Getting the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
After you’ve been in a car accident, been bitten by a dog, slipped while on an unsafe premises, or got injured on the job, one of the most important things to do is hire a personal injury attorney. But if you haven’t had to hire a lawyer before, you might not know where to start. You may pass the same personal injury lawyer’s billboard on the way to work every day, but how much do you really know about them? How do you know a lawyer will be the right fit for you?
You might be thinking to yourself “I’m on a personal injury law firm’s blog, this is just going to be an advertisement for their firm.”
Sure, we might be biased, so in an effort to keep Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers out of it, we’ve foregone any preaching about our attorneys, our case results, and our client reviews, and made this article about the questions you should ask any personal injury lawyer before you hire them. After all, this situation is all about YOU, and ultimately, you decide who will be the best personal injury lawyer for your case.
Here are a few questions to ask your potential lawyer:
Have You Dealt with this kind of Accident Before?
It’s a good idea to find out whether or not an attorney knows what he or she is doing. Many times, personal injury lawyers will specialize in a certain area of law, like workers’ compensation, or car accidents. Find out what claims they are experienced in handling. If your lawyer has dealt with an accident that is similar to yours, and they were successful, it would bring some much needed peace of mind.
Is My Case Difficult?
No lawyer can tell you what the outcome of your case will be. However, an experienced lawyer will recognize a strong case. At the same time, they will be able to see if certain aspects of your accident will pose an issue, or potentially weaken your claim. An experienced lawyer is no fortune teller, but talking with them about the strong and weak points of your case can help you be prepared when any difficulties arise.
What are your Rates?
Typically personal injury lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis—meaning that the lawyer will receive a set percentage of amount recovered. In this situation, a client doesn’t have to pay the lawyer unless the case is successful. Other payment options are hourly rates (pay by the hour), flat fees (a set amount), or a retainer (an amount of money is paid beforehand). Know what you’re getting into—ask the lawyer upfront what they will charge.
How Often Will we Communicate? How Long Will it take to Return My Calls?
If you’ve been injured, you’re in pain, you’re dealing with medical bills, you may be missing work, and you might not have a car anymore. These are daily reminders of your accident. A good personal injury attorney understands that you’re dealing with a lot of stress, and they’ll be more than happy to keep you updated on your case.
It’s not uncommon that plaintiffs will be happy with the amount recovered, but confess that they wouldn’t use the same attorney again because they were kept in the dark about their case. You should be able to talk to your lawyer. Ask them specifically how long you should expect to hear back from them if you call with a question or concern.
Am I Comfortable with This Attorney?
This is a question you should ask yourself. You’re going to have to be completely honest with your lawyer when he or she asks you a question about your case. Sometimes, this can be awkward or even embarrassing, so you’ll want to be sure you’re being represented by someone you feel comfortable with—someone you can trust.
Any Questions for Us?
Of course, we’ve provided you with a few questions to get you started, but there are many more that you may think of when hiring an attorney. Write our questions down on a piece of paper, and brainstorm some more. There is a lot to consider, and you’ll want to know what to expect.
If you have any questions for Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, just visit schultzmyers.com, or call us at 314.444.4444