Six Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation
Are you getting ready to hire a law firm to help you fight for compensation after a car accident or a slip and fall in Fort Worth?
If so, you should be conscious of the following six questions to ask a personal injury lawyer during a free consultation:
Have You Worked on My Type of Case in the Past?
When hiring a personal injury attorney to help you pursue damages after a bicycle accident or animal attack, it is always advisable to ask them about their experience with claims like yours. In most instances, you will want to work with a legal representative that has been assisting clients with cases that are similar to yours for at least a few years.
If the lawyer indicates that they have significant experience in the area of law that is relevant to you, it is also a good idea to take some time to learn more about their success rate. You want to hire a personal injury attorney that can help you win your case – not one that has a track record of losing suits like yours.
How Will You Assist Me with My Personal Injury Claim?
One of the most important questions to ask your personal injury lawyer is, “How will you assist me with my claim?” By making an inquiry like this, you can learn a lot about the way the attorney operates and the services they will provide should you hire them.
Though all personal injury law firms are different, most are likely to let you know that they will assist you with your case by:
- Offering you sound legal advice and guidance throughout your case
- Providing you with honest answers to questions about your claim
- Conducting a detailed investigation into the cause of your accident
- Walking you through the complex Texas legal system
- Consulting with relevant experts about the nuances of your claim
- Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Taking care of the administrative side of your personal injury claim
- Devising a customized legal strategy for your personal injury case
- Searching for evidence to support your claims
- Identifying and locating the party that is liable for your damages
- Helping you understand the legal options that are available to you
- Negotiating a settlement agreement with the defendant’s insurer
- Representing your best interests in court, if necessary
If the attorney you meet with seems unwilling to commit to providing you with services like these, you may want to consider hiring alternative legal representation.
Will You Take My Personal Injury Case to Trial, if Necessary?
Generally speaking, the quickest and easiest way to resolve a personal injury case in the state of Texas is to reach a settlement agreement with the other party’s insurance company.
However, this may not be the best option in every case. It is not at all uncommon for victims who settle their claims to receive substantially less compensation than they deserve.
As such, before you hire an attorney to represent you in your personal injury case, it is vital to ask them if they are willing to take your case to trial if the opposing insurance company does not want to offer a fair settlement deal. If they seem a little hesitant to commit to going to court on your behalf, you might want to think about choosing a different firm.
How Long Do You Expect My Personal Injury Case to Take?
The amount of time it takes to resolve a personal injury lawsuit can vary a lot from one case to the next. The best way to get a rough estimate of the amount of time it is likely to take before you recover any compensation is to ask a lawyer during a free initial consultation.
When calculating the number of months they expect your case to take, an attorney will consider a wide range of factors, such as:
- The length of time it will take to investigate the accident
- The number of parties that are liable for your damages
- The number of other people that suffered injuries in the accident
- Whether you are partially to blame for the accident
- Whether the insurance companies cooperate with the process
Having a general idea of the length of time you are likely to wait to receive the compensation you deserve can help you plan for the future and avoid running into financial issues.
How Much Do You Believe My Personal Injury Claim is Worth?
Before hiring a lawyer to represent you in your personal injury lawsuit, it is typically a wise move to ask them how much your case is worth. Doing so can help you understand how your attorney thinks and give you an idea of how much money you can expect to receive at the end of your suit.
Since every personal injury case is unique, no law firms will be able to tell you exactly how much your claim is worth. However, an experienced legal team should be able to provide you with an accurate estimate based on:
- The fees associated with your initial medical treatment
- The cost of your ongoing healthcare needs
- The expenses attached to your therapy and rehabilitation
- The funds required to repair or replace your damaged property
- The amount of time you missed from work due to your injury
- The impact your injury will have on your ability to earn an income
- The mental anguish you endured because of your injury
- The effect your injury will have on your overall quality of life
When the liable party acts with malice, lawyers will also consider the possibility of punitive damages – which can run as high as $750,000 in the Lone Star State.
How Much Do You Charge for Your Legal Services?
The final, but perhaps most important, piece of information you must find out about your new personal injury attorney is how much they will charge you for their services. After all, you do not want any unwelcome surprises at the conclusion of your case.
The vast majority of personal injury law firms in the state of Texas run on a contingency fee basis. This billing practice means that they will not bill you anything upfront. Instead, they will take their legal fee as a cut of the eventual compensatory award.
Most attorneys take a one-third cut of the proceeds. However, Texas law does not set any upper or lower bounds on the amount of money a lawyer can charge for their services. As such, it is not unusual for litigators to ask for as little as 20 percent or as much as 40 percent as a payment for their work.
Call Stephens Law Firm, PLLC to Arrange a Free Case Evaluation Today
Now that you have had a chance to learn about the six questions to ask a personal injury during a free consultation, you might want more info about how the answers can impact your compensation claim. If so, please contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, or call (817) 420-7000. Attorney Jason Stephens has 22+ years of experience in the legal industry, and he would be happy to provide you with the details you require.