9 Important Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Hiring
There are currently 129,834 personal injury lawyers throughout the country. How do you find the one you can trust with your case?
Before hiring a lawyer, there are a few important questions you should ask. Discovering the answers to these questions can ensure you have peace of mind about who you're hiring.
Otherwise, you might end up with a lawyer who isn't capable of winning your case.
Here are nine important questions to ask a personal injury lawyer. With these questions, you can find the lawyer ready to win your case!
1. What's Your Experience with This Type of Case?
It's important you don't assume a lawyer has experience with your type of case, even if they're a personal injury lawyer. To gauge their know-how, ask about their experience—and the results from those cases.
Don’t be afraid to get specific, too. If you experienced a slip-and-fall injury, look for a personal injury lawyer who has won similar cases. Otherwise, you might end up with a lawyer who only works on car accident lawsuits.
Personal injury lawyers handle a number of different types of cases, including:
Assault and battery
These categories can divide even deeper. For example, medical malpractice can involve birth injuries, misdiagnosis, or surgical errors.
Most personal injury lawyers will handle some of these cases, but not all of them.
It's important to find a personal injury lawyer who has firsthand experience handling your type of case. Their experience will provide them with the familiarity they need to tackle common legal issues. They might also have expert witnesses and investigators from past cases that can benefit yours.
2. What is Your Level of Courtroom Experience?
Even if the lawyer has experience with your type of case, they may have never gone to court. In fact, most civil cases don't go to trial. Therefore, it's important you find an attorney who has made it to trial and verdict.
An experienced lawyer with no courtroom experience won't give you the best chance of winning your case. Even a skillful lawyer needs experience in order to win in court.
Sometimes, a lack of courtroom experience can indicate the lawyer is afraid of the courtroom.
If that's true, you might notice their apprehension about going to court beforehand. They may even make a lower settlement offer to avoid trial.
Determine your lawyer's level of courtroom experience. Then, you can find a lawyer who has your best interests in mind throughout your entire case.
3. What is Your Success Rate?
About 5.8 million people die every year as a result of their injuries. That's about 10% of the world's total deaths.
You deserve a personal injury lawyer who is capable of winning your case. A winning lawyer will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
When looking for questions to ask your personal injury lawyer prospects, don't forget to ask about their success rate.
How many trials have they won that are similar to your case? While they may have experience and have gone to court many times, it's the wins that matter.
A trained personal injury lawyer will expect every case to go to trial. Therefore, the information you give them should be as detailed and correct as possible so they can properly prepare themselves to defend you in court. Otherwise, your settlement negotiations will be lacking the proper preparation.
Preparing you ahead of time will ensure you get the fairest settlement available.
4. Who Will Work on My Case?
Ask who at the firm will handle your case moving forward. You'll want to know who your point of contact is, so you know who to expect or who to contact with your issues.
Make sure to ask if a less experienced associate is handling your case.
If they are, you'll want to know who is supervising them.
5. Are You a Member of Any Legal Organizations?
There are national and state organizations for lawyers who specialize in representing injured clients.
The most prominent one is the American Association of Justice.
You can find a lawyer who doesn't belong to one of these groups. However, a lawyer who is a member will likely conduct lobbying activities for the rights of consumers. The organization will also sponsor legal publications and legal education programs.
Finding a member of these legal organizations can possibly benefit your case.
6. Are You a Board-Certified Civil Trial Lawyer?
Board certification works to identify a lawyer's specific, extensive experience.
If you can, find a lawyer who is board-certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. This national organization has a process specifically for trial lawyers. As an NBTA certified lawyer, your attorney will have extensive courtroom experience and experience preparing cases for trial.
They'll also need to pass an all-day exam before receiving their certification.
7. Can I Speak to a Past Client?
Feel free to ask your personal injury lawyer for references. Instead of relying on promo materials or their website (which are often edited), speak to someone over the phone.
A former client can tell you about their experience with this attorney before you decide to hire them.
8. Will I Win, and How Much Will I Get?
A lawyer likely won't have a precise answer to this question. After all, personal injury lawsuits are often unpredictable. However, a lawyer should have a rough prediction in mind about your chance of winning.
Speak to multiple attorneys about their predictions. You can often tell an attorney is over-promising if their estimate is far higher than anyone else's.
A lawyer will probably take your case if they believe there's some chance of winning. Otherwise, they're signing up for a loss, which would waste their time.
9. What Are Your Fees?
Most personal injury attorneys work under a contingency fee agreement. That means they won't get paid until they win something for your case.
Most attorneys ask for 33% of what you recover.
However, you'll also need to keep track of legal costs, such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, administrative fees, and information-gathering expenses.
Get In Order: 9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
With these questions, you can get your information in order before hiring a personal injury lawyer. Now you can find the best lawyer for the task.
Get the justice you deserve. Hire an experienced firm today.