Personal injury cases are all too common
Most think of a Personal Injury Attorney as one who works with those who have been hurt in an automobile accident, but there are many other situations which may require an attorney of this type. Medical malpractice, dog bites, defamation as a result of libel or slander and slip and fall cases are all types which may be handled by the personal injury attorney. The same is true of workplace, bicycle and pedestrian accidents. When you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney, how should you go about choosing one? What questions should you ask to ensure you get the representation you need to obtain fair compensation?
- What fees will I be charged? Most attorneys in the field work on a contingency basis which means you only pay if the case is won and the fee is a percentage of the monies collected. In addition, you may be responsible for any costs associated with the case, whether it is won or lost. How will these payments be collected and will they need to be paid while the case is in progress?
- What experience do you have with this type of personal injury case? A bicycle personal injury lawsuit is very different than one involving a slip and fall accident. You need an auto accident lawyer with experience in your type of case and one that understands the facts involved. Don’t hesitate to ask to speak to former clients with similar cases as this will give you peace of mind, knowing the attorney has represented others with this type of case.
- How much can I expect to collect in compensation? Although the auto accident lawyer cannot give you an exact figure, he or she should be able to provide a ballpark estimate based on the facts of your case and previous litigation. The attorney should also be able to tell you the specific facts of your case which may influence your award.
- Who will I be working with in your law firm? Many law firms have you meet with an auto accident lawyer for the initial consultation and then turn the case over to a junior associate. Make sure you know who your contact will be within the law firm, who will be handling negotiations and also who will be representing you in court if the case does go to trial.
- What is my level of participation in the process? Before asking this question though, be sure you know how much you would like to participate. If you are severely injured, you may want the attorney to handle the entire case, with little input from you. If you are injured, but want to be very involved, make sure the attorney you choose allows this. The level of involvement shouldn’t play a role though in overall communication. Your attorney should keep you informed at all stages of the process. If you have to chase him or her down to know what is going on, you should look for another attorney.
These are just a few of the questions you should ask of accident attorneys before you hire him or her. There are many others you may want to address, including alternative dispute resolution methods, the arguments to be used in the case and how long the case will take. If an attorney is unwilling or unable to answer your questions, don’t hire him or her. It is best to keep looking until you feel comfortable with your Personal Injury Lawyer.