Engaging in a legal dispute is very tricky. It involves a lot of legal intricacies to be understood, which are beyond the comprehension of a layman.
You will have to bank on a lawyer to get the desired outcome. But before you hire somebody, peruse these 15 questions to ask a personal injury lawyer.
15 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer before Hiring
- What percentage of your personal injury cases?
A lawyer who has dealt with a large number of personal inquiry cases will definitely be your pick as compared to those who have little to do with such cases.
If the lawyer has such cases every once in a while then you can rest assured that he is abreast of the knowledge and expertise needed to resolve the issue.
- Have your recent cases gone to a jury verdict?
Sometimes, a settlement is the best way to settle the dispute between the parties and it is imperative for preserving the relationships for e.g. in marital disputes.
It is one of the most pertinent questions to ask personal injury lawyer before hiring, if your lawyer is incapable or unable to go to a jury a trial, chances of an amicable resolution are ruled out and you may end up paying through your nose.
- How much will my case cost me?
This is one of the first questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before you discuss anything further. Discussing the legal expenditure that you will incur entails not only the lawyer’s fees.
But it encompasses other concomitant costs such as court fees, interests, fine, etc. You must have a clear picture as to any other additional costs, and allay last moment worries.
- What is your contingency percentage?
Contingency fees mean that in the event of losing the case, the lawyer will not be paid his fees. But if he wins the suit, he may be entitled to 33% or 50% or more of the actual costs.
You should ask if the lawyer is willing to share the costs in case of loss or is likely to charge less for smaller verdicts.
- How long will it take to resolve my case?
Lawsuits take years to be resolved and if you are looking for quick decisions on the case, you will be disappointed. If the cause of action arose in one place and you are residing in other places, you may even have to travel to a different place for filing the suit and attending the hearings.
So it would be better to ask the time within which the lawyer is likely to wrap up the case and whether it is feasible to go in for court settlement.
- What settlement value should we accept? What might we get at trial?
This is also one of the important questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before hiring. The judicial settlement involves a lot of costs and so you should have a word with the lawyer that what amount should be settled.
- Will you handle my case or will it be referred or delegated?
The delegation of work is one of the questions to ask a personal injury lawyer if you want an ace lawyer to fight your case. If he says that his juniors will fight the case with the same skill, you should consider someone else.
You need an experienced lawyer who knows the court structure and cases inside out and not someone who is a novice and ups your ante even more.
- How much communication can I expect about my case?
Once your suit begins, the court will issue summons on certain dates as well as the production of documents such as contract, agreement, birth certificate, and other evidence.
Your lawyer has to remember the dates for his appearance to ward off any unnecessary delays. You will need to be informed about the progress of the case so that an unfavorable decision is not passed in your side.
- What types of cases do you handle?
Expertise questions to ask your personal injury lawyer will give you a better understanding. You will need to know the specialization of the lawyer because obviously, you cannot engage a criminal lawyer into contractual disputes if he knows nothing about disputes of civil nature.
A lawyer who specializes in the field which is relevant to your case in hand will be of much help and you can expect some practical and realistic advice.
- What information should we bring to our consultation?
It is better to tell your lawyer about every minute detail of the case as it may instrumental in winning or losing the case. Be it any agreements, property papers, lease documents, licenses, dying declarations, handwriting notes, expert opinions etc.
For e.g. if you are fighting a consumer case, then you should bring invoices, receipt of purchase, guarantee agreements etc. to the lawyer so that he is not taken aback during his arguments in the case.
- How long have you practiced law?
A practicing attorney will prove to be of great help when it comes to choosing a lawyer. Someone who has got a law degree will not be a suitable choice for you for the want of experience.
Good and practicing advocate maneuvers to extract the truth from the witnesses easily than someone who has just started his practice.
- What would you say is your area of expertise?
If your lawyer has expertise in the areas in which your case falls, then it will be smooth sailing for you. Your lawyer will have in-depth knowledge about the regulations or policies in place or whether or not you have violated any law or whether you are entitled to any additional compensation or reduction in punishment or fine.
- Are there other ways I can resolve my legal issues?
The questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before hiring which tell you about other settlement options should be on your list. What are the prospects of having an out-of-the-court settlement?
Will be there fewer costs in such settlements? It is sometimes better to have a mediation or negotiation to settle the issue. Legal suits not only involve huge costs but consume a lot of time. So, it is better to weigh the success of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
- What do you think will be the outcome of my case?
This is one of the most important questions. Though no lawyer can answer this confidently, you must have an idea of your success or loss in the case. With the knowledge of success percentage, you can prepare yourself for the judge’s decision.
- Have you ever handled this specific type of case?
You should definitely ask if the lawyer has any prior experience in handling a case akin to your case. You will get an idea as to the further proceedings in this regard.
Once you have read the questions to ask a personal injury lawyer, you get an idea about the factors that play an important role in hiring. So make a better choice if something has resulted in a grave personal injury.