Deciding which attorney to represent your case can mean the difference between receiving a fair settlement or getting less than you deserve.
Here are 18 questions to ask your lawyer before you hire them, in order to determine if they’d be a good fit for your case or not.
Does your lawyer handle cases like yours? If you’ve been in a car accident, does their firm have experience winning car accident cases? Were you bitten by a dog? If so, make sure your lawyer has won dog bite cases before.
Experience can make or break your case. How many cases has your lawyer won before? Does he or she have a track record of negotiating fair settlements and winning maximum payouts in court?
Past case results are no guarantee that your case will see equal results, but they’re a good indicator of whether or not a law firm can be successful with your case.
Contrary to popular belief, personal injury cases usually don’t go to trial. With that said, it’s important that your attorney has experience with taking cases to trial in the event that yours can’t be settled out of court.
Of the cases your attorney has taken to trial, what percent of those were successful? Experienced personal injury attorneys will prepare all cases as if they have the possibility to go to trial, because it ensures the best odds for you, the victim.
Every case has strong and weak points that your attorney will need to work with in order to achieve a successful outcome. Ask your lawyer right off the bat what sticks out to them regarding your case.
Experienced, successful attorneys should have online reviews, testimonials, or case studies of past clients. These can give you a real, honest opinion of your lawyer that you won’t find elsewhere.
Honors and awards don’t paint the full picture, but they can be a sign that your attorney is particularly dedicated to their work and client experience.
It’s common for large, mill-like law firms to pass off low-profile clients to assistants and paralegals. Make sure the lawyer you’re talking to (or one of their partners) will be the one handling your injury claim.
Your law firm should never leave you wondering about the status of your case. Ask about his or her average response time for email and phone call inquiries.
Luckily, most personal injury attorneys are paid based on contingency, which means they accept a small portion of your payout after winning your case, and expect you to pay nothing until you win.
There are costs associated with filing a case that some lawyers won’t reimburse if you happen to lose your case. Ask whether or not you’re responsible for these costs, or if your lawyer has a policy of “pay nothing unless you win.”
Many personal injury law firms are overworked, and may not be able to devote enough attention to your case. Find out what their current caseload is, and whether or not your lawyer has the energy to get the best results for your case.
It’s tough to estimate the value of a case before a consultation, but your lawyer should be able to offer a ballpark estimate.
Personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to over a year, and this can depend on how complex your individual case is—and how much compensation you’re seeking.
While some law firms will work with you to resolve your claim, others are full service—meaning they will take care of everything from filing your claim to collecting payment after your case is resolved.
Ask if you should be doing anything right now to improve your odds of success. Your lawyer might suggest obtaining medical documents or crash photos, for example.
If you’ve been hurt in Montana, the attorneys at Glacier Law Firm are here to help.
*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.
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