Hiring a lawyer can be an intimidating process — especially when you are also dealing with a serious injury. You can make the process easier by knowing some questions to ask:
- Have you handled this type of case before? Not every attorney routinely handles injury cases. Even injury attorneys sometimes focus their practice more on specific types of cases. Find out if the attorney you are hiring has handled cases like yours in the past.
- Who will be handling my case? The attorney you speak with during your initial consultation may not be the attorney who ends up handling your case. It’s always nice to know who you will be working with when you hire a law firm.
- How much will I pay in attorney’s fees and costs? Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis with the standard rate being 1/3 of any recovery, but this can vary. All contingency fee agreements must be put into writing so make sure you understand the terms before you sign anything.
Will you negotiate my liens and unpaid medical bills? Attorneys are required to take into account any liens during settlement, but not all attorneys will negotiate liens in order to maximize you recovery.
How can I contact you? Its important that you feel like you can effectively communicate with your attorney and staff. Find out how your attorney plans to keep in touch with you.
What will your strategy for settlement/trial be in my case? Every case is different and there are always a lot of unknowns at the beginning of a case. But any experienced injury lawyer should be able to give you a rough idea of strategy and timeline, keeping in mind that things can change.
The most important thing to keep in mind when hiring an attorney is that you are hiring someone to advocate on your behalf. That means you should be comfortable working with the person you hire.