If another party causes an accident or personal injury, they can be financially liable for damages under state tort laws. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help protect your legal rights and right to a fair settlement. A lawyer handles all aspects of your personal injury case, including settlement negotiations and lawsuits.
Choosing the right personal injury attorney is the first step. You can use the free consultation to interview the lawyer before you hire a personal injury law firm.
Six Questions To Ask an Injury Lawyer During a Free Case Review
You will likely have many questions to ask a lawyer during your free case evaluation. Writing down the questions helps you focus on the information you need. Make sure you include the following six questions on your list to ask the attorney:
1. What Is Your Experience Handling Cases Like Mine?
Always search for an experienced personal injury attorney. Lawyers who dedicate their practice to personal injury law have more knowledge, resources, and skills in handling injury claims than criminal defense lawyers or family law attorneys.
Additionally, you want to hire a personal injury lawyer with extensive experience handling the same type of case as your case. In other words, if your family member died in a car accident, you want to hire a wrongful death lawyer. On the other hand, if your injury occurred because of a slip and fall accident, hire a lawyer who handles premises liability claims.
2. How Many Cases Do You Take to Trial?
Many personal injury cases are settled through negotiations. However, some cases go to trial.
Therefore, you should hire a lawyer who is a skilled negotiator and an experienced trial lawyer. Ask the lawyer about their experience arguing cases before a jury, including their success rate inside and outside of court.
3. What Damages Can I Recover for My Personal Injury Claim?
A Personal injury laws provide for compensatory and non-compensatory damages for personal injury claims. Compensatory damages include reimbursement for your financial losses and expenses related to the accident and injury (economic damages). It also includes compensation for pain and suffering (non-economic damages).
Examples of compensatory damages include:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Rehabilitative therapies
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income and benefits
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- A decrease in quality of life
- Impairments and disabilities
- Property damage
In a small number of cases, juries punish the defendant by awarding the plaintiff punitive damages. These damages are non-compensatory because they do not compensate the injured party for losses. Instead, the damages “punish” the defendant for acting with an “evil mind,” meaning with the intention to harm or outrageous conduct.
Many factors impact how much your personal injury claim is worth. Ask the attorney about the strengths and potential problems they see in your case that could impact the amount of money you could receive for an injury claim.
4. How Does Your Office Communicate with Clients?
Effective communication is essential for a good attorney-client relationship. Discuss how the law firm updates and communicates with clients.
Also, ask the lawyer who will handle your case. Will the attorney personally oversee your case, or will an associate be in charge of the case? How often will you receive updates regarding your case, and how quickly do you receive responses when you have a question or concern?
You will likely work with several members of the legal staff. Therefore, choosing a personal injury law firm with sufficient staff and resources to handle your case benefits you.
5. How Long Will It Take To Settle My Personal Injury Case?
One significant factor impacting the timeline for a personal injury case is the severity of the person’s injuries. You do not want to settle your injury claim until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Settling your claim too early could mean receiving a much lower settlement amount. You cannot know whether you sustained a permanent impairment that could entitle you to future damages until you complete your treatment. Furthermore, you want to ensure all expenses and costs are included in any settlement agreement you accept.
A personal injury lawyer works to settle your case as soon as possible for the maximum value of your damages. The attorney also monitors the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits if your case does not settle before the filing deadline.
6. What Are Your Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for a Personal Injury Claim?
A contingency fee is based on a percentage of the amount the attorney recovers for your claim. Therefore, you do not pay any attorneys’ fees until you receive a settlement agreement or award from a trial. When you get paid, your lawyer gets paid.
However, there are costs involved in pursuing a personal injury claim. The costs of a case can include:
- Postage and copying costs
- Fees for copies of medical records, accident reports, and other documents
- Filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Deposition fees
- Mileage and travel costs
Ask the lawyer who is responsible for the payment of costs. In most cases, a law firm pays the costs of the case when they occur. Then, the law firm receives reimbursement for the costs from the personal injury settlement.
Other Questions You Might Want To Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you meet with a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation, you might also want to ask them:
- Do you have any special certifications or experience?
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
- What can I do to help with my case?
- What is the average settlement for a case like my case?
- How many cases do you handle at a time?
- What are some examples of your recent successes?
It is helpful to make notes during the meeting to compare the responses to other attorneys you met with about your case. In addition to the responses, you want to note your opinion of the lawyer. Hiring an attorney you can communicate effectively with and trust is essential.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Personal Injury Lawyers
Learn more about personal injury claims and how the personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact our law firm to schedule your free case evaluation with an attorney. Call (602) 595-5559 today.