5 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation

If you need to consult a personal injury lawyer, then you’re likely experiencing a tumultuous time in your life. You probably have thoughts racing through your head, and it’s easy to forget to ask certain questions when you meet your prospective attorney for a free consultation. Virtually all personal injury lawyers will find the time to meet with you since they’ll want your business if you plan to bring a viable lawsuit against an individual or entity.

You should make a list of queries that you’d like to ask the attorney before meeting with them. Some of the questions will doubtless pertain to your particular case details. However, there are also some universal questions that you should ask the attorney, so let’s go over those right now.

What is the Best Method by Which I Can Reach You?

If you’re thinking about personal injury attorney questions, the best method by which you can communicate with them going forward should be at the top of that list. If you hire this lawyer, then you must be able to communicate with them at all times, and vice versa. Something about the case may come up, and you’ll need to reach out to each other at a moment’s notice.

Some lawyers would prefer that you use phone communication. They may have both a smartphone and an office line, and they can give you both of those numbers. They might want you to use email exclusively, or they could have some other method that they would prefer.

You’ll want regular case updates as your lawyer gathers information. If you hire your attorney, and then they leave you in the dark regarding what’s happening, that’s a new stress source that you don’t need.

How Often Does This Sort of Case Go to Trial?

Once you lay out your case details, your lawyer should have some idea of your chances. They have probably handled lawsuits similar to yours, or at least they have heard about similar ones and what the outcomes were in those instances.

You can ask them whether you think this case will go all the way through the trial process or whether they believe that the defendant will try to settle. Your lawyer can never be one hundred percent certain about that, but they can at least tell you how frequently this sort of thing goes to a jury decision.

Depending on what they say, you can prepare yourself for a shorter resolution or a longer one. You can tell your family that information, and your employer will likely want to know about it as well.

What Damages Can I Receive?

Part of the reason why you’ll need that personal injury attorney is that they know the law, and they know legal precedent. They will know all about the different damages that you might get if you have a valid lawsuit to bring against a person or company.

They might talk to you about mental trauma and emotional distress and how much those are usually worth. If you suffered a disability or disfigurement, they can often get you money for that. If you endured physical suffering and pain, you can often get compensation because of it.

If you cannot earn money like you used to, they can often win you the cash to replace your customary paychecks. They also might be able to recover money that you can use to pay for either your current or future medical costs.

The lawyer can also talk to you about economic losses versus pain and suffering damages and how the jury usually calculates that.

What Fees and Costs Can I Expect?

You should certainly ask any lawyer who you are considering hiring how much they charge and what their fee structure is. You’ll almost always want to hire an attorney who charges on a contingency basis.

This means that you will only have to pay them out of your winnings, and if they don’t win your case, then you give them nothing.

An hourly fee is the other regular attorney fee methodology. It’s never in your best interest to use this method if you are trying to pursue a personal injury case.

The reason is that if your attorney takes on the case but then cannot recover any money for you, you’ll still have to pay them for the services they rendered. They might put in many hours and days researching the case, and you may end up owing them thousands of dollars or more this way.

On top of that, since they lost your case, you get no money to offset what you have to pay them. You may end up in a much worse situation than when you started the process.

Do You Take Cases Like Mine?

The last question you’ll typically ask is whether this particular attorney even takes cases that sound like yours. No two lawsuits are identical, but your lawyer should have handled at least a few that resemble yours during their career.

If they have taken on cases similar to yours, you should also ask them about the outcomes at this point. If they admit to you that they lost the lawsuits that sound like yours, then you might want to consider hiring someone else.

You can’t worry about hurting an attorney’s feelings if they say they have lost several personal injury cases that sound like what you’re describing. This is not a situation where you want to give a scrappy underdog a chance. You want a proven winner because that’s the sort of lawyer who can get you the money that you so badly need. Remember, personal injury cases are seldom about being vindictive and trying to punish some entity or individual. Instead, people often bring them because a person or company perpetrated a wrong against them. You are trying to balance justice’s scales, and that’s why you need a competent lawyer who is ready to fight for you.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan