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Top 10 Questions To Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney

We’re all at risk of some type of personal injury as we go about our daily lives. We could be affected in a variety of ways, including by a car accident, a slip-and-fall in the workplace, a bad drug or product, medical malpractice, a dog bite, even a defamation of our character.

If you’ve been injured by another party and feel that you have a case against them, your first and most important step is finding the best personal injury attorney for your case. Most will give you an initial meeting at no charge. You should come to the meeting prepared with a list of questions.

These are the top 10 questions you should ask your personal injury lawyer:

1.What is Your Track Record with My Type of Case? Ask how many cases like yours the lawyer has handled. There are many types of personal injuries and many ways to approach those lawsuits. An attorney who specializes in your kind of injury can offer you the best expertise and value for your money.

2. How Long Have You Been a Personal Injury Lawyer? Find out how many years the lawyer has been practicing, how many cases per year, and their outcomes. A lawyer who has taken many cases to trial will be more prepared to get the best results than one who usually settles cases. Ask for references from past clients as well.

3. What Will be Your Role in My Case? Your lawyer should be the one overseeing your case and handling important parts like court appearances, even if they have junior associates or paralegals doing some of the work. Find out exactly who will be doing what.

4. Do You Have the Time and Financial Resources to Take My Case Now? Some lawyers will take on new clients and then make them wait months before filing the lawsuit, meanwhile adding new cases to their roster. Be sure your attorney can commit to moving your case ahead in a timely way. Also, ask the lawyer if he or she has enough financial resources to carry all the expenses of your case to the end. You don’t want the lawyer to have to skimp on any of the elements of your case. You should also make sure the lawyer doesn’t have any conflicts of interest in representing you.

5. How Much Money Could My Case Be Worth? Your lawyer should estimate the amount you could recover. This will depend on a lot of variables, such as what is found out about the case during discovery.

6. Is My Case Likely to Go to Trial? Ask how strong your case is. In any event, your lawyer should always be ready to go to trial. Showing the defense you are prepared for trial is how your lawyer will get the most money for you, even if your case ends in a settlement.

7. What are the Fees and Extra Costs for My Case? It’s standard for personal injury lawyers to take cases on a contingency, where they are only paid if you win. Typically the lawyer will collect between 25-40% of the amount you are awarded. You may be able to negotiate the agreement, especially with a strong case and severe injury. Find out about extra costs, such as paying expert witnesses, and who is responsible for paying them.

8. What Happens if I Lose My Case? With your lawyer on a contingency, you won’t have to pay his or her fee if you don’t win your case. But you may or may not be expected to pay for other expenses, depending on the lawyer and the jurisdiction you’re in. This is vital information for the lawyer to share with you.

9. How Will You Communicate With Me About My Case? You and your lawyer should agree on how often you’ll receive updates on your case, and who else from the firm may be contacting you.

10. How Long Should I Expect My Case to Take? You need to know so you can plan how to handle your ongoing medical expenses and the general disruption to your life caused by the case. It usually takes most personal injury cases no more than about 2-3 years to complete, but a lot depends on their complexity.

Make sure you know what information your lawyer needs from you, too. Communicating well with your personal injury attorney is the key to the good teamwork that will help you win your case.

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