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Your Questions Checklist
When you are looking to hire the best personal injury lawyer, it is important that you understand which qualities to look for.
Since your personal injury lawyer will be your main weapon against the insurance companies, you want to make sure you have the most qualified accident attorney working for you.
Here are the things you should focus on when looking for the best personal injury lawyer.
Questions About Experience
By far the most important thing when it comes to hiring a personal injury lawyer is experience. Experienced accident attorneys have dealt with insurance companies, insurance lawyers, court trials, and various settlement cases.
Due to their experience, the best personal injury lawyer also tends to have strong relationships with other litigators and insurance agents that are involved in your case. This helps you because your accident attorney can use his or her personal connections to negotiate a higher insurance settlement. At certain points, it’s not merely a matter of what you know but who you know.
But finding the best personal injury lawyer is not simply about finding the one with the most experience. Your accident attorney should also have the right type of experience. This means that your lawyer should have experience dealing with insurance claims cases that are similar to yours.
If you severely injured your lower back, it doesn’t matter if the lawyer has 25 years experience with whiplash settlements. The two cases are completely different and will not help you. So you should look for the right experienced lawyers.
Here are the questions you should ask:
- How long have you been practising personal injury settlements?
- How many cases have you handled that are similar to mine?
- Are you experienced in taking my case to trial?
- What percentage of your cases are personal injury cases? (Most lawyers handle multiple types of cases ex : commercial damage, etc)
Questions About Fees
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. Which means they only get paid if you win a settlement. The contingency fee is typically a third of your final settlement. However, before the accident attorney takes their fee, you may have to pay for other expenses related to your case. To get a better understanding of what charges you might have to pay read:
When you meet with a lawyer, start by asking the following question:
- How much will I be charged for hiring you?
- How much will you charge if I receive no compensation?
- What will be my out of pocket expenses?
- How much do you expect these out of pocket expenses to be?
- Are you willing to negotiate a lower contingency fee?
Questions About Your Insurance Claim
Once you have asked question regarding the personal injury lawyers qualifications and fees, you should ask questions specific to your injury claim.
- What type of accident claim do I have?
- Can you give a rough idea of how much my claim may be worth?
- How long will it take my claim to settle?
- What will be the legal process for my claim?
- What information will you need from me?
- How exactly will you deal with the insurance companies?
- How long do I have to file my claim?
- How many other cases will you be handling while handling mines?
You should ask these questions because you want to understand your claim as well as possible. You also want to see how well does your lawyer communicate the complexities of your case. The best personal injury lawyer always communicates clearly and effectively.
Questions About Your Preferences
The last type of questions are regarding your personal preferences. When you are looking to hire the best personal injury lawyer, you want to find one that you are compatible with.
Hiring an accident attorney is not simply a business transaction. You will have to spend a lot of time with this person. A typical insurane claim with a serious injury can last well over a year. During this time, do you want to work with someone who you can’t stand?
That is why you should ask questions that can help reveal the personality of the personal injury lawyer. You can ask:
- Why did you become a claims lawyer?
- Why should I hire you ?
- If I have a question about my claim, will I speak with you or your assistant?
- How quickly will you return my phone calls?
What you are looking for during these questions is that extra intangible things. You want to know if your accident attorney cares about your case more than a final future settlement check.
You want to see how clearly they communicate. Do they show any emotion? Do you see them empathising with you? How willing are they to go to battle for you against the insurance companies?
You don’t want to be just another client to an injury lawyer. You want them to understand what you need from them. If they are not willing to do that, you can find a million other injury lawyers just like them.
So do NOT settle. Be as thorough as you need to be. Finding the best personal injury lawyer can take some time but you will be extremely glad once you see the positive results.
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