Obtaining a favorable outcome in a personal injury case may make it possible to provide for yourself and your loved ones. Therefore, it is important that you have an attorney who is invested in your case. Here are some important questions that you need to ask of anyone who is going to act as your advocate throughout the legal process.
Should I Settle or Ask for a Trial?
This is an important question to ask because it gives some insight into how your attorney would handle the matter. You need to pay careful attention as to how this person comes to his or her conclusion. If it doesn’t sound like the decision was made based on the evidence provided, it may be best to interview other attorneys. However, if the candidate makes a decision based on logic and reason, you can feel good that he or she truly cares about the case.
How Do You Get Paid?
As with any other working professional, attorneys expect to get paid for their time and expertise. Therefore, it is important to know how much your attorney will charge and how he or she is paid. In most cases, you will pay your legal representative from funds obtained from a settlement or jury award. Depending on how the settlement is structured, legal fees may be paid separately from any other money that you receive.
Do You Specialize in Personal Injury Law?
Attorneys who specialize in one area of the law may have a better chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. This is because those who specialize tend to have a better understanding of how the law should be applied in an actual case. Therefore, it may be easier to create compelling arguments in front of a judge or during settlement talks. It may also make it easier to state facts in a way that could garner sympathy from jurors or otherwise create leverage for you as a plaintiff.
When Was Your Last Significant Victory?
The only thing that matters when you hire an attorney is that he or she is successful in handling your case. To determine if an individual has the ability to do so, ask about his or her track record. Ideally, this person will rattle off a long list of recent cases in which clients won $100,000 or $1 million from a settlement or jury award.
However, it is possible that a prospective legal representative has recently taken time off to teach or otherwise took a break from representing clients. In lieu of inquiring about recent legal victories, ask that person to offer insight into other cases that have been resolved recently.
How Long Will the Case Take to Resolve?
While there is no guarantee as to how long it will take to resolve a personal injury case, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a general timeline. Typically, the length of a personal injury case depends on how willing both sides are to come to an agreement. In some cases, settlement talks can be wrapped up in a matter of days or weeks.
If the matter goes to trial, it could take years before you get your money. This is because a defendant can appeal a jury decision, and a judge could determine that a jury award exceeds state limits or is otherwise unreasonable. Depending on the complexity of the case itself, it may not go before a jury for many months or years after the suit is filed.
In the aftermath of a car or any other type of accident, it may be possible to obtain compensation for your injuries. However, the amount that you receive may depend partially on the skill of your legal counsel. Therefore, be sure that you interview several different attorneys and ask pointed questions before settling on a person or firm to represent you.