What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?

What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

After an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, hire an experienced Brooklyn personal injury lawyer to represent you. The right attorney will protect your rights, deal with the insurance companies, and fight to get you maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

However, not all personal injury lawyers are the same. Interview your attorney and ask the right questions to ensure you find the best lawyer for your specific case. Here are some key questions to ask during your initial consultation:

1. What Is Your Experience Handling Cases Like Mine?

You’ll want to find a personal injury attorney with extensive experience successfully handling cases similar to yours, whether it’s a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, defective product, or other type of personal injury matter.

Ask about the attorney’s track record with cases like yours. How many have they handled? What were the outcomes?

An experienced personal injury lawyer will be familiar with the unique laws, procedural rules, and tactics used by insurance companies in your type of case. They’ll know what it takes to build a strong claim and recover maximum compensation on your behalf.

2. Who Will Work on My Case?

At some law firms, the attorney you meet with during your initial consultation may not be the same one primarily handling your case. Junior associates, paralegals, or case managers may end up doing much of the work.

While it’s normal for multiple people at a law firm to contribute to your case, you’ll want to know your main point of contact, their level of experience, and how involved the lead attorney will get. Ensure you’re comfortable with the attorney-client relationship and how they will manage your case.

3. What Is Your Assessment of My Case?

Discuss the facts of your case with the personal injury attorney and ask for their honest assessment. Do they think you have a strong case? What are potential weaknesses or challenges? What do they realistically think your case could obtain in a settlement or at trial? Although this value may not be known for many years, until the full extent of your injuries are known.

Be wary of attorneys who make overblown promises or guarantee a certain dollar amount for your case. An experienced, ethical personal injury lawyer will give you a realistic, objective assessment based on the unique facts of your situation. They can discuss a potential range of outcomes while making it clear there are no guarantees.

4. What Is Your Approach to Cases Like Mine?

Ask the personal injury attorney to walk you through how they would handle a case like yours, step by step.

Would they conduct an independent investigation of the accident that caused your injuries? Would they bring in expert witnesses like accident reconstructionist, medical specialists, life care planners, or economists to help substantiate your claim? How would they deal with the insurance companies involved?

Discuss potential timelines for resolving your case. How long do they think the process might take? What are the chances you would need to go to trial? The attorney should articulate a clear strategy for your case and the steps they would take to pursue the best possible outcome for you.

What Are Your Fees and Costs of personal injury lawyer

5. What Are Your Fees and Costs?

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they recover money for you through a settlement or court judgment. If your case does not succeed, you typically would not owe them any legal fees.

However, you should still discuss the fee agreement and get clear answers on what percentage of any recovery the attorney would charge. Also, ask about potential additional costs for things like filing fees, postage, obtaining medical records and police reports, depositions, and expert witnesses.

Find out if you would pay those costs if your case does not succeed.

6. How and When Will You Communicate With Me About My Case?

Communication is critical when working with a personal injury lawyer. Ask them how often you can expect updates on the progress of your case. Will they contact you, or should you reach out to them? What is their preferred method of communication—phone, email, text, mail?

You should feel confident that your attorney will keep you reasonably informed about developments in your case and promptly respond to your calls or emails. However, legal matters can move slowly, and sometimes they will not have substantial updates to share.

7. What Is My Role in The Case?

Ask the personal injury lawyer what they need from you as the case progresses. What documents should you provide? Will you need to answer written questions or give a deposition under oath? If your case goes to trial, what would you need to do?

Also, discuss steps you can take to strengthen your case, like continuing to get appropriate medical treatment, following your doctor’s advice, and preserving any evidence related to the accident and your injuries. A good attorney will tell you how to assist with your case.

8. What Happens if My Case Goes to Trial?

While most personal injury cases settle out of court, some do need to go to trial to be resolved. Ask the attorney about their approach to litigation and trial practice. How many cases have they tried? What were the results? Do they have experience picking juries, examining witnesses, and making effective arguments in court?

Even if your case is unlikely to go to trial, you’ll want an attorney with strong litigation skills on your side. Insurance companies keep tabs on which lawyers will go the distance for their clients. You’ll have more leverage in settlement negotiations if they know your attorney can beat them in court.

9. Can You Provide References from Past Clients?

A reputable personal injury lawyer should be able to provide references from past clients who can speak to their skills, experience, and professionalism. Ideally, these clients’ cases would resemble yours.

Contact these references and ask about their experience working with the attorney. Did the lawyer deliver what they promised? Were they responsive and accessible? Would the client recommend this attorney to others? Speaking directly with former clients can give you valuable insight into what it would be like to work with this lawyer.

10. Why Should I Choose You to Handle My Case?

Give the personal injury attorney an opportunity to tell you what sets them apart from other lawyers. What are their key strengths and qualifications? Why are they particularly well-suited to handle your case? What can you expect if you put your trust in them?

Pay attention to how the attorney responds. Do they answer confidently and point to concrete results they’ve achieved for clients? Are they more focused on your best interests or on how much money they could make from your case? Go with a lawyer you feel you can trust and who will be a strong, tireless advocate for you.

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. Here are several key reasons why you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer:

Help You Understand Your Rights

Personal injury law can be complex, with numerous deadlines, requirements, and procedures.

An experienced attorney can evaluate your case, explain the relevant laws, and lay out your legal options. They can advise you on the best path forward based on your situation. Without this guidance, you may settle for far less than you deserve or make other mistakes that harm your ability to recover fair compensation.

Deal with the Insurance Company

Insurance companies are in business to make money, not to pay out maximum compensation to accident victims. They employ numerous tactics to limit their financial exposure, from denying valid claims to offering lowball settlements.

If a lawyer does not represent you, the insurance adjuster may take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge and pressure you into accepting an unfair offer. They may ask you to provide a recorded statement or sign forms that can be used against you later. When you hire a personal injury attorney, they will handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance companies.

Accurately Assess the Value of Your Claim

Determining what your personal injury case is worth requires an in-depth understanding of the law and the ability to predict what a jury might award in a case like yours.

Many factors go into valuing a claim, including:

  • The severity and permanence of your injuries
  • Your current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Loss of earning capacity if you can’t return to your job
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Property damage (e.g., to your vehicle)
  • Punitive damages (in rare cases)

An experienced personal injury lawyer can gather the necessary documentation, consult medical and financial experts, and accurately assess your case’s value.

Tap Into Resources to Strengthen Your Claim

Building a strong personal injury claim often requires substantial resources you likely don’t have access to.

This may include things like:

  • Consulting with medical experts about your injuries and prognosis
  • Hiring accident reconstruction specialists
  • Obtaining input from vocational rehabilitation experts or life care planners
  • Working with economists to calculate your financial losses
  • Conducting depositions of witnesses and experts

A well-established personal injury law firm will have the resources and network to bring in whatever they need to bolster your case.

Take Your Case to Court, if Necessary

While most personal injury cases settle out of court—as mentioned above—sometimes filing a lawsuit and litigating a case will get fair compensation. The insurance company may deny liability, dispute the severity of your injuries, or make unreasonable offers.

Without a trial attorney, your court case weakens significantly. Pursuing a lawsuit requires adhering to numerous court rules and procedures, obtaining and organizing admissible evidence, potentially selecting a jury, and making compelling arguments before a judge. An experienced personal injury trial lawyer can properly prepare your case and zealously advocate for you in the courtroom.

Contingency Fee Basis

One of the biggest reasons accident victims hesitate to hire a lawyer is concern over cost. They assume they can’t afford an attorney, especially when they’re already facing medical bills and missing work due to their injuries.

However, reputable personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. They only charge a fee if they recover money for you through a settlement or court judgment. If your case does not succeed, you typically would not owe them attorney fees.

Hire the Right Personal Injury Attorney for You

Interviewing your personal injury lawyer before deciding who to hire can feel like a lot of work, especially when you’re dealing with the physical pain and emotional trauma of your injuries. But it’s worth investing the time to find the right lawyer for you and your case.

An experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim. These key questions can help you gauge a lawyer’s knowledge, skills, and approach to handling cases like yours. You’ll likely partner closely with your attorney for many months, so find someone you feel confident in and comfortable with.

The legal team at the Rothenberg Law Firm has over five decades of experience fighting for the rights of personal injury victims. We have won and collected billions of dollars for our clients. The Rothenberg Law Firm is not just any personal injury law firm– we are a firm with a proven track record of success. We offer free, no-obligation consultations where we can discuss the details of your case and answer any questions you may have. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today at (800) 624-8888 or through our online form for your free consultation.

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