on your side.
What Is Your Area of Focus or Expertise?
You would be surprised how many lawyers don’t have any experience with personal injury law. While any licensed lawyer can technically represent you in court, you will have a much better chance of winning your case if you hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Law?
It’s always best to hire an experienced lawyer, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily rule out new lawyers. Newer lawyers may be more up-to-date on the latest laws and technologies that could benefit your case.
They may also be more willing to work for less money than an experienced lawyer since they are trying to build their reputation and client base.
However, it is important to ask about their experience, specifically with personal injury law.
What Cases Have You Handled That Are Similar to Mine?
Even if a lawyer has been practicing for many years, that doesn’t mean they have handled a case similar to yours. Every personal injury case is different, and you want to make sure your lawyer has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your particular type of case.
What Is Your Trial Experience?
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, but some go to trial. If your case does go to trial, you want to make sure your lawyer has experience and success in the courtroom. Trials are some of the most complicated legal proceedings, and you want to be sure your lawyer knows what they are doing.
They are also risky because you never know how a jury is going to rule. You don’t want to hire a lawyer who has never been to trial and then have them learn about your case.
What Is the Likely Outcome of My Case?
No lawyer can guarantee a particular outcome, but a good lawyer should be able to give you a general idea of what to expect. They may base their estimate on the facts of your case, their experience with similar cases, and the current state of the law.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire You?
“You get what you pay for,” as the old adage goes. Hiring a cheap lawyer may save you money upfront, but it could end up costing you more in the long run if you are not experienced or successful.
On the other hand, hiring an expensive lawyer does not guarantee success. The best thing to do is to find a middle ground and hire a lawyer who charges a reasonable fee and has a good track record of winning cases.
However, you should know most injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. If you do win, they usually take a percentage of the settlement or judgment as to their fee. This percentage can range from 25% to 40%.
What Is Your Settlement Success Rate?
You should also ask about a lawyer’s settlement success rate. This is the percentage of cases that are settled out of court. A good lawyer should have a high settlement success rate because this means they are good at negotiating with insurance companies and other lawyers. It also means they are likely to get you a higher settlement than you would get on your own.
Do You Have Any References?
You should always ask for references before hiring any type of professional, and this includes lawyers. A good lawyer should be able to provide you with references from past clients who were happy with their services. These references can give you an idea of what it is like to work with a lawyer and whether or not they are likely to get you a good settlement.
How Will You Keep Me Updated on the Status of My Case?
This is an important question to ask because you want to be kept in the loop. You should expect to be updated at least once a week on the progress of your case. If you don’t hear from your lawyer for an extended period of time, it’s okay to reach out and ask what’s going on. Remember, you’re paying them, and they should be working for you.
What Are the Lawyer’s Resources?
Not all lawyers have the same level of resources. Some may have a team of investigators or paralegals who can help gather evidence and build your case. Others may have close relationships with medical professionals who can offer credible testimony or review your medical records. If you have a complex case, you want to make sure your lawyer has the resources necessary to build a strong case.
No one wants to find themselves in a situation where they need to hire an injury lawyer, but if you do find yourself in that position, it’s important to ask the right questions. By taking the time to ask these questions, you can ensure that you find the right lawyer for your case and that you’re getting the best possible representation.