If you’ve recently been injured in an accident, you may be searching for a personal injury attorney. Hiring an attorney puts your complex legal case in the hands of a professional and allows you to focus on getting better. There are thousands of personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, so how do you know which one is right for you? Here are the questions you should ask when speaking with attorneys during a free consultation. The answers to these questions will help you choose the attorney that is best for your specific needs.
How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
Some attorneys may have decades of legal experience, but be relatively new to the practice of personal injury law. Ask questions about the attorney’s experience and which areas of the law they have focused on. Even if the attorney only has a handful of years of experience handling personal injury cases, other experiences could also be beneficial. For example, an attorney who has experience handling insurance claims may have unique insight that is helpful in a personal injury case.
What types of cases do you normally handle?
Personal injury law is fairly broad. Attorneys who practice in the area may handle any personal injury case that walks through the door, while others will focus their attention on very specific areas of the law. For example, if you were injured in a car accident you may want to think twice before hiring an attorney who generally only handles negligent security cases. Some personal injury cases can be more complex than others, and it can be beneficial to hire an attorney who has some experience in your needed field.
Have you handled other cases like this one in the past?
Personal injury cases are all very unique. Your specific case may have issues that some attorneys have never personally dealt with. Hiring an attorney who has experience handling cases that are similar to yours can be helpful. Ask for examples of similar cases that the attorney has worked on and whether or not they were successful.
What is your fee structure?
Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they do not get paid unless you recover compensation. Instead, they recover a percentage of the award you receive. Each attorney’s fee structure will vary, so it is important to ask the following questions:
- What percent of my award will expect to receive?
- Will your percentage be calculated on the gross or net amount of the award?
- Will I be responsible for filing fees and case-related costs?
Will I be responsible for any costs if we lose the case?
Not all personal injury cases will be successful. It is important to ask the attorney if you will be responsible for any costs in the event that you lose. Some attorneys will cover court costs and related fees as a risk for their expected reward, while others will push those costs onto the client. Be sure that you know the answer to this before making any decisions.
How many cases are you currently handling?
Your case is important to you, so you’ll want it to be important to your attorney, as well. If the attorney has a heavy caseload, they may not have the time and resources that are necessary to get the result you want. Make sure that the attorney can give your personal injury case the attention it deserves.
Who will be handling my case?
Will the attorney you’re speaking with (and getting comfortable dealing with) be handling your case, or will it be given to another attorney in the firm? If you’re meeting with a partner or high-ranking associate at a firm, you may want to make sure that your case has their full attention. Larger firms may farm out certain cases to paralegals and newer associates. Find out who will be involved in working on your case.
Do you have experience in court?
Most cases settle before ever going to trial. However, you may not be satisfied with any offers you receive and want your day in court. If this happens, you may want to make sure that your attorney has experience litigating cases in front of a judge and/or jury. Don’t be afraid to ask for examples. Attorneys who have experience (and success) in court are generally happy to tell you all about it.
What will my role in the case be?
Every attorney will have his or own style and approach to your case. Some attorneys like to have clients very involved in the process, while others prefer to only have clients involved when it is necessary. If you want to be actively involved in your case, you may want to find an attorney who will encourage your participation.
How much is my case worth?
Of course, the attorney won’t know exactly how much your case is worth based only on the information you give them during an initial consultation. However, they should be able to provide a ballpark estimate and explain why that amount may change.
If you’ve been injured in an accident call the Los Angeles Injury Center for help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can review your case, explain the steps involved in filing a claim for damages, and answer the questions you have. There is no commitment for scheduling an initial consultation, so don’t hesitate to call us today.