What Are Some Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring an Attorney After an Accident?
Many people rely on friends or family when they require an attorney. Although the advice is meant with good intentions, it may not be a good idea for your situation. Because every situation is different regarding needing a personal injury attorney after an accident, here are some excellent questions to ask a potential law firm before hiring one.
How does your firm get paid?
Law Firms in other practice areas usually charge by the hour and an upfront retainer fee. However, the majority of personal injury firms work on a contingency basis. Basically, this means there are no upfront charges, and the fee to the attorney is paid when the case settles. This is beneficial to the client because the attorney will have a more significant incentive to obtain the best results for your case.
What is your practice area expertise?
There are many facets when it comes to personal injury law. Some firms handle many aspects of personal injury law because they have attorneys who differ in their concentration on particular cases. Other law offices specialize in just a few areas of personal injury. You want to choose an attorney specializing in your injury area to obtain the justice you deserve.
Here are a few examples of the many aspects of personal injury law:
***Slip and Falls
***Bad Faith Insurance
***Nursing Home Abuse
***3rd Party Accidents- Uber, Lift, and Taxi
How long will it take to settle my case or know if it needs to go to trial?
The average case takes approximately anywhere from six months up to several years. Therefore, it is essential to find an attorney with an open line of communication and staff members who can answer questions or concerns quickly. The opposing party called the defense may be building a solid case; it can include insufficient evidence and thus prolong the duration of the settlement or going to trial.
What if my case goes to trial? Will I need another attorney?
The most common resolution to a personal injury case is that it settles; however, a few go to trial. You will want to ask your potential attorney if they have litigation experience and how statistically they have success with prior cases in trial. When you hire an experienced trial law firm you will not need another attorney. If your attorney does not have personal injury trial experience, they will most likely, settle your case, potentially leaving better results on the table, or they may hire an experienced firm to take your case to trial on their behalf. A Florida personal injury attorney should be aware of local protocol and how to initiate the proper processes when informed the case will be taken to court. You must understand your attorney’s expectations for the case, including timelines and action plans.
How much is my case worth realistically?
This is one of the most common questions, and it is asked repeatedly throughout the case and the possible trial. The compensation received for the injuries endured by the negligent party is generally negated by previous cases similar to yours and how much such cases are granted based on local law. Each case is unique and there are many factors that determine the full value of a case.
How many years of personal injury practice do you have?
One of the vital questions should be how experienced your attorney is in this facet of the law. You may relate this question to obtaining a doctor for an illness. For example, some doctors may claim they treat a back injury, and this is true; however, they do not specialize in back injuries. Although most have basic medical training, you would want a doctor who only treats back injuries. In addition, one would wish to have an expert in the field they entrust their medical care to.
Do you see any issues or concerns with the case?
Most personal injury cases have obstacles related to them or a unique situation or two. Experienced personal injury attorneys will be able to point out any concerns or potential obstacles pertaining to your case at the initial consultation. Any attorney that states there is no problem and your case will be smooth sailing should throw up a big red flag. The complexity of the legal system is ever-changing, and every case is different, so obstacles come up. A seasoned attorney specializing in their field will identify those situations and be prepared to handle them immediately to benefit their client and case. The key is to be 100% honest with your attorney when you talk with them.
Can you provide testimonials and references from prior clients?
Attorneys’ websites and Google My Business (Google Business Profiles) usually have publicly available client testimonials. In addition, it is common for other attorneys with different specialties that are familiar with their law firm’s practice to give recommendations also. You can also request to speak to prior clients.
It is imperative to pick an attorney and his staff you enjoy working with. You may come upon times during the case that causes physical and emotional stress, and you want a team with a caring bedside manner. It can make all the difference and also provide a positive experience in a difficult time of your life.
How can Gallagher & Hagopian Law Firm help me?
Our team can help you get back to what you love. We know how hard it is to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We hear your fears with the unknown as to what happens next. The first steps can be challenging, and you may even be conflicted about talking to an attorney. Our promise to you is this: We will always put your well-being and needs first as we walk with you through the legal process. You can feel safe knowing our whole team is in your corner, fighting for you to get your life back.
Gallagher & Hagopian’s attorneys have more than 75 years of combined litigation experience. The firm has obtained over $200 million for its clients and is ready to help you get the compensation you need to get your life back on track.