Hopefully, you will never need an injury attorney. But in the event of an accident, you’ll be glad to have a good attorney on your side.
So how can you determine a good injury attorney from one that’s just well-marketed?
It starts by asking your injury attorney questions that demonstrate their ability to win your case. Before you sign a contract, make sure you’re satisfied with how he or she answers these six questions:
6 Injury Attorney Questions You Need Answered Before You Hand Over Your Case
#1 – How much is the contingency fee?
It can prove reassuring when you won’t have to pay legal fees unless you gain something from the lawsuit. But you still need to know how much that will be. Most contingency fees range from 25%-40% of your winnings, but you should try to negotiate.
#2 – What’s your experience in similar cases?
Never assume a lawyer has handled a case like yours before, even if their career is well established. For instance, lawyers who specialize in L&I claims might have zero experience in automobile accidents.
It’s okay to ask what their success rate is and how many cases similar to yours they’ve personally experienced. Remember, you hold the upper hand when it comes to hiring, so never feel intimidated by a lawyer who isn’t willing to be open with you.
#3 – Do you have enough time to devote to my case?
This is a question that most people are too reluctant to ask, perhaps because they assume the answer is yes. Lawyers who are hungry for the business will accept your case, then sit it on it for months before filing or working to resolve it.
Put another way, you could ask how many cases they are currently working on, or when they would file your case.
#4 – How often will I hear from you regarding my case, and how?
It could take weeks before your lawyer has any real news to report on your case. But if you’re the type of person who likes to know there’s no news, make sure your lawyer is willing to communicate that.
Some lawyers will send letters in the mail without notice or won’t respond to your emails for days. It’s important you understand how they communicate (and how frequently) to make sure it fits your requirements and expectations.
#5 – Will you be the one handling my case?
Firms with multiple lawyers may have several people working on your case. Others may assign you to one specific lawyer. Either way, you should speak to whoever will represent you in court to build trust and rapport with that person.
#6 – Do you have any references I could check?
Hiring a lawyer is much like hiring for any job. You need to ask questions, talk to multiple candidates, and check references. Most likely, their law firm will have Google reviews you can read online. But you should try to reach out to real clients to gauge their honest opinions.
If you don’t feel certain after interviewing a lawyer, move on to another one. It’s worth the extra time to find the right lawyer the first time.