It can happen to anyone, you are exiting your apartment complex and a wobbly step causes you to fall, resulting in serious injury. You are driving and another vehicle slams into the back of you, whipping your head back violently. Maybe you are at an amusement park and a ride malfunctions, causing you injury. All of the above have one thing in common, under the law they are personal injuries. When you are hurt you want answers to questions about what to do immediately. That is why one of your first calls should be to personal injury attorneys.
You can meet with them for a no-cost consultation. They will evaluate your case and let you know what they can do to help. To make sure you are hiring the best personal injury lawyer for the job, here are some things to ask when meeting them for the first time.
1. What Types of Personal Injury Cases Do You Handle?
Because personal injury covers a wide spectrum of case types, some personal injury lawyers specialize in one area. You want to make sure they are knowledgeable about your particular injury and area of law. Areas of personal injury include:
- Car accident injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and Fall
- Workplace Injuries
- Workman’s Compensation
- Wrongful Death
- Dog bite injuries
- General including retail establishment customer injury, residential personal injury, and more
You want to hire an attorney that has knowledge about your type of injury. Check for testimonialsregarding cases they won.
It is also beneficial to hire a firm that has a team of lawyers who operate in a variety of areas. This allows them to easily consult other attorneys regarding different aspects of a case. Conferring with others strengthens their ability to provide high-quality representation in litigation and trial.
2. How Likely Is It My Case Will Go to Trial?
While no attorney can determine initially whether or not they will take the matter to trial, they can provide an estimate based on experience. Attorneys in personal injury will always attempt to settle the matter out of court. At the same time, they will gather evidence in preparation for trial.
The likeliness of a matter going to trial depends on various factors unique to your case. This includes the extent of your injuries and how cooperative the other party is in working toward a reasonable settlement.
It is not unusual for opposing counsel to try to negate the seriousness of your injury. Opposing counsel will offer a lowball settlement on behalf of the insurance provider they represent.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer is familiar with this process and will know how to offset their claims. This may include hiring accident reconstruction experts or bringing in medical expert witnesses.
3. What Damages Can We Recover on My Case?
The damages you claim will depend on factors unique to your case.
You may experience physical injuries such as muscle tears and strains, neck pain, back pain, broken bones, and more. There may be a tremendous amount of medical bills you need to be paid. You must follow all recommendations by medical professionals regarding medical treatment as proof of your injuries.
Emotional trauma and psychological issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be part of your claim. Other damages include property damage to your car or motorcycle and loss of income during your recovery.
Your personal injury lawyers will evaluate your case and file a lawsuit for every possible claim you have. Their goal is to recoup as much of your financial loss as possible.
4. Are You Who Will Handle My Case?
Some law firms have attorneys who handle the intake for all clients. The case is then assigned to an attorney who will handle it from that point forward. The attorney they assign likely has experience in your type of case.
You do want to meet with that attorney to make sure your personalities are compatible. Personal injury cases can take months or years to litigate. You want an attorney you like and trust.
5. How Long Will It Take To Settle?
This is something the attorney may be able to give you a ballpark figure on. The actual timeframe depends on numerous factors and is difficult to estimate.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, your attorney may want to wait on settling until doctors can provide a long-term prognosis. Life-altering injuries receive a higher settlement than injuries where there is no long-term impact.
Settlement time will also depend on how cooperative the other party is in reaching a settlement. If they think you are desperate to obtain a payout, they will offer a lower amount hoping you will agree.
6. Is There Anything You Need From Me?
Whether or not your attorney needs additional information from you depends on the circumstances of your case and what you bring to the initial consultation. Some items that may help your case include:
- Photos taken at the accident scene
- Copies of medical records
- A list of medical providers and their contact information
- Names and addresses of any witnesses
- A written statement by you of how the accident happened
- Information regarding weather conditions, statements made by the other driver, etc.
Your attorney may have you sign a series of medical releases. They may also suggest you contact your medical providers directly and sign releases to the attorney.
You will want to notify your attorney of any updates in your medical treatment, prognosis, or any additional conditions that arise as you progress through recovery.
7. What Are My Attorney Fees?
Personal injury cases normally are handled on a contingency fee agreement. This means you do not owe any attorney fees until your case settles. If you lose your case you owe nothing.
When you reach a settlement or win at trial, the attorney’s fees, usually about 33.33%, are deducted from the settlement amount prior to you receiving your portion. There may be other legal expenses that are also paid out prior to you receiving your settlement. This includes filing fees, medical records costs, expert witness fees, and any medical liens.
Hire Personal Injury Attorneys
When you suffer from personal injuries, your first step is to call (800) 674-7854 to schedule a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at Sweet Lawyers. We will review your case and let you know what we can do on your behalf. If your injuries are the result of an auto accident, we will handle the property damage portion of your case for free.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today by telephone, text, email, or using our online form. We handle your claim on a contingency basis, which means you pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.