Important Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer
(1) How do you charge for your services and time, and how are expenses handled? Most Memphis TN personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee. This means the attorney does not earn a fee unless he or she recovers money for you. Other attorneys charge an hourly rate. Case expenses, such as court filing fees and charges to obtain medical records, are typically subtracted from the client’s recovery. Make sure you understand how your attorney handles fees and case expenses and how that relates to your bottom line at the end of the case.
(2) Who will be working on my case, and who will I speak to when I call? Attorneys rarely work alone. The attorney you hire will likely have an associate attorney, partner, or legal assistant who will also work on your case. Get to know the legal team who will be advancing your cause.
(3) How long will my case take? Personal injury claims and lawsuits often take longer than clients anticipate, but your attorney should be able to give you the basic “milestones” of your case on the front end. Most states have statutes of limitations, which are rules governing how long you have to file a lawsuit after the date of your injury.
(4) What will you need me to do during the course of my case? Talk with your attorney on the front end about your personal involvement in the advancement of the case. For example, you may have to appear for a deposition or undergo medical or other evaluations. Ask your attorney what factual information and documents he or she needs you to gather.
(5) What are my chances of success? Talk with your attorney about the legal aspects of your injury case. Personal injury claims are sensitive because there has been an injury, but it’s not always the case that the injury was another person’s fault from a legal standpoint. It’s important that you understand the legal issues involved in your case on the front end because it can help you, as a client, to better understand your attorney’s recommendations and make decisions on how you want to proceed with your case.
(6) How much can I expect to recover? Ask your attorney about the settlement and verdict ranges for cases similar to yours, as well as any limits on damages in your state due to Tort Reform. Each injury case is unique, but your attorney should be able to provide you with examples of the final resolutions of similar cases. Discussing this information on the front end can help steer your decisions on how you want to proceed.
(7) What is your background and experience? How long has the attorney been practicing law? Is he or she involved in the local legal community? Is the lawyer well-respected in the community? Does the lawyer have experience and background with cases similar to yours? Has the lawyer ever had a disciplinary action or bar complaint filed against him or her? If so, what was the outcome?
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Lang Wiseman of WisemanBray Attorneys for his insight into finding the right personal injury lawyer.