If you have been injured in an accident you may need to hire an attorney who can help you recover your damages from the person responsible. Choosing an attorney, however, can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Having an idea of what to ask prospective lawyers is a good start.
A personal injury attorney is one who handles cases in which their client was injured due to someone else’s negligence. Some personal injury lawyers have experience in certain types of injuries such as medical malpractice or slip and fall accidents, but others do not.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Some of the most common types of cases that personal injury lawyers litigate on their client’s behalf include the following:
- Neck and back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Dog Bites
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries due to a slip and fall accident
- Injuries sustained in an automobile accident
Interview Questions for a Potential Personal Injury Attorney
You might want to consider interviewing more than one lawyer before you decide who should represent you for your personal injury case. As part of the interview, ask a prepared list of questions based on your personal needs and your injury case. If possible, bring your medical records, witness statements, and other relevant documentation when you meet with an attorney. This will help them have a greater understanding of how best to proceed with recovering your damages. The questions you should ask will depend on the unique circumstances of your accident. However, use the following questions as a starting point:
- How much experience does the attorney have handling cases with the type of injuries that you have suffered from the accident?
- What is the law firm’s payment policy? Do they require upfront payment of disbursements? (Many law firms do require at least a partial disbursement payment, but most won’t collect their legal fees until the case is final and you receive your award.) Be sure you understand the payment arrangements before signing any paperwork.
- Who in the office will handle the majority of your case? Will it be the attorney, other attorneys, or paralegals?
- Does the lawyer receive referrals from other attorneys? (This can indicate that the lawyer is held in high regard within the legal community.)
- What is the lawyer’s track record in cases like yours?
- Does the lawyer think that the retention of expert witnesses will be needed? Many times, a case’s success will revolve around the testimony of expert witnesses. Expert witnesses could include other medical personnel, road construction experts, engineers or other professionals who work in a field that is somehow related to your injury. However, each expert witness will cost money and you will be responsible for paying them.
Your personal injury case has a lot riding on it. Give yourself the best chance of a successful outcome by hiring the attorney who is best suited for your needs. To this end, don’t be shy about interviewing more than one before making your choice. Get started today by scheduling a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to yours.