If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing a personal injury attorney, it can be difficult to make a choice. It’s almost impossible to know for certain if you made the right choice until after the case is over. Armed with the right set of questions, you can help yourself to make a good choice.
While these questions are no guarantee that a particular attorney is the best person for your situation, they do provide a lot of insight.
Ask these questions and pay attention to the answers:
1. Tell me about your experience. How many years have you been practicing personal injury law? While this question might seem obvious, few people actually take the time to ask. Experience is one of the most important factors of success in the legal field. A greater level of experience improves the odds that the attorney has had similar cases in the past.
2. What percentage of your practice is spent on personal injury? Of course, it is best to hire an attorney that only practices within the personal injury field. However, in more isolated areas, you might only find attorneys that are ‘jack of all trades.’ Specialization also increases the odds that your attorney is familiar with the opposing attorney. Within any city, lawyers within a specific field of law tend to know each other. This can be helpful.
3. If I need to call you, will I speak to you or a member of your staff? Secretaries and paralegals are critical to any law practice, but they are not attorneys. You should be able to speak directly with your attorney regarding any relevant issues related to your case. Issues related to scheduling and other administrative matters can certainly be covered by your attorney’s staff. For the important matters, speak to your attorney directly.
4. Are you the actual lawyer that will try my case? Keep in mind that many personal injury practices are what are commonly referred to as ‘volume’ practices. These are personal injury attorneys that never go to trial; they’re only interested in settling out of court. Should a case need to go to trial, they will either refer you to someone else or simply withdraw.
5. Do you carry malpractice insurance? Few potential clients bother to ask this question, but it’s important. If you’re attorney is negligent, it’s very challenging to collect is there isn’t an insurance policy. Failing to have malpractice insurance also suggests there may have been a successful malpractice claim in the past.
Finding the right personal injury attorney can be a challenge. Most likely, you don’t have any friends or family that are able to provide a referral. By asking the right questions, you can improve the odds of finding someone that is experienced and skilled with personal injury law. The right lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome. Be certain to ask these questions in your quest to find the right attorney.