Did you know that if you’re in an accident where the injuries or physical damage exceeds $1,000, you need to report it to the DMV within ten days, or you risk losing your license? It’s crucial facts like this one of which your personal injury lawyer can advise.
Just as seeking medical treatment is key to your physical recovery following an accident, seeking legal representation is key to recovering costs when you’ve been injured. But you don’t want to hire just anyone. There are several different areas of personal injury law, and you need to find one that specializes in your particular injury.
Before choosing an attorney, screen him or her by asking these personal injury questions:
What Is Your Level of Experience with My Type of Case?
There are several areas or personal injury law. Ask the attorney how many cases they have handled that are similar to yours. Then ask what the outcome was of those cases were.
Keep in mind that the attorney’s past performance is no guarantee of the outcome of your case. Here are some of the different areas of personal injury law in which your lawyer may specialize.
- Car accidents
- Animal bites
- Slip and fall
- Products liability
- Medical malpractice
- Assault and battery
From these general categories, there can be even further specialization. For example, medical malpractice can be focused on surgical errors, misdiagnosis, or traumatic brain injuries.
Many personal injury lawyers will specialize in several of these categories. It’s rare that a single attorney will practice in all of these areas. Some of them require a high level of expertise for adequate representation.
Who Will Work on My Personal Injury Case?
As many law firms have multiple attorneys, you will want to learn which lawyer will be handling your case, their experience, and their expertise. Will a paralegal or legal secretary be participating in preparing your case?
It’s common for a senior-level attorney to have a legal secretary or junior attorney to do the bulk of the work. Having these assistants benefits you by allowing you to benefit from your attorney’s expertise while keeping legal fees to a minimum.
How Much is My Case Worth?
Don’t expect to get to a definitive answer to this question. It is unethical for an attorney to promise you a particular outcome. However, an experienced attorney can give you a rough estimate based on prior experience with your type of case.
When picking an attorney, it is an excellent idea to interview several. Asking how much your case is worth is one way to screen out who is overpromising.
How Much Do You Charge?
The majority of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that they only get paid if you recover an amount from your claim. Some attorneys will expect you to cover costs whether or not you win, while others you will not pay unless you win. Be sure to ask.
Ask the attorney how their fee is calculated, before or after court costs are deducted. When these costs are calculated can make a significant difference in how much the attorney keeps and how much you get.
You also need to ask what the attorney’s contingency fee percentage is. There are specific rules about what is considered reasonable.
Ask These Personal Injury Questions
By asking these personal injury questions, you can get a feel for an attorney and how they will represent your case. You want to make sure that you’re comfortable with the lawyer’s answers.
Schedule a consultation with our team today, and let’s discuss your case.