If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim may be something you’re considering. But before you rush into the claim process, you may want to have your case reviewed by a lawyer.
As you navigate hiring a lawyer to manage your personal injury case and initiate the claims process, you should have an idea of what questions to ask.
We’ve compiled a list of some questions to ask an attorney before hiring them – if you have further questions, please call our personal injury lawyers at BBGA today.
We offer free consultations and there’s no charge unless we win your case.
Q#1: What Type of Personal Injury Law Do You Practice?
While most personal injury lawyers are skilled in a variety of different practice areas, not all personal injury lawyers may be familiar with your specific case type, and some may even focus exclusively on certain areas of personal injury law.
Q#2: 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.
Q#3: What’s Your History of Success?
Of course, hiring a lawyer who is experienced in the area of the law that’s relevant to your injury case doesn’t matter much if that lawyer isn’t winning the cases they take on.
While it may seem indelicate, don’t hesitate to ask an attorney about their success rate and any particularly notable case results they can share with you.
After all, it’s your future on the line – you want to find the best attorney possible.
You may also consider looking up the attorney to ensure they are in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia
Q#4: What Resources Do You Have Available to Put Towards My Case?
Some lawyers care about profit more than people. They may take on more cases than they can competently handle, save money by not hiring staff, or be reluctant to spend money on experts’ fees. This is not who you want to take your case.
Instead, you want a lawyer who has the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your case, build your claim, negotiate your settlement, and litigate on your behalf if necessary.
Q#5: How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve?
It’s wise to ask how long the lawyer expects your case to settle, and how much the lawyer expects you will receive. This is helpful for two primary reasons: First, it gives you a ballpark idea of how much time and energy you will need to devote to the case, as well as what you’ll get out of it.
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. These are important considerations when deciding whether or not you want to move forward with your case at all.
And secondly, the answers to these questions can serve as a red flag – if the attorney promises you’ll receive millions or that your case will be resolved before you know it, you should search for someone else. In either case, keep in mind that such estimates are hard to predict without a full review of all of the evidence of your case.
Q#6: 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.
Q#7: 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.
Q#8: How Much Do You Charge?
Before you hire a lawyer, you need to know how much you’ll be responsible for in lawyer’s fees. A good personal injury lawyer will work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not have any upfront or out-of-pocket fees.
Instead, the lawyer’s fee will be based on your settlement. If the attorney recoups a settlement on your behalf, they will be entitled to a percentage of your winnings. If not, they won’t be entitled to any payment at all.
Find out what percentage that fee is. Typically, the fee will be between 33 and 40 percent.
Q#9: 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.
Q#10: 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.
Q#11: 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.
Q#12: 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.
Q#13: 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.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers for Your Free Consultation Today
The above questions are just a few things to ask a personal injury lawyer before hiring them. You shouldn’t hesitate to ask anything you want to know in reference to your case or the legal process.
At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., our attorneys are happy to answer all your questions. We offer free consultations and if you choose to hire us, we will work diligently on your case and always put your needs first. Please reach us today by phone or online to schedule your case review.
There is no fee unless we win your case.