Insurance companies have skilled lawyers who have extensive experience settling these types of claims, and if you don’t have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney on your side, securing compensation and losses after your accident can be difficult.
Be wary of choosing a personal injury attorney from advertisements alone.
Just because they have the biggest advertisement doesn’t mean that they are the best personal injury attorney for your case.
There are unscrupulous attorneys who only have their interest in mind and will take the first settlement the insurance adjuster offers. They specialize in quick turnover and high volume rather than taking the best care of their clients.
To be sure you are hiring the best personal injury attorney for your case, ask them these questions:
What Experience Do You Have Handling Cases with My Type of Injury?
Find out how long the attorney has been practicing law and how much of their practice is dedicated to personal injury. Be sure to ask how many cases the attorney has handled that are similar to your case.
Just because they have experience handling work-related injuries doesn’t mean that they are also experienced with car accident injuries, etc.
If you aren’t comfortable with the amount of experience they have, don’t be afraid to speak to another attorney until you find one that fits your needs.
What Are Your Fees?
Most personal injury attorneys don’t charge a fee unless they collect a settlement on your case. However, it is always good to ask just to be sure. Most of them work on a contingency fee basis, which means they will take a percentage of your settlement.
Find out what percentage that fee is. Typically, the fee will be between 33 and 40 percent.
How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Taken to Trial – And Were They Successful?
Typically, if you settle out of court, the settlement is much lower than if you go to court and win. While settling out of court is often preferable, an attorney shouldn’t automatically be willing to settle out of court just because it’s easier.
Be wary of an attorney who tells you early on that your case will be easy to settle. An experienced personal injury attorney should be prepared for every case to go to trial.
What is My Role in the Case
Be sure you understand what your attorney expects of you during the case. Some clients want to be very involved with their cases, while others don’t want to be involved at all. Make sure that you and your attorney are on the same page about how the case will be handled.
Will I Be Able to Reach You Concerning My Case, and How Often?
Most attorneys are busy, so you may have to speak to an assistant sometimes. However, you should be able to have conversations directly with your attorney from time to time. Being able to contact them directly ensures their commitment to you and your case.
How Long Can I Expect My Case to Take?
You need to ask this question to get a realistic time frame and to hear what your attorney says. Of course, there is no guarantee of a timeline, but if the attorney doesn’t want to answer the question, then they may not have much experience. An experienced attorney should be able to give you a rough estimate based on their personal experiences with similar cases.
How Many Cases Are You Working on at the Moment?
The attorney’s answer to this question will help you gauge how much time the attorney has for your case as well as how much demand there is for their services. You want them to have time to be dedicated to your case, but you don’t want to be the only case their working on. Stress that it is important that your case gets started right away and ask when your case will be filed.
What is My Case Worth?
This question is similar to asking how long your case will take. Although a settlement is never guaranteed, an experienced attorney will be able to give you a good idea of what your case is worth based on their previous experience.
They should also be able to explain why they believe your case is worth a certain amount due to factors such as medical expenses, liability, and discovery. Be wary of personal injury attorneys that make estimates that seem too good to be true for your case.
Will Other Attorneys Be Assisting with My Case?
It is common for big cases to be handled by multiple attorneys, but you have the right to know what other attorneys will be working on your case as well as what they will be doing and how much experience they have.
Make sure that you are comfortable with their answer and ask who the contact person for your case will be.
Do You Have References I Can Speak To?
A good attorney will have no problem referring you to some of their other clients. Ask for names and contact information for these referrals and don’t hesitate to ask them about their experience. You should never rely solely on promotional materials or website content for referrals because these comments could have been heavily edited.
Experienced, Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney
Choosing the best personal injury attorney to handle your case is a very important decision. Make sure that the decision you make is an informed one by weighing the answers to the above questions carefully.
Having a satisfying relationship with your attorney can make the difference between receiving the settlement you deserve and walking away empty handed. The personal injury attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. have over 30 years of experience handling cases just like yours.
Contact us today for a consultation.