These are the TOP personal injury questions to ask during your consultation
Filing a personal injury claim is a big undertaking and one that can have a profound effect on your future.
Indeed, the outcome of a personal injury claim may yield the damages that you need to seek necessary medical care, pay for your living expenses, and rebuild your future, or may barely be enough to cover your basic needs if that.
Because there is so much riding on the outcome of a personal injury claim after you’ve suffered a serious and life-altering injury, hiring an attorney who is experienced in personal injury law and has a strong reputation for excellence and a history of case success is critical.
When you are searching for an attorney, you don’t want to simply hire the first person you stumble upon, but instead, want to do the research necessary to ensure you’re securing the best legal representation possible.
As part of this process, you should sit down with various attorneys near you and ask them a series of personal injury questions, and then compare answers.
Consider the following list of questions to ask a personal injury lawyer, as well as the desired responses that you should be looking out for—
How Long Have You Been Practicing Personal Injury Law?
Like all things in life, practice makes perfect, or at least as close to perfect as one can become.
The more experienced that a lawyer has, the greater the likelihood that they will be more efficacious and knowledgeable, therefore improving the chances that your claim will be successful.
At the Harris Law Firm, PLLC, our law firm has been representing clients’ needs in Mississippi since 1981, which means that we have nearly 40 years of experience behind us.
What’s Your Relevant Experience Handling Cases Like Mine?
Keep in mind that just because a lawyer tells you that they have been practicing law for decades does not mean that they have been practicing law that is relevant to your case.
You want to hire an attorney who has a notable history of handling personal injury claims like yours successfully.
For example, if you have been attacked by a dog while you were on someone else’s property and you have suffered permanent scarring as a result of the attack, it would be worthwhile to find a lawyer who has handled a case involving similar elements and details.
Who Will Be Working on My Case?
Sometimes, law firms are so overburdened as a result of taking on more cases than they can comfortably handle (which is a scheme to maximize profits) that seasoned lawyers pass cases off to less-seasoned associated, or even ask staff or paralegals to do the bulk of legal work related to a case.
While this may work in some cases, you want a lawyer who is committed to handling your case themselves.
This is not to say that other staff members cannot contribute to a claim–this is an important part of claim success, too–but it is to say that the lawyer whom you hire should be committed to prioritizing your case, not so encumbered by other cases that they don’t have time to focus on yours.
Don’t be shy to ask a potential personal injury lawyer who will be working on your case, as well as with whom you will be communicating throughout the process.
How Do You Charge?
One telltale sign of an inexperienced and unscrupulous personal injury lawyer is a personal injury lawyer who requests that you pay a retainer fee, pay an hourly fee, or otherwise pay any other type of upfront fee.
If your personal injury lawyer asks you to make a payment before your case has been settled, or tries to charge you for a consultation, run as fast as you can in the other direction.
One of the most important questions to ask attorneys is how they charge.
A good personal injury lawyer will offer you a free case consultation without any obligation to hire the lawyer, and will also work on your case on a contingency fee basis.
This type of payment system means that the lawyer’s fee is contingent on your settlement; if you receive a settlement, the lawyer will collect a percentage of your winnings, and if you don’t receive a settlement, you won’t owe the lawyer anything.
Do You Have Trial Experience?
If you are wondering whether or not your case will go to court and litigation will be required, statistically speaking, you’re likely in the clear – the vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved through negotiations that take place outside of the courtroom.
However, some claims do require litigation, and when they do, an experienced trial attorney can make all of the difference. Do not hire a lawyer who hasn’t been in a courtroom before; the last thing that you want is for your hired attorney to get their first taste of litigation–and their first in-courtroom practice–on your case.
Do I Have a Strong Case?
Finally, remember that even the best attorney in the world may not be able to offer you much if you don’t have a strong case.
Before you hire anyone, and perhaps before you even start the list of questions to ask a personal injury lawyer, you should ask the attorney to briefly assess your case and provide you with an overview of what you can expect in terms of your role, the timeline, and a settlement.
While it is impossible to estimate the value of a claim without a thorough investigation, your attorney should be able to provide you with an informed opinion about the strength of your claim.
Choose Our Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyers Today
At the Harris Law Firm, PLLC, our Mississippi personal injury lawyers know how much is on the line when you’ve been hurt and are thinking about filing a personal injury claim.
Our lawyers have experience, are dedicated to our clients, always make your case a priority, and have litigation experience.
Please call us today to schedule your free consultation, or send us a message telling us more about your claim.