Auto Accident Questions to Ask an Attorney

After an accident, one of the biggest challenges you have is finding the right lawyer. There is no one way to do this. The Internet is a good source of personal injury law firms in your area. Most legal websites provide information about the firm, the areas of practice their lawyers handle and reviews from former clients and legal ranking services. However, it is best to set up a meeting with an attorney to choose the right one for you. You’ll be able to ask questions and hear what the attorney thinks of your case in a review, which should be free in most circumstances.

car-accident-checklist-1

Preparing To Review Case with an Auto Accident Law Firm

If you have never been involved in a legal claim, all of this might seem challenging. Bring a list of questions with you when you meet as well as any information you may have about your case. Going in cold is stressful and defeats the purpose. Let’s look at the most pertinent questions a prospective client can ask to ensure that the lawyer you retain is right for the job and you.

Will I Meet With the Attorney Before Hiring Them?

This is an important question. It stands to reason that you don’t want to pick an attorney blindly. This meeting gives you a chance to evaluate the lawyer as he or she evaluates your case. Generally, there is no charge for the first meeting. Take advantage of this opportunity, and don’t feel pressured that just because you arranged the case review that you are obligated to choose the attorney to represent you. If you don’t mesh or if you want to search further, thank the attorney for their time and move on.

How Long Have You Been a Practicing Attorney?

While some excellent lawyers have less than five years of experience, you might want to opt for someone who has been dealing with the law for a longer period of time. The answer to this question should provide additional information about the number and type of cases that have been settled or won. While longevity is a good indicator of the attorney’s proficiency, you don’t want idle time to be counted.

How Many Personal Injury Cases Have You Handled?

The different areas of the law are very specific and complex. The experience an attorney has in a particular area is often important to the outcome of your case. If you have been injured in a car accident or other type of personal injury, choosing an attorney who specializes in this area of the law can be instrumental in receiving the compensation you deserve. Some attorneys practice only personal injury law.

Who Will I Be Able to Communicate With After You Take My Case?

One issue that many clients worry about after the first meeting is who they will be able to talk to as the case proceeds. Ask your lawyer if he or she will take your calls. While you may need to leave a message until your lawyer can return the call, it is comforting to know that you will be able to communicate with the lawyer you hired.

Who Will Handle Different Aspects of My Case?

There are different phases of any personal injury case. One involves gathering information from the defendant through the use of questions answered under the penalty of perjury. This is called a deposition. Generally, the lawyer you hire should be the one to handle the deposition of the defendant and to be at your side if you are deposed. Also, the retained lawyer should appear in court on your behalf.

In many cases, negotiations will take place either after a formal court case has been filed or before. Once again, the lawyer that you hire is expected to handle such negotiations on your behalf. If the lawyer does not provide a direct answer to this question, you might press him or her for one.

Establishing a relationship with an attorney is an important part of your case. Because of this, you might also question whether or not the retainer agreement will specify that the attorney you retain will be the one to handle all aspects of your case, such as negotiations, depositions or appearing in court.

What Happens If I Disagree With the Handling of the Case as It Proceeds?

This is an essential question since problems with your attorney’s approach may arise as the case proceeds. In such instances, many attorneys have a plan of action that addresses such issues. The attorney should be able to give you a detailed answer to this question.

What Strategy Do You Envision for My Case?

This answer may involve several steps. For instance, the lawyer may say that settlement may be a viable option. However, settlement relies on both sides agreeing to an amount of monetary damages that are optimal. If settlement talks fall through, you want to know that the attorney has the experience and resources to take the case to trial. If the lack of an appropriate settlement stymies the attorney due to either a lack of trial experience or shortage of funds to work on the case as it makes its way through the court’s trial system, move on. You want to know that the lawyer has the ability to obtain the compensation you deserve.

What Will the Case Cost Me?

At the end of the day, you’ll want to know how much the case will cost you. Most personal injury lawyers bill on a contingency basis. This means they only receive a fee if the case is resolved in your favor. If the case does not resolve in your favor, the lawyer will not receive his or her contingency fee.

What Do You Think My Case Is Worth?

It is important to note that at the outset it is not possible to say precisely how much your case is worth. However, with experience, an attorney can usually give you an idea of what the outcome will be. It is always a good idea to discuss what your lawyer foresees as a just compensation amount. An experienced attorney will factor in not just the wages you lost and the medical expenses that have accrued but also what your medical expenses will be in the future. Other considerations are the pain and suffering the accident entailed and whether or not the defendant was egregiously negligent, requiring punitive damages meant to punish them for their actions.