A large proportion of civil lawsuits registered in the United States of America are related to personal injuries. The trauma that comes with an accident is already appalling. So, seeking out compensation and defending yourself can be a little too overwhelming. Without professional help, you may fail in better representing your interests. And, it can significantly impact the negotiation process resulting in a deal that fails to compensate your losses.
Therefore, it is best to consult an attorney and never file a personal injury lawsuit without their advice. However, hiring an attorney is easier said than done. You must choose your attorney wisely since you will be spending a lot of time with your lawyer. You will also give them personal details that you may not share with someone else otherwise. So, you must pick someone you are comfortable working with and can indisputably trust. Establishing trust will take some time since not many people are best friends with an attorney. You will need to get out there and find the perfect lawyer who can represent you in court. You can do it by having an icebreaking session with a lawyer.
Here is a list of 7 questions you may ask to see if they are suitable for the job.
- How much will you charge me?
It is essential that you clear out this detail as soon as possible. There is no point in bonding with a lawyer only to find out their contingency fee is too much for you. It will save you both time and energy. The best idea is to do proper research. For instance, if you have been in a bicycle accident, look for the contact information of lawyers who are experts in dealing with bicycle accident cases. When you find a credible bicycle accident lawyer ask them for their charges. If it sounds reasonable, set a formal one-on-one meeting where you can further discuss your case.
- Have you ever had a case like mine before?
It is imperative that you ask your lawyer about whether or not they have dealt with a similar case. It is pretty much like asking for relevant experience before recruiting an employee in your team. Therefore, do not shy away from asking if they have had a similar case. You may also try to gather as much information about that case as you can.
- How much time will you give to my case?
Some lawyers tend to be great at procrastinating. They may be taking up cases all day long, only to work on them closer to the deadline, while others may have more than they can chew. Therefore, you must clear it out with your lawyer. Ask them to give you a timeline by which they will be filing your case.
- What will I have to pay if we lose?
Contingency fees are not the only payments that lawyers require. Some even charge an advance fee added to the contingency fee. In case you lose, the attorney may still charge a fee. It is called an out-of-pocket fee, and as the name sounds, you have to pay it regardless of whether you win or lose the case. Settle all of this out before taking the lawyer onboard.
- How long does it take to resolve such cases?
Many factors can influence a case. However, a professional lawyer can still provide you with a vague estimate. If they claim to have dealt with similar scenarios, they can even share a timeline with you. The purpose of asking this question is to let your lawyer know that you want it done as soon as possible. So, do not hesitate to emphasize it to your lawyer.
- Can I contact one of your past clients?
Any credible lawyer will be happily sharing this information with you. So, do not shy away from asking for references. Not only will it tell you about your lawyer’s credibility, but also about the nature of these lawsuits. Try getting contact information instead of relying on testimonials on the website since they might be fabricated to a great extent.
- What will be my role in the process?
You cannot underestimate the value that a lawyer puts into a lawsuit. However, you cannot deny your role in the process either. After all, you have a massive contribution, and no one can replace you. You may consult your attorney and ask them what they expect from you. They can tell you if you should attend depositions. If you want to be on the sidelines, they can also help you with it. But it all depends on what you want. So, before starting, make sure you and your lawyer are on the same page.
Going through an accident is a miserable experience. You may have suffered physically, emotionally as well as financially because of someone else’s negligence. It may be difficult to file a lawsuit and go through it all over again in court. However, the person responsible must compensate you for the damage. Reporting such incidents is also obligatory to ensure that accidents like that do not happen again. Therefore, you are not only hiring a lawyer for your own sake but also the greater good. It will save many other people from going through what you have to suffer. So, you may also look for a lawyer who understands this and represents you in a just manner.