Each year, approximately 130 million people make a visit to an American emergency room. There can be many reasons for this, but one of the most common is a personal injury due to negligence.
If you find yourself injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness, you may be entitled to fair compensation including the payment of your ER bills. Read on to learn some of the most important questions you’ll need to ask when trying to find a personal injury attorney to take on your case.
What Are Your Qualifications?
You are going to want details of your potential lawyer’s qualifications before they take on your case. Questions you may ask include:
- What is your educational background?
- From where did you receive your degrees and licensing?
- Can I see the paperwork detailing your credentials?
- How many other cases have you taken on in the past?
- How many years of experience do you have?
The answers to these inquiries will give you an idea of whether your lawyer is qualified or not. Make sure that this is the first thing you consider when looking for an attorney.
What Types of Cases Have You Previously Taken On?
There are many different areas of law, including personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, defense law, and beyond. Just because a lawyer is qualified or has experience in one area doesn’t mean that they will be successful in others. Make sure that your potential attorney has a personal injury background before continuing with contracting them.
You also will want to inquire about the types of PI cases that they’ve taken on. If you have a slip-and-fall case, you want someone who has worked with slip-and-fall cases in the past.
What Is Your Success Rate?
It can be awkward to ask an attorney for their success rate, but it’s an essential question to consider when searching. You want a lawyer who has won their cases more often than not. Look for someone with a success rate between 90-100% at the very least. The higher their rate of winning, the better.
Who Will Be Tackling My Case?
Many lawyers take on a lot of cases at once and therefore can’t pay individual attention to each of them. Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you by asking how many cases they will be taking on at once. You want the lawyer to say that they will be tackling your case alone (or with another qualified and reputable attorney/team).
Asking who will be tackling your case, including paperwork, ensures that you won’t be pushed aside to some intern who doesn’t know what they’re doing. You don’t want to be an afterthought.
What Are Your Rates?
Financial questions are incredibly important when hiring a lawyer. You want to get someone reputable at an affordable price. Once you establish credibility, ask how much they charge. Usually, it will be an hourly fee depending on how long your case is going to take them to prepare and complete.
How Will Courtroom Costs Be Paid?
There is a multitude of courtroom costs that come with any legal case, including:
- Court filing fees
- Administrative fees
- Information-gathering costs
- Expert witness fees
Ask your lawyer if you will need to pay a percentage of these fees when you work with them. Many law firms cover them completely assuming that the case is won. However, some may decide that you need to pay a bit of them, so make sure that you’re informed on whether this is the case before signing.
What Will Happen Financially If We Lose?
Many lawyers will charge their clients for all of the courtroom fees (or a significantly higher percentage of them) if they lose. This can take a toll on many clients who now will need to pay legal fees in addition to hospital bills and other expenses related to the injury. See what will happen in the worst-case scenario before deciding on a lawyer- you don’t want to put yourself in a bad position later.
How Many Times Will We Meet?
Some lawyers will only meet with their clients a handful of times before they reach a settlement or go to trial. This can be good in some situations because it usually means fewer fees for you and less time spent working on the case. If you want to reach a settlement with minimal interaction, you can leave your case in the hands of someone reputable and experienced.
However, other clients prefer to remain in the loop when it comes to their cases. If this describes you, make sure that your lawyer will be willing to meet with you multiple times. Any good lawyer will also always be open to communication with you via phone or email, so make sure that this is the case before hiring someone.
Have You Won Any Awards?
There are tons of different legal awards out there that lawyers receive for excellence. Check to see if your prospective attorney has won any prestigious accolades. If they have, you can rest assured that they are a good choice and feel safe signing with them.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Now that you know some inquiries you need to make before hiring a personal injury attorney, it’s time to get more information on legal issues. Check out our blog to read more articles on how to take care of injuries and how to find an attorney that suits your needs.
We have articles on a huge range of information, so you’re bound to find some ideas that can be helpful to you in your upcoming treatments and legal case.