5 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
Before hiring an attorney to represent you, you should schedule and attend an initial consultation. We encourage all injured victims to take advantage of this opportunity. A consultation is a great time to ask questions about the law and for the lawyer to learn a little more about your case. You can also find out important information about the attorney to determine whether they are a good fit for you.
At Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A., we have met with many injured victims. The following are some of the most important questions they have asked.
“Tell me about Your Experience.”
Personal injury is its own field of law, and a divorce lawyer or criminal defense attorney might not have the necessary experience to represent you. When meeting for a consultation, ask about the lawyer’s experience.
Even within personal injury, there are subfields. A car accident case is different from a dog bite lawsuit. Ask the lawyer if they have handled cases that are exactly like yours. If so, how many?
“How Much Do You Charge?”
Most personal injury lawyers represent victims on contingency. This means that the client doesn’t pay any lawyer fees upfront. Instead, the attorney gets a percentage of any settlement or court award, and if they lose the case, the client owes them nothing.
Ask the lawyer what percentage they require. Also ask about the costs of the lawsuit—filing fees, mailing expenses, etc. Are those billed to you on a rolling basis, or do you pay them all at once at the end of the suit?
“What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of My Case?”
Consultations are not exhaustive, and the lawyer won’t know everything about your case. However, you can still get a feel for how strong your case is. This will let you know whether to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Also listen to how well the lawyer describes the legal issues. If you have no idea what the lawyer is saying, then they probably aren’t a good communicator. You should feel comfortable asking your lawyer anything, so gauge how easy it was to discuss the details of your accident with him or her.
“How Do You Communicate?”
Communication is the foundation of a good attorney-client relationship. Clients differ in how much contact they want. Some of our clients want regular updates, while others are fine simply calling in once a month to ask about the status of their case. You want to hire someone you trust, and communication is part of that.
Ask how the lawyer communicates. Phone? Email? Letter? If you call, who will you speak to—the lawyer, an associate, a paralegal?
“Do You Have Courtroom Experience?”
Not all lawsuits settle. Instead, we sometimes need to go into court and file a lawsuit to receive fair and meaningful compensation for our clients. Your attorney should have seen the inside of a courtroom before and understand how to effectively present a case to a judge and jury.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Halpern Santos & Pinkert is a leading Coral Gables personal injury law firm. Our Florida personal injury attorneys have tackled cases ranging from car accidents, premises liability, to defective products. For help, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.