If you have been injured in an accident and are dealing with medical expenses and lost income while suffering physically, you probably have a number of questions. You know you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help guide you through what can be a complex legal process. However, you may be confused when it comes to how to choose the best personal injury lawyer for your particular case.
Selecting the right attorney to handle your case can be tricky. There are hundreds if not thousands of lawyers in Los Angeles and around California who advertise their services on television, online and even billboards along freeways. For your part, you need to shortlist and select an attorney who can help you get the best possible results in your case. How do you know you have the right attorney? The key is in asking the right questions.
Here are 10 questions to ask while meeting a prospective lawyer to represent you:
How Much Will It Cost Me To Hire You?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This essentially means that you are not charged a fee unless the attorney wins your case. The attorney's fee will be a percentage of what you receive as a settlement or award. Ask the attorney what that percentage is and whether you will be looking at any additional costs such as copying documents or postage. While some attorneys absorb these costs, others may send you an invoice for those types of expenses.
Have You or Your Law Firm Handled Cases Like Mine?
Do not at any point assume that a personal injury lawyer has handled a case similar to yours. Ask every potential lawyer about the type of experience they have and the results they have been able to obtain for clients. For example, if you were injured in a dog attack, you do not want to retail a lawyer who has not handled dog bite cases. You want someone who has a successful record of handling similar cases, and has a thorough knowledge of dog bite liability.
How Long Does It Typically Take To Resolve a Case Like Mine?
Ask the lawyer about how long it typically takes to resolve a case such as yours. An experienced attorney may be able to give you an idea of how long does a car accident settlement take or a personal injury case for that matter. There are a number of factors that could have an impact on the length of time it takes to resolve your case. However, they should be able to give you an estimate. This will inform you whether the lawyer and law firm are committed to resolving your case as swiftly as possible.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
It could be challenging for the attorney to give you even a ballpark amount at the evaluation stage. However, an experienced lawyer will be able to help you understand the general range of what you can expect. An exact figure is difficult to nail down upfront due to several unknowns. You can learn more about this topic by reading our full article on how much to ask to in a personal injury settlement here.
What Is Your Assessment Of My Case?
If you have been injured in a traumatic incident, which you believe is someone else's fault, it is very easy to assume, understandably so, that your case is a slam-dunk. However, it might play out differently in civil courts. Your case is only as strong as the evidence you have to show that the defendant's negligence caused your injuries. You may need experts to corroborate the evidence. This is why you need to ask the lawyer, who tends to be an experienced and unbiased party, how he or she views you case and what your chances of recovering compensation are.
Will My Case Go To Trial?
A vast majority of personal injury cases don't go to trial and are settled out of court. However, when you talk to an attorney, it is important to find out if they are comfortable taking the case to trial, if that becomes necessary. While settling out of court can make sense in a number of scenarios, your lawyer should have the experience and resources to take your case to trial, and win. Your lawyer should also be able to give you a time frame of how long it could take before your case is tried in court.
What Level of Participation Will I Have?
A good personal injury lawyer will have a deep conversation with you to understand your story including the details of the incident and your medical history as well as review all documents and evidence relating to your case. While each lawyer might have a different approach when it comes to involving their clients, it is important you understand how they work so you know what to expect during the process.
What Are The Strengths And Weaknesses of My Case?
Asking this question will give you a good idea of the amount of work that your case needs. While you don't need the whole story, asking for a few reasons why the attorney thinks there is a good chance of securing compensation for you might be a good idea. It is also good to know what the challenges could be along the way. Even if your case is strong, there may still be areas of concern. It's a good idea to know those going in.
How Will You Keep Me Informed About The Progress of My Case?
You need to expect that you won't receive a call from your attorney every day. However, it is important that you are kept updated about the progress of your case as it makes its way through the legal system. You definitely do not want to be left in the dark. Be sure to find out who will be your contact person at the law firm
How Many Clients' Cases Do You Handle At A Time?
If your attorney is too busy, it could take several months for your lawsuit to even be filed. Keep in mind that California has a statute of limitations of three years. There are exceptions to this rule. So, it is important to be cognizant of the clock ticking. If you have less time, you should consider attorneys who can give you that time and attention right away.
Before you go to that initial consultation, arm yourself with a list of these questions so you can get the most out of your meeting. Legal professionals are used to getting all types of questions. Do not hesitate to ask any question that you may have. At the Vaziri Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys, our experienced personal injury lawyers are always ready to help you. Call us to schedule your free initial consultation.