Auto Accident Settlement
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
When you are involved in an accident in Florida’s Treasure Coast caused by someone’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your damages. Hiring a personal injury attorney is your best chance for a successful outcome. It is generally advisable that you should not file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in the Treasure Coast area without speaking to an experienced legal advocate first.
Knowing how to hire a personal injury lawyer may be something you need assistance with. In order to help you make an informed decision, here are 10 questions to ask a personal injury lawyer in Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, and beyond.
1. What Is Your Fee Schedule?
It goes without saying that most victims of accidents are under financial strain. The thought of paying attorney fees on top of medical bills causes many people to avoid getting an attorney. This is a mistake.
Most personal injury attorneys, whether in Ft. Pierce or the surrounding areas, work on a contingency basis. “Contingency” means that you aren’t charged a cent unless your case is settled successfully or a verdict is won. In other words, you don’t have to pay anything for your attorney up-front, and you don’t have to pay anything at all unless they can win your case for you.
If you do obtain a settlement or a court award, you can expect a personal injury attorney to take a percentage. That percentage can vary among attorneys and even among specific case types, so be sure to ask about what you can be expected to pay should you win.
2. Could I Be Charged If My Case Isn’t Successful?
Some personal injury attorneys will charge for any case-related costs they incur. You will want to ask if this is true of your lawyer and the expectations for these costs should your case not be successful.
3. Are You Experienced With Cases Like Mine?
If you are wondering what to know before hiring a personal injury lawyer, one of your top questions is this one. While every attorney has to have a first case, you don’t want it to be yours!
That aside, you really do want a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in car accident cases if that’s what you are dealing with, in slip and fall accidents if that’s what has happened to you, or in workplace accidents, if you were injured on the job. It can also benefit you for the attorney to have seen your specific injury or accident scenario before. Handling a brain injury case can involve different expertise than a case involving a broken neck, for example, so look for an attorney with a background in cases similar to yours.
4. How Many Cases Do You Handle At A Time?
You may be hesitant to ask this question, but don’t be. There are personal injury attorneys out there who take on more than they can hope to handle successfully. While it’s not unusual for an attorney to be working on several cases at once, the number shouldn’t be in the dozens. Time is of the essence in your case, and you don’t want an attorney who is going to let your case fall by the wayside in favor of another.
5. How Long Will My Case Take?
No attorney can give you an exact date when it comes to answering this question, but a good personal injury attorney should be able to give you a rough estimate based on the specific circumstances. Your lawyer should be able to give you a reasonable timeline for a settlement and one for a court case. At the very least, they should be able to tell you about the process involved and what to expect at each step.
6. Will I Have To Go To Trial?
Your case may be taken to trial. Then again, it may instead be settled out-of-court.
Of all the questions to ask when interviewing a personal injury attorney, this one may weigh the heaviest on your mind. The thought of having to go to trial, even as the plaintiff, can be daunting. Be sure to discuss all of your options and preferences with your lawyer. Even though you may hope to avoid a trial, you should look for a lawyer who is willing to work on your case as if it was expected to go in front of a jury — because it just may, if that’s what it takes to secure the compensation you need.
7. How Much Compensation Can I Receive?
Despite what you may see on television advertisements, million-dollar settlements are the exception. Your lawyer will not be able to break it down to the last cent, but they should be able to give you a realistic estimate of what you can expect in the way of compensation through a settlement, and one through a jury award.
Beware of the personal injury lawyer that gives you a number that is clearly unrealistic! Your compensation should reflect your actual damages and losses. You can compare it to similar cases as a reference point, as well, for your prediction.
8. Will You Be Handling My Case?
Depending on the size of the firm you visit, the lawyer you speak with initially may or may not be the person handling your case. This is a fair question to ask. Find out exactly who your case will be handed to once you sign on the dotted line.
9. What Is Expected Of Me During the Case Process?
Some people think that once they hire a lawyer, they have nothing to do with their own case. Others believe that a lawyer is merely a backup to their own personal strategy. At the end of the day, your lawyer should be the one deciding how involved you are in your case and provide you with explanations as to why. You and your lawyer in the Treasure Coast of Florida should be in agreement with your level of involvement.
10. Can You Provide References?
Don’t trust what you read on the internet — good or bad. Always ask the attorney you are interviewing for the contact information of one or two past clients. This person can be a valuable source of information.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney on the Treasure Coast
If you have been wondering how to find a good personal injury lawyer, use this list of questions as your guide. Whether you are in Ft. Pierce, Okeechobee, or beyond, we are here to assist Florida accident victims. When you are looking to hire a personal injury attorney, call our attorneys today at 866-460-1990 or contact us online.
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