Looking for a local personal injury attorney to represent you in a personal injury case? You should have a whole host of options in your general area.
There are well over 50,000 personal injury attorneys scattered throughout the country at this time. As a result, you should be able to track down at least a few good ones in your city or town.
You don’t want to just hire the first personal injury lawyer you can find, though. Rather than taking this approach, you want to learn how to find a personal injury attorney that you know you can trust. And that is often going to involve knowing what to ask before hiring a personal injury attorney.
You should do your homework on the personal injury lawyers in your area and narrow down your options to just the ones that you like the most. Then, you should reach out to each of them and run through some of the questions to ask personal injury lawyers. Their answers will help you pick one personal injury attorney over all the rest.
Here are 12 questions to ask when you’re trying to figure out how to find the right personal injury lawyer.
1. How Long Have You Been a Personal Injury Attorney?
One of the first things you should try to find when you’re speaking with a personal injury attorney is how long they’ve been practicing law. More specifically, you should attempt to gauge how long they’ve been working on personal injury cases.
As we alluded to earlier, there is going to be no shortage of options when it comes to personal injury attorneys in your area. With this in mind, you’re not going to want to get stuck working with one that’s still wet behind the ears.
In a perfect world, you want your personal injury attorney to have at least a few years, if not a couple of decades, of experience under their belt. It’s going to increase your chances of being successful in the end.
2. What Types of Personal Injury Cases Have You Worked On in the Past?
There are so many different types of personal injury cases. Some of the most common ones are:
- Car accident claims
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Dog bite injuries
A good personal injury attorney is going to be able to help you with just about any case that you put in front of them. But ideally, you want for them to have experience working on the kind of case that you need help with.
3. Have You Handled a Personal Injury Case Like Mine Before?
At some point during your initial conversation with a personal injury attorney, they’re going to ask you to run through some of the details of your personal injury case. You should walk them through why you’re interested in taking legal action against someone else in the first place.
You should also turn the tables on them once you’ve told them about your case and ask them if they’ve ever handled a personal injury case like yours. They should be able to tell you about at least one or two cases just like yours that they’ve worked on in the past.
4. Do You Think That I Have a Strong Enough Personal Injury Case?
You might think that you have a very strong personal injury case in your back pocket. You’re going to be very closely connected to it, which is why your emotions might spill out when you talk about it and consider the chances of you walking away from a courtroom victorious.
But your personal injury attorney might not see things that way. Based on their experience, they might not think that your case is as strong as you think it is.
For this reason, you shouldn’t be shy about asking a personal injury lawyer for their opinion on your case. They should be able to draw on their own experience to tell you whether or not they think your case is the slam dunk that you believe it to be.
It’ll help you have a personal injury attorney in your corner who is honest with you. It could save you a lot of time and money if they tell you that they don’t think it would be worth pursuing your case further.
5. How Exactly Would You Go About Dealing With My Personal Injury Case?
While your personal injury attorney might tell you that they don’t think you have a very strong case, they might also tell you that the opposite is true. They might think that your case is going to hold up in court and agree to work on it with you if you would like.
But before you commit to doing this, you’re going to need to see exactly how a personal injury lawyer would go about handling your case for you. You should ask them to lay out a game plan for it so that you can see what they would do to help you win your case in court.
A great personal injury attorney is going to be more than happy to walk you through the steps that they would take while representing you. It’ll instill some confidence in you by showing you that a lawyer knows what they’re doing.
6. How Long Do You Think It Would Take You to Resolve My Case?
One of the worst parts about taking part in a personal injury case is that it can take a veeeeery long time for the entire process to play out. It’s not out of the ordinary at all for some personal injury cases to stretch out over the course of many months and even years.
Hopefully, you aren’t going to have to worry about this happening with your case. But you should see what a personal injury attorney thinks about your chances of earning a quick and easy settlement in your case.
A personal injury lawyer should be able to lean on their experience to give you some general idea of how long your case might take to be resolved. It could play a big role in helping you decide if you want to pursue your case in the first place.
7. Could You Conceivably Take My Personal Injury Case All the Way to Trial?
If you choose to pursue a personal injury case, there is a really good chance that it’s not ever going to make it to trial. Most personal injury cases don’t make it that far.
But there is at least a small chance that you could have to take your case to trial if you’re not able to reach a settlement outside of the courtroom. And if that happens, you’re going to need to have a personal injury attorney who has experience doing this.
Believe it or not, many personal injury attorneys work for a lot of years without ever having to set foot in a courtroom for a trial. You’re going to want to have an attorney like this on your side if your case does end up going to trial.
You should see if a personal injury attorney feels comfortable with the idea of taking your case to trial. If they balk at the idea, they might not be the right choice for you.
8. Will I Need to Sign a Contract to Have You Serve as My Personal Injury Lawyer?
Some personal injury attorneys are going to make you sign a contract with them prior to working with you. This contract is pretty much going to force you to go with them moving forward even if you end up not liking the services that they provide.
If you’re convinced that a personal injury attorney is a right option for you, you might not mind signing a contract with them. But you might also want to consider some of your other options if you’re not in love with the thought of signing a contract with a lawyer.
You should ask this particular question pretty early on in the process of talking to a personal injury lawyer. It’ll help you move on to your next option if you know that you don’t want to sign a contract with one specific lawyer.
9. How Much Will You Charge Me to Be My Personal Injury Attorney?
Different personal injury attorneys take different approaches to charging their clients. Some will charge them hourly rates, while others will wait until the outcome of a personal injury case and take a portion of whatever money a person was able to win in their case.
There are pros and cons to both of these approaches. But regardless of which one you feel most comfortable with, it’ll be important for you to know how much a lawyer is going to be charging you from the start.
A personal injury attorney should be transparent when it comes to laying out their pricing model. It’ll make you feel more comfortable about working with them when you know what you’re going yourself into as far as costs are concerned.
10. Will You Be Doing Most of the Work on My Personal Injury Case?
Is a personal injury attorney going to work on every aspect of your case themselves? Or are they going to take your case and then turn around and ask one of their associates to do most of the work on it?
You have a right to know who is going to be doing the bulk of the heavy lifting on your case. You don’t want to be under the impression that a lawyer is all over it when it’s actually one of their employees doing work on their behalf.
There is nothing wrong with a personal injury attorney delegating some of the tasks associated with your case to other people in their office. But they should still be playing an active role in your case at all times.
11. What Is Going to Be the Best Way for Me to Reach You to Discuss My Personal Injury Case?
Throughout the course of your personal injury case, you’re going to need to touch base with your personal injury attorney every now and then. Because of this, you’re going to need to have some easy options for how to reach your attorney.
You should ask about how you’ll be able to contact a lawyer upfront. They should give you at least a few different ways in which you can reach them and emphasize that you’re more than welcome to call or email them whenever you would like.
You don’t want to end up with a personal injury lawyer who is impossible to reach when you need them most. It’ll make your case even more stressful than it would be otherwise.
12. What Sets You Apart From the Other Personal Injury Lawyers in the Area?
At the end of an interview with a personal injury attorney, you should pose this very simple and very straightforward question to them. You should ask them to tell you what makes them different from all the other personal injury lawyers working in your area.
They should respond with a detailed answer that spells out what sets them apart from their competition. They should touch on everything from their success rates to their attention to detail.
You want to work with a personal injury attorney that is the best at what they do. Tracking down a lawyer like the one that you see here is going to be of the utmost importance.
Ask All of These Questions to Find the Right Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case
As you’ve seen here, there are so many questions that you should ask a personal injury attorney when you’re speaking with them for the first time. You should run work your way through them and pay close attention to the answers that a lawyer gives you.
These answers are going to help you decide if a personal injury lawyer is a good fit for you. You should have no problem picking out your best option when you’re done questioning a bunch of different attorneys.
Read more informative law-related articles by poking around on the rest of our blog.