People with personal injuries after an accident have to pay lifelong damages. It’s a tough time. In such cases, you look for someone who listens to you and helps you. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is what most people do.
What questions to ask a personal injury lawyer?
It’s a common question asked by most personal injury victims. Most of them don’t know how to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Getting help from the best lawyer is one of the critical steps toward successful recovery.
Finding a personal injury lawyer who will represent your personal injury case is a difficult task. There are so many top-class law firms available in Canada. How can you find the right one for you?
The only way is to ask the requisite questions to the potential personal injury lawyer. You’ll get a chance to have a free session with the lawyer. It’s the time where you can ask anything you want to know about the lawyer.
Preparing Yourself Before Consultation With A Personal Injury Lawyer
In the personal injury legal process, hiring the right lawyer is the most crucial decision. You have to do some homework before deciding to meet a lawyer. You’ll get the best outcome from the meeting with personal injury lawyers if you come prepared.
However, you’ll need to prepare essential documents and information that the lawyer will need to discuss the case. Below is a guide on how you can prepare yourself before the consultation.
Be Responsible To Your Personal Responsibilities
As an injured victim as well as a client, you may have lots of responsibilities. Before a lawyer assists you, you have to help yourself at first. Your first priority is your health and wellness. So, get necessary medical care.
Make sure you submit all the medical bills to your health insurance company. Be in touch with your doctor so you can keep your lawyer updated with the progress. Inform everything about the case to your lawyer.
When you’re injured because of someone else negligence, it is tough to think logically. But, a personal injury case becomes successful if you provide evidence. Anything related to the case can be served as evidence to the court. Before the lawyer seeks the evidence, you should gather some.
Take Photo Of the Incident And Injuries
Pictures can be served as strong evidence in a personal injury case. It’ll help your lawyer to reach a successful destination. These days, we all carry a phone with a good camera. You can use your phone to take a picture.
Take a picture from every direction and every angle surrounding the vehicle. Don’t forget the car interior – especially the damaged parts. Last, of all, take a picture of your injured body parts.
Gather All Records Needed For The Case
Your lawyer will need a lot of records to represent your case. Before you meet a lawyer, make sure you have the following paperwork.
- The accident report from the police
- Medical records and bills
- Photographs were taken of all injuries and property damage
- Accident details including location, date, time, road and weather conditions
- Car insurance policy
- Email between you and your insurance company
- The information about witnesses
- Breakdown of your lost income after the accident
Note Down Your Experience
It is usual to forget what happened in the accident after a while. Also, it can be traumatic for some to relive those moments. You don’t want to go back to that disturbing day.
Some personal injury legal process takes more than a year. As our memories fade over time, you can write down about your experience before a legal consultation. If a close someone was with you during the accident, ask him/her to do the same.
Look For A Personal Injury Lawyer
Now comes the main part, which is seeking a personal injury lawyer. Start by asking your family members, friends, or colleagues for suggestions. Also, there are many referral services from where you can seek help.
Most of the personal injury lawyers are available online. Check the online reviews of the lawyers to find if the lawyer is the right fit for your case. Some lawyers call injured victims after they suffered an accident.
It is advisable to avoid those ambulance chasers. Moreover, each personal injury lawyer has different skill sets. They handle a case differently than one another. Some prefer the “assembly-line” approach, while others like to focus on a few cases.
The first type of lawyer takes every personal injury case that comes to them. However, the second types choose fewer cases and give personalized attention to the case. Decide if you want personalized attention or average attention.
What Kinds Of Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Attorney?
At last, take your time to prepare the questions you’ll ask the potential personal injury lawyer. The questions should be such that they bring out the most valuable information about the lawyer.
Below we’ve assembled the top 10 questions you can ask a personal injury lawyer in this article. Asking these questions will make your job easier.
Top 10 Most Important Questions to Ask ?
Knowing what questions to ask a lawyer will help you find a suitable lawyer for your case. You can find the right question below. The following questions will help you learn about the lawyer’s qualifications, experience, and philosophy.
1. Do You Specialize In Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law is a massive field to practice. Several cases are comprised of car accidents, slip, and fall, medical malpractice, defamation, etc. There are a few lawyers who can handle all the cases involved in personal injury law.
Good lawyers know how much they know. You can ask if the lawyer is specialized in personal injury law. If you get a positive answer, it means the lawyer can handle your case. However, you can also ask for background information from the lawyer.
2. How much will It Cost To Hire You?
Discussing the money is not a fun task. But, it is better to know the price that the lawyer asks for personal injury cases. Most personal injury lawyers in Canada work on a contingency basis.
This means you don’t have to pay a legal fee until you get your settlement. The lawyer will charge a percentage of your compensation award. It would help if you found what the percentage is.
Moreover, there may be an additional fee you’ll have to pay in addition to the legal fee. Some lawyers mention that there is no legal fee to pay. But, they ask you to pay for things like copying documents and postage. Some lawyers may send you monthly statements that are expected to pay.
3. What Are The Weaknesses Of My Case?
It is better to know if there are any flaws in your case as early as possible. Every personal injury case has some areas which need to be addressed. No matter how strong your case is, your case may have some weaknesses. Make sure you learn them before.
4. How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Or Your Firm Handled?
Experience matters when it comes to handling a legal case. As a client, you must know if the lawyer is comfortable with cases like yours. Indeed, every case is different. Still, there are some similarities between such cases.
You’ll likely want to hire a lawyer who already handled many similar cases. You wouldn’t hire a lawyer whose first case is yours. It is essential to make sure the lawyer has years of experience working on similar cases.
5. How Many Successful Verdicts Have You Won In Court?
A lawyer with a success rate can be considered an expert. Wining a few cases does indicate the lawyer is an expert. What is more important is a strong winning record.
In personal injury cases, you can only trust a dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer. Some lawyers are capable enough to settle down a case before it goes to trial. So, you should know if the lawyer has similar records in his/her career.
6. If I Lose, Will I Be Responsible For Any Case-Related Costs?
Along with contingency fees, some lawyers charge additional case-related costs in advance. These are called out-of-pocket costs, including filing fees, witness costs, medical records retrieval fees, etc. Ask the lawyer who will be responsible for paying these costs if you lose.
7. Typically, How Long Does It Take To Resolve A Case Like Mine?
Though it is tough to say how long personal injury cases will take to settle. Still, an excellent personal injury lawyer can provide you with a rough estimate. It is better to get a lawyer who is dedicated to solve the case as soon as possible.
8. Will My Case Go To Trial? What Is Your Success Rate At Trial?
A personal injury case could be settled by negotiating before trial. But no one can tell it is going to settle without a jury trial. Your potential personal injury lawyer should expect that your case is going to trial.
If your case can settle with negotiations, make sure the lawyer can fight for the maximum amount of compensation. This will help you receive a fair settlement. Ask the lawyer if he/she has won such cases before a jury.
9. Can I Get References From Past Clients?
There is nothing wrong with asking the lawyer for references from past clients. Confident lawyers will give you the contact information of their past clients. For reference, you shouldn’t trust a website copy.
10. Will You Accept My Telephone Calls? Who At The Firm Will Be My Contact Person?
The lawyer may or may not be available on the phone all the time. During busy schedules, they often keep an assistant to maintain communication with the clients. It is wise to ask for a contact number with whom you can communicate.
What do i need to know before hiring a personal injury law?
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, you need to get all the questions mentioned above answered. You need to be aware of the lawyer’s qualifications, experience, contingency fees, the strategy of handling your case, etc. There may be more queries in your mind. Ask all your questions in mind without a second thought.
What type of Case is a personal injury?
Any accident or incident case can be referred to as a personal injury case. Personal injury is a legal word used to injure someone’s mind, body, or personal property. Moreover, personal injury law is also known as “tort” law.
A personal injury case is filed against a person who caused harm to the victim through negligence. However, the personal injury law allows the victim to get compensation for their damages.
How long does it take a personal injury case to settle?
Court cases are highly unpredictable. The lawyer may give a general time frame. But, in reality, it depends on the complexity of your case. A case without complexity takes between three to nine months to negotiate an agreement. In more complicated cases with serious injuries, it can take years.
What is a reasonable settlement offer?
A personal injury case can be settled out of court. So, the plaintiff and defendant can settle a case by negotiating before going to trial. However, this doesn’t mean the settlement is fair and good.
A good settlement offer refers to a settlement where both parties are satisfied. This often means the plaintiff receives compensation as wanted. There are many ways to determine whether the settlement offer is good or not. Such as;
• Analyze the damage
• Determine fault
• Calculate your loss of income
What happens if you refuse a settlement offer?
If you refuse to receive a settlement offer, it means you would like to take your case to court. This is the only option left for you. Many victims think that it is ok to go to court as they are not paying any money. But, they do not realize there is a massive risk. They could lose the case or get less compensation than the settlement offer.
Schedule Your Free Personal Injury Consultation
So, you’ve got a list of questions to ask a personal injury lawyer. You may also make a draft of questions and take it along. The next step is to schedule a free consultation with your potential personal injury lawyer.
Make your curiosities about legal matters clear in the discussion. The law professionals are used to receive questions of all types. It would help if you didn’t hesitate to ask anything that comes to your mind.
Be friendly with the lawyer during a consultation. Note that you and your lawyer will be working together as a team. If you both are comfortable with each other, there is a better chance to win the case.
Good personal injury lawyers are difficult to find. Luckily, you know what questions to ask a personal injury lawyer. Make sure you find a lawyer who will represent your case fairly and with excellence.