Is that personal injury lawyer the right one for you, or more concerned with himself? Ask these questions to find out.
It’s always difficult when looking for third-party help of any kind. When you need to find an accountant, build a new patio, or fix your heating and air conditioning, you thoroughly investigate the person you want to do the work.
Why don’t more people do the same with their personal injury lawyer?
You should always talk to them at length before making a hire.
Ask these questions to find the best one for your needs:
- How many years of experience do you have?
You always want someone experienced. It isn’t everything. But the more of it your personal injury lawyer has, the more likely they are to get you a fair legal outcome.
- What results have you delivered your clients?
Don’t let them get away with a “that’s confidential” response. They may not be able to discuss specific case results (although some clients allow this).
But they should be comfortable keeping the client’s name and any information that revealed their identity confidential, while discussing other facts of their case. You’ll get a good idea they can deliver you results.
The very best Dallas injury attorneys have long lists of successful case results.
- How much experience do they have in resolving your specific type of case?
Most have a collection of several different types of cases they specialize in – and that’s what you want to see.
- What percentage of cases settle out of court?
The more, the better. That saves you time, stress, and legal fees. They should settle most of their cases out of court.
- How many times have you gone to trial? How often do you win?
Most personal injury cases do not go to court. But some do. You always want an experienced, successful lawyer that wins most of their court cases.
- Who does all the work on my case?
Paralegals sometimes help assemble case information. That’s okay – you should be comfortable with that.
But, at large law firms, the senior lawyer may hand off most of your case work, even the trial work, to inexperienced associate and junior lawyers. You want to make sure the most talented professional does all the work on your case.
- If we lose, am I responsible for advanced costs?
“Advanced costs” are one of the “got-yas” of the legal industry. These costs are usually deducted from your contingency fee when your case wins – that’s okay.
However, some lawyers charge them even if you are not successful in winning your case. You should not have to pay any “advanced costs” for any reason – ever. Ask your personal injury lawyer if they charge them and promptly excuse yourself from the meeting or phone call if they do.
That’s a good starter set of questions, but there are many more to ask.
Suggested Reading: Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer Part 2