7 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Attorney Brian White | August 14, 2020 | Personal Injury
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can be one of the best things you can do after being injured in an accident. Even if the accident seems straightforward and relatively minor, a skilled personal injury lawyer may be able to obtain financial compensation from a number of sources.
However, not hiring the right personal injury lawyer may actually end up hurting you. Since most personal injury attorneys work on contingency, you may end up receiving less money if you hire a mediocre or inexperienced attorney. Here are seven questions that you must ask a personal injury attorney before you hire them to handle your injury case.
1. Do You Have Experience Handling This Kind of Case?
The field of personal injury law is very broad. Some attorneys choose to specialize within a particular niche of personal injury in order to become experts. Some law firms are big on motor vehicle accidents, which include car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Other firms may choose to specialize in medical malpractice and may even have an MD on staff.
No matter what kind of injury you sustained, you need to make sure that your attorney has ample experience handling your type of case.
2. Do You Practice Any Other Type of Law?
Personal injury lawyers are some of the highest-paid types of lawyers. It’s no secret that there is a lot of money to be made in personal injury law, which is why some criminal defense attorneys may choose to handle some personal injury cases on the side.
Though personal injury law is lucrative, it is also extremely complicated. You should seek the representation of an attorney who only practices personal injury law, as they will have the experience, knowledge, and connections necessary to successfully handle a complex case and maximize your financial compensation.
3. How Long Have You Been Practicing Personal Injury Law?
Again, just because a lawyer handles personal injury cases doesn’t mean it’s all they do– or all they’ve done. Many lawyers choose to pivot to the personal injury field at some point in their career because they believe they can make more money. However, you should make sure that you know how long an attorney has been practicing personal injury law before you hire them. Ask them how many years they have been practicing personal injury law specifically.
4. How Much Will You Charge Me?
The overwhelming majority of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. That means that they will not charge an upfront fee and instead will collect a percentage of the total amount recovered, minus case fees and expenses. This means that they will have a vested interest in maximizing your financial compensation. Nonetheless, make sure that your attorney is not taking an unreasonable fee. Most personal injury lawyers charge between 30 and 40 percent of the financial award.
5. Are You Able to Handle My Case Right Now?
There are all kinds of personal injury law firms, from the solo practitioner to the large limited liability corporation with dozens of attorneys on staff. If you are looking for more personalized attention and would like to work with a solo practitioner, you must make sure that they are able to handle your case promptly. Most states have a short statute of limitations, so you need to make sure that your attorney is able to move fast and work on your case right away.
6. Will I Be Working With You or With Your Staff?
It is very common for injury victims to hire an attorney only to find out days or weeks later that their emails and calls are being forwarded to a staff member. While some law firms may have specific staff members in charge of client communications, you should make sure that the proper expectations are set before you hire an attorney.
7. What Is My Case Worth?
A good Houston personal injury attorney will be able to give you an accurate estimate of what your case is worth. A skilled attorney may choose to reach out to a reputable accident recreationist or a medical doctor before choosing to give you a firm estimate. This will allow you to gauge the expertise of the personal injury attorney in question.
Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer Who You Feel Comfortable With
Remember, the free consultation is also a job interview for the attorney. This is your chance to ask them all the questions you may have before you decide to move forward with them. Depending on the complexities of your case, you may be working with them for several weeks, months, or even years. Make sure you hire a skilled personal injury attorney who has plenty of experience handling cases like yours.