Ask Questions Before Hiring a Lawyer
What kinds of questions should you ask before retaining a personal injury attorney?
Choosing the best personal injury law firm to represent you can be an arduous task. Attorney advertisements are everywhere, on television, online, on billboards, and on the sides of buses. With so many law firms available knowing the best questions to ask a personal injury lawyer can help you find the right fit.
When meeting a prospective lawyer to take on your case, it is important to ask questions to help you learn more about the lawyer’s qualifications, philosophy, and experience. The following is a list of 10 questions to ask during your initial consultation:
1) How much will it cost to hire you?
In Michigan, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means you are not charged a legal fee unless the attorney wins your case, and the fee will be a percentage of your compensation award. Find out what that percentage is and whether there will be additional costs in addition to the legal fee.
2) Who will be handling my case?
Find out who will be primarily handling your case. It is important to ask who your attorney will be, who your contact(s) will be, and who you can expect to speak with when you have questions about your case.
3) What will my participation in the lawsuit be?
This is a very important question because lawsuits are about teamwork. Before hiring a lawyer, make sure you understand what your role in the lawsuit will be and what will be expected of you. It is important that you and your attorney are on the same page about what your relationship will look like.
4) How much is my case worth?
Although an attorney will not be able to give you an estimated dollar amount of your damages during your consultation, he/she should be able to tell you what compensation you are legally entitled to and what the general range could be. It is important to keep in mind that certain variables will affect the range of settlement amounts you can expect. Thus, an exact figure cannot be given due to unknowns such as liability, discovery and medical evidence.
5) What are the weaknesses of my case?
No matter how strong a case is, there is almost always an area of concern that needs to be addressed. It is better to know this information sooner rather than later.
6) How many cases like mine have you or your firm handled?
It is important to hire an attorney who has experience handling cases similar to yours. Never assume that a personal injury lawyer has handled a case similar to yours before. To obtain the best results, you want an attorney who not only understands the relevant law governing your case, but who also understands the insurance company tactics. This knowledge comes from experience, so it is good to ask your potential lawyer about his or her experience and results.
7) How long will it take to resolve my case?
Ask personal injury attorneys about how long it usually takes to resolve a case like yours. Many factors can influence how long it takes to resolve a case, but potential lawyers should be able to give you a rough estimate.
8) Will the insurance company settle my case?
A personal injury attorney can not give you any guarantees of if or when the insurance company will settle your case. However, an attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury cases and negotiating with insurance companies should be able to give you some insight into how the process works. Insurance companies like to make low-ball offers, hoping that the injured person takes the money. You do not want this to happen to you. You should not accept any settlement offers from the insurance companies without consulting with an attorney. Call the attorneys at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys to set up a free consultation.
9) Will my case go to trial?
Although not every case goes to trial, you want an attorney with trial experience who will be a good advocate for you in the courtroom if the insurance company refuses to settle, or the offer to settle is not fair. Be cautious of lawyers who tell you early on that your case is going to settle. You want to find a personal injury lawyer who expects every case to go to trial and prepare as if your case will be tried before a jury.
10) Have you tried these types of personal injury cases before?
You want an attorney who understands the law and is not afraid to fight for you. This includes preparing for and taking your case to trial. Attorney advertisements are everywhere, on television, online, and on billboards. However, you do not want to assume that a personal injury attorney has handled a case similar to yours just based upon advertising.
Not all attorneys are trial attorneys. You want to make sure your attorney has the trial experience you might need and can handle all aspects of your case. This is to ensure you get the best possible result.
Choosing a personal injury attorney is an important decision. If you have any questions, we are here for you and we can help.
- No fees unless you win
- Extensive Trial Experience
- A wide range of Personal Injury Cases handled
- 25+ years of experience
Give the attorneys at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys a call to set up a free consultation.