7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
About 97.9 million people need to visit an ER due to accidental or unintentional injuries each year. Another 24.8 million people have to visit a physician's office. Meanwhile, nearly 201,000 people die annually due to unintentional injuries. If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, make sure to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Otherwise, the statute of limitations could lapse. With professional help, you can fight for compensation to cover property damage, medical bills, and other expenses.
Not sure which personal injury lawyer will benefit your case? Read on to discover the seven questions you need to ask before hiring an attorney today.
1. What's Your Specialty?
There are currently more than 146,000 personal injury lawyers within the US. There are also over 51,400 law firms in the country. Unfortunately, not every personal injury lawyer will specialize in cases like yours.
Before hiring a lawyer, ask about their specialty. Confirm they specialize in auto accident cases. Then, ask about what type of auto accident cases they specialize in.
For example, an auto accident attorney might handle cases involving:
- Lyft drivers
- Uber drivers
- Wrongful death
Consider the details surrounding your case. Then, focus on hiring an attorney who specializes in cases specific to your situation. They can leverage their previous experience to strengthen your lawsuit.
Next, determine how long they've practiced law locally. Consider how long they've worked on personal injury cases. Then, determine how long they've specialized.
Find a lawyer with years of relevant case experience. An experienced attorney is less likely to make mistakes with your personal injury case.
If the lawyer lacks the experience you need, keep searching.
2. What's Your Success Rate?
An experienced lawyer should also have a strong track record behind them. Ask each lawyer how many cases they try annually. Then, determine how many cases they win versus lose on average.
If they take on a range of different personal injury lawsuits, consider their wins relevant to your situation.
Then, ask about the payout for their three most recent cases. What influenced each payout? Consider the legal strategy the lawyer used for each case, too.
Take the time to find an attorney who already has a strong track record and professional history. Their history of wins can speak to their ability to win your personal injury case. If they've struggled to win cases in the past, however, they might struggle with yours as well.
3. How Much Courtroom Experience Do You Have?
Before hiring an attorney, make sure they're also prepared to back you up in court.
You can't anticipate how your case will proceed. In order to cover your bases, find an attorney with courtroom experience. Remember, a lawyer with relevant experience will have an easier time meeting your needs and goals.
Unfortunately, some lawyers are apprehensive about handling cases in front of a judge. They might struggle to capture a jury's attention and trust, too. As a result, these lawyers might try to avoid going to court.
Instead, they might try to settle your case out of a courtroom. While you might prefer settling, it's important to consider what's in the best interest of your case.
In some cases, your lawyer might even rush to accept the first lowball offer you receive to avoid a courtroom. These attorneys won't have your best interests in mind when recommending this course of legal action.
Finding someone with courtroom experience can help you prepare for any legal strategy down the road.
4. What Certifications Do You Have?
Before hiring a lawyer, make sure they also have the proper certifications and credentials.
First, confirm that they're licensed to practice in the state. Remove them from your list if their license is out of date.
Next, ask if they have any legal organization memberships or certifications.
For example, they might belong to a national or state organization that focuses on personal injury law. They could belong to the American Association of Justice, too. These lawyers conduct lobbying activities to represent consumers.
Determine if they're also a board-certified trial lawyer. For example, they might have a certification from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. These lawyers have extensive courtroom experience.
Attorneys with this certification will have an easier time preparing you for court.
5. Can You Provide References?
Ask each attorney on your list for at least three references. Prioritize speaking to clients that were involved in cases similar to your own. Then, ask about their interactions with the lawyer.
For example, was the lawyer able to meet the client's goals? Did they win the client's case, and if so, how much were they able to win? Ask the client if they experienced any problems while working with the attorney, too.
Find a lawyer who already has a strong reputation that can back up any claims they make about their abilities.
6. What Outcome Do You Expect?
Talk to the attorney about the details surrounding your case. Then, ask what legal strategy they would recommend. What outcome do they expect based on that strategy?
The attorney shouldn't give you any guarantees about how your case might play out. Instead, they should help you make informed decisions about your case.
7. How Much Will This Cost?
Ask each attorney about their fee structure. For example, they might work on an hourly rate or require you to pay their retainer. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis instead.
These attorneys will only expect you to pay for their legal services after they win your lawsuit. You might find these lawyers are more encouraged to fight and win on your behalf.
Select the Best: Hire the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case
Don't make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced personal injury attorney. Instead, make sure to ask these questions as you vet your options. With these tips, you can hire an attorney who will have your best interests in mind.
At Rockview Accident Lawyers, we'll help you fight for the compensation you need to cover your expenses after a personal injury incident.
Want to hire the best lawyer for your case? Contact us today for a free consultation.