10 Questions to Ask Any Personal Injury Attorney
1. How many years have you practiced law, specifically personal injury?
Your prospective personal injury attorney should not be a novice, but a trained, seasoned professional. Younger attorneys, although they may be used to perform some of the work on your case, should not be given full case-management authority until they have a little more experience under their belt.
2. Have you taken cases like mine to trial or settlement, and if so, how many?
An experienced personal injury attorney will have taken several cases very similar to yours to trial and/or settlement. This answer is an indicator of the prospective lawyer’s skill and success rate.
3. How much of your practice focuses on personal injury cases like mine?
A personal injury lawyer should focus a majority of his or her time on the subject matter involved in your case. While an attorney who practices generally, like a family doctor practices generally, can be a very good attorney, it is important the attorney is competent to represent you in your particular matter.
4. Will you use other attorneys or paralegals on my case?
Other personal injury lawyers and paralegals are often used to perform important tasks, but should play a limited role. It is important that you ask to meet them and use your own personal judgment to evaluate them. Eventhough the subject matter and law governing your case might be unfamiliar to you, you should not discount your ability to size-up potential legal staff.
5. What is your policy regarding returning my phone calls?
The most frequent complaint of clients is unreturned phone calls. Your injury lawyer should have a 24-hour turnaround on client phone calls, taking into consideration unforeseeable circumstances. It’s a good idea to have this policy written into your retainer agreement with your personal injury lawyer to ensure compliance.
6. Will you explain to me all of the court procedures, legal concepts, fee arrangements, billing practices, retainer agreements, and payments of costs?
These questions are often time-consuming, but very important. Your injury attorney should explain to you, in detail, all of the above matters thoroughly and as they pertain to your specific case.
7. What is your method or strategy for handling cases like mine?
An experienced personal injury attorney should have a streamlined process for “working-up” cases like yours. The level of detail contained in the injury attorney’s process will demonstrate his or her organization skills and familiarity with the subject matter and law of your case.
8. What is the likelihood of a quick settlement or trial?
Beware of the attorney who promises a quick settlement or trial! However, your accident lawyer should be able to provide a well-reasoned estimate of the time necessary to reach disposition of your case.
9. Do I even have a case? And if so, what do you think my chances are for receiving a settlement?
An experienced accident lawyer should be able to inform you if your case is worth pursuing and/or if there exists a possibility of recovery. Sometimes people are hurt, injured, or suffer injustice and there is no legal remedy. A good accident attorney will provide you with his or her strategy for your case, explaining the steps they will take and the likelihood of your success at trial or settlement.
10. Do you have a policy of professional liability insurance?
Like doctors, all attorneys, personal injury or otherwise, should maintain a malpractice insurance policy in the event that mistakes occur on your case.
Frequently Asked Questions and Consumer Information
- What should I look for when selecting a personal injury lawyer?
- What do I need to know about my case before contacting an injury law firm?
- What can I expect from my first appointment with your accident law firm?
- Will I need to pay any money to get started?
- When my personal injury case is pending, who pays the out-of-pocket expenses?
- Will you win my case?
- Why do I need an injury attorney if I have an attorney who handles my family matters?
- How do you help me prepare for trial?
- Should I accept a settlement or go before a jury?
What should I look for when selecting an accident lawyer?
Ask for information regarding the lawyer’s education, training and experience with cases similar to yours. For personal injury claims, be sure the injury lawyer is familiar with the laws in Colorado or the state where the accident or injury occurred. Also, review the fee contract in detail with the injury attorney to make sure you understand how you will pay the injury law firm’s fees and costs at the end of the case.
What do I need to know about my case before contacting your firm?
We need as much detail as you can provide about your personal injury case. It is helpful to us if you have an accident report, insurance claim numbers and copies of your own insurance policies at the time of the initial interview. Once we have the necessary information, we can make informed decisions about whether to accept your case. This information is also vital to determine how to pursue your case.
What can I expect from my first appointment with your accident law firm?
You will meet with one of our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at the time of your first appointment with our firm. Our personal injury attorneys and staff are professional and courteous, and we do our best to make you feel at ease. We allow plenty of time to meet with you and discuss your potential claim. We will discuss the facts of your case and explain the personal injury laws as they might apply to your case and other consumer information. Based in Denver, our personal injury lawyers handle cases throughout the state and country. The initial consultation with our team is always free.
Will I need to pay any money to get started?
We handle most cases on a contingent fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you make a recovery. We explain the full details of the fee and cost agreement you have with our firm before we begin representing you on your claim.
When my personal injury case is pending, who pays the out-of-pocket expenses?
We represent most of our personal injury clients on a contingent fee basis. We advance the money for expenses incurred during our representation while a case is pending. If and when your case reaches a successful conclusion, the money our firm has spent is repaid out of your recovery. For more on this topic or other consumer or legal information, contact a personal injury attorney at our Denver injury firm.
Will you win my case?
The Werner Law Firm is a confident, aggressive, successful firm, and we do our best to represent our clients. However, no injury law firm can make guarantees on any claim or lawsuit.
Why do I need another attorney if I have an attorney who handles my family matters?
Personal injury cases usually involve parties who are represented by insurance adjusters and Denver injury lawyers hired by insurance companies. These people strive to minimize the insurance companies’ losses by aggressively defending claims. Hiring an experienced Denver personal injury attorney may best protect your rights and serve your interests.
How do you help me prepare for trial?
Many cases are resolved before ever reaching trial. At our personal injury law firm in Denver, we handle every case as if it might go before a judge and jury. We take extraordinary care and time to ensure that you will thoroughly understand what to expect in the event the parties do not reach an agreement and your case goes to trial.
Should I accept a settlement or go before a jury?
Accepting a settlement offer can be a difficult decision. We always present you with the pros and cons of settling your case before trial. We provide you with information regarding the fairness of the settlement offer, but the final decision is always yours.