There is one thing that the victims have in common after being injured in an automobile, a slip & fall, or a dog bite accident. No matter the type of accident case, the injured party will be looking to hire a personal injury lawyer. Having a lawyer on your side can help ease the stress that comes along while dealing with the aftermath of an accident. Those who have been injured will want to seek out an injury attorney who has the experience, knowledge, training, and a track record in handling such cases. So the question becomes...
How Do I Know if I Should Hire the Lawyer?
Think of the consultation more like a date and less like a job interview. After all, the attorney is gathering the facts of your case to decide if they want to represent you, but you get to have the ultimate say if they do. Therefore, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with and have confidence in the accident attorney you interview. There are five questions you should ask the accident lawyer to help you decide whether or not you should hire them.
1. What types of law do you practice, and what is your experience handling cases such as mine?
Asking this question will clue you in as to whether or not you are hiring a specialist or a generalist. If the lawyer practices personal injury, bankruptcy, divorce, real estate, criminal, and other types of general practice areas, consider it a red flag. The attorney you hire should specialize in personal injury law and limits their practice to representing individuals who have been injured in various types of accidents.
Their answer should identify their level of experience representing people with a similar case type. Therefore, be sure to ask about the cases they have worked on and the results acquired for their clients.
2. What is the process of developing a personal injury case, and what do you expect of me?
The best results can be achieved when an attorney and a client work together to build the strongest possible case. It is up to the attorney to give you a complete understanding of what is involved in developing it. If they have not already provided this information, be sure to ask the following:
- What precisely do I need to be doing?
- What doctors do I need to be seeing?
- What should I be telling them?
- How do I develop my lost wage claim?
- What lawyer or lawyers will be handling my case?
- How long will it take to resolve my matter?
Their answer should provide a comprehensive understanding of what is expected of you and what you need to do to help maximize the amount of money you can get for your accident or injury case.
Your legal team works tirelessly on your case while you go about your daily life. Knowing how frequently you should be in contact with them is another part of the equation. If they have not already made this clear, have them answer the following:
- How frequently will you communicate with me?
- How often will we be meeting?
- How quickly can we arrange a meeting if I need to see you?
- How available is the lawyer to answer questions you have?
- Can you have the lawyer's cell phone number if questions arise after hours?
- On average, how long will it take you to get back to me?
- Will I be dealing directly with you or members of your staff?
3. How do I pay for your services?
One of the biggest concerns people have before ever speaking to a lawyer is the cost associated with their services. Many people don't know that hiring a legal team can often cost no money out of pocket. The lawyer should indicate whether or not they take your case on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee basis means that your legal fees are paid from a portion of the settlement. You do not have to pay any money for legal fees unless and until the lawyer collects monetary damages for you.
4. What honors, awards or special recognition have you and your law firm received?
This question can help identify how they rank against other personal injury lawyers. Lawyers and their firms can be recognized for their achievements on an annual basis. Find out what types of ratings they have and if they have been recognized as one of the top attorneys in their area of practice.
Other achievements that can show their level of expertise may include books they have written on personal injury cases and teaching classes to other lawyers who practice personal injury law.
5. Why should I hire you over other personal injury attorneys?
Listen carefully to the answer they provide to you because this is where you can develop a sense of comfort with this lawyer's abilities. Ask yourself if you are satisfied with this answer, how confident are you now in this lawyer's capability, and what, in your mind, makes this attorney stand out. Is this somebody you would feel comfortable hiring to represent your interests in your critical personal injury case?
Ensure that all the questions you pose to them have been answered to your complete satisfaction. By the end of the consultation, you should have developed a comfort level with the attorney and be confident in that individual's ability to represent you zealously.
The Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh have years of experience, various accolades, and demonstrated success in the personal injury cases we have handled. To get started with a free consultation, click here or call our office at (203) 438-7450.