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What Questions Should be Asked before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Apr 18, 2008
Seeking a personal injury lawyer is a very important decision when you feel that you deserve compensation as the result of an injury that is of no fault of your own. Once the initial shock of the injury is over, it is time to figure out what the next move needs to be. You certainly don't want to stand idly by while the person responsible for your injury gets away with it.

So there are some questions that you may want to ask yourself before hiring a personal injury attorney:

- Ask yourself if you have been injured due to the negligence of another person or by a company and if that negligence was intentional.

- As yourself if you suffered physical or mental distress, lost wages, or high medical bills as a result of the accident.

- Ask yourself if you have evidence that the injury was not your fault and what consequences there were as a result of the accident.

- Have you by any chance talked to the attorney of the defendant or talked to the defendant's insurance company? This is something you don't want to do because it could compromise the chances of receiving a settlement.

Once you have asked yourself these questions and written down your responses, it may be a good idea to search for a personal injury attorney. Great places to look are through the Martindale-Hubbell Network of Legal Professionals and the American Association of Trial Lawyers. They may be able to provide you with names of great attorneys in your area.

Good questions to ask an injury attorney in a face-to-face meeting before hiring them are:

- Whether they are payable via contingency in your case.

- What their contingency rate is. An ideal contingency rate is around 25% to 30% of the compensation rewarded.

- You want to make sure there are no conflicts of interest.

- Ask for promotional brochures and ask around about the firm to see what others have to say.

- Ask what their success rate is and how much experience they have.

Last but not least, you want to figure out how much time your case is going to take. The reason why you want to do this is because this is time that is going to be taken away from your job and time that is going to be spent going through the stress of a trial. This is very important when taking into consideration how much compensation needs to be received because it can cover such things as loss of wages and emotional distress.

These are reasons why it is very important to take on a personal injury lawyer who will get the job done and do it right and will not require they be paid until the trial is over. These are cases in which the attorney is only paid when the client wins. If the client loses, then the attorney doesn't get paid. This explains why personal injury lawyers tend to be selective in the cases they take. That is why you want to ask yourself the questions listed above because these are the same questions the attorney is going to ask when deciding whether or not to take the case. If they determine that there is not enough evidence that someone else was at fault, then they may say they can't take the case.

Don't let that discourage you, though. Each attorney differs from the next, so it is in your best interest to try another one. When they are paid via contingency, you are not out of any lawyer fees, but you do have the stress of the trial on your hands. Other than that, it is promising if a lawyer thinks they can win the case because they do not get paid unless you do.
About the Author
We are a personal injury law firm that handles injury claims and injury settlements since 1972, with a focus on slip and fall cases.
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