Interview Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were hurt in a car crash, as a result of medical malpractice, in a slip-and-fall accident, or in any other manner that involved someone else’s negligence, you might have the right to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. A good personal injury lawyer will help you build your strongest case for liability and maximize the damages you can recover. Not all attorneys are equally suited to the task, however. It is important that you consult with personal injury lawyers before you pick one to represent your interests and that you vet your choices appropriately. Below we provide a few questions you should ask in your initial consultation before you formally retain your Lancaster personal injury lawyer.
What is your specific area of practice? How long have you practiced that area of law?
There are dozens and dozens of areas of law that an attorney can practice. Each area of law requires an understanding of specific laws and cases, as well as experience to know what evidence to seek, which witnesses to consult, and what arguments to make. You want to know that your personal injury attorney actually focuses on personal injury law and is not a general practitioner who occasionally takes on a personal injury matter. If your case involves something technical like medical malpractice, ensure that your chosen lawyer has knowledge and experience concerning that specific area of personal injury practice.
Can I get references from previous clients?
One of the best ways to evaluate an attorney is to learn what previous clients have to say about their services. Former clients can tell you not only whether the attorney “won” their case, but also how the client was treated throughout the process. Did the attorney treat them with respect? Did they return emails and phone calls? Did they properly consult the client regarding significant case developments and decisions? A good lawyer should be able to provide you with a list of satisfied clients who are happy to gush about their attorney’s performance and representation. If not, you might still be able to find this information through online reviews or the attorney’s website.
What are your rates and payment structure?
Before you sign up with a lawyer, you should know what it will cost you. Personal injury lawyers typically charge a contingency fee, meaning that you pay them a portion of what you recover rather than pay them up-front. Ask your attorney what percentage of your recovery they will collect, and how the attorney will handle up-front costs such as filing fees and expert retainers. If the attorney will cover those costs initially, what happens if you lose the case? Will the client owe the attorney the costs of retaining an expert, for example?
How much time can you devote to my case? Will you personally handle the case, or will it be an associate? What about staff?
It is important to know how much time and resources an attorney can and will devote to your representation. You do not want to have your matter shuffled into a pile of cases that get limited personal attention. You want to ensure the attorney has the capacity to take on your matter, enough staff such as paralegals that they can devote to assisting with your matter, and that you will not be relegated to an inexperienced recent law school graduate when you are retaining the firm because of the partner’s name and skills.
Will my case go to trial? Have you gone to trial with similar cases?
Personal injury matters often settle before trial, but it is essential to know that your lawyer is ready to take your case all the way if necessary. Ask about their prior cases, if they have tried cases before juries and whether they were successful. It is especially helpful to know if they have tried a case similar to yours before a jury. Trying a medical malpractice case is very different from arguing a car crash case before a jury.
Trusted Legal Advice and Representation For Your Antelope Valley Personal Injury Claim
If you or someone you love has been hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence in the Antelope Valley, speak with a seasoned and passionate Lancaster personal injury attorney about pursuing a claim for damages by calling the Kistler Law Firm at 661-206-6990.