Mon 9th Sep | 2019

Important Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for a Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury BY

If you are suing someone for a personal injury, finding the right attorney to handle your case will be the most important decision you make (and the first). As legal professionals, we can tell you that not all lawyers are created equal. There are specific questions you can ask when searching for a personal injury lawyer to help ensure you hire a qualified legal professional to handle your personal injury matter.

Ask About His or Her Main Practice Areas

The first thing you need to find out about the attorney you are interested in hiring is whether they specialize in personal injury law. You want an attorney who focuses in your area of law specifically – not a firm that practices in a wide range of legal arenas. You can find out a lot about an attorney by browsing through their website, however, we recommend asking them directly about the areas of law they practice the most. Often lawyers will include practice area pages on their website even though they don’t specialize in those areas of law.

Sample questions to ask during your initial phone conference with a lawyer:

  • Have you handled medical malpractice cases before?
  • In the past have you represented a family who lost their father in a trucking accident?
  • Do you represent wrongful death victims in trial often?
  • What other areas of law does your law firm practice?

Ask About His or Her Communication Requirements

Communication during your case is crucial, so you need to ask the lawyer what methods of communication he or she expects. It is not uncommon for personal injury cases to last years. You will likely be in correspondence with your legal team for an extended period of time, so it’s important to ensure you know how to get in touch with them, and, that they will answer promptly.

Sample questions to ask during your initial phone conference with a lawyer:

  • What form of communication will we use most often?
  • How many people at your firm will I be working with on a regular basis?
  • I don’t have an email address, is that going to be a problem?
  • What hours of the day are you available by phone?
  • Am I required to travel to your law firm?

Ask About His or Her Trial Record

It’s true that not every personal injury lawyer has been to trial. However, it’s also true that the majority of personal injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom. While your injury case will likely settle before needing a trial date, it’s important to understand if your lawyer can take your case all the way if that’s what’s needed. You want your lawyer to prepare your case as if it’s going to trial so that it’s ready.

Sample questions to ask during your initial phone conference with a lawyer:

  • How many cases have you tried in court?
  • Do you prepare every case as if it’s going to trial?
  • When is the last time your law firm tried a case like mine?

Ask About the Law Firm Fee Structure

Typically personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis, which means you, as the client, pay nothing until (and only if) the case settles. The law firm pays all the costs upfront, including all expert fees, mailing costs, copy and printer costs, travel, etc. When the case settles, or when a verdict is finalized, the law firm takes a percentage, which is agreed upon when you sign up as a client at the very beginning of the process. (Note: you really don’t pay your personal injury lawyer anything. We will never ask you for money or a credit card.)

Sample questions to ask during your initial phone conference with a lawyer:

  • What is the fee structure at your law firm?
  • What percentage do you take from the final settlement or verdict?
  • Do I ever need to pay you for anything or provide a credit card number?

Ask about His or Her Legal Credentials

There are many accolades, awards, and recognitions that indicate a lawyer’s proficiency in their field. In Florida, a board certified lawyer is considered the highest recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, and competence in a particular area of law. Some other common awards in the South Florida area include SuperLawyers, Legal Elite, BestLawyers®, South Florida Legal Guide, National Trial Lawyer Top 100, etc.

Sample questions to ask during your initial phone conference with a lawyer:

  • Are you a board certified trial lawyer? Or is someone on your team board certified?
  • What is the most recent award you received from the legal community?
  • Are you part of the SuperLawyers listing?

Ask Our West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyers About Your Case for Free

At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, we know how confusing it is for clients when they are searching for the right attorney, which is why we are here to answer any questions you have about how we can assist with your personal injury case. Our experienced and skilled team of lawyers is committed to serving clients throughout West Palm Beach, and we are prepared to get to work for you today.

Call us at 561-899-2100 to request your free consultation with a member of our law firm.