There are several questions to ask your Augusta personal injury attorney at your first meeting. If you have yet to hire a lawyer, you can ask them why they are qualified to lead your case. You can also ask about their fee structure, views on going to trial, and any other questions you believe are relevant.

Posing the crucial questions can lead to identifying the lawyer most qualified to pursue compensation on your behalf.

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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Your questions should begin before you agree to hire a personal injury attorney. Some of the questions worth asking to prospective attorneys include:

What Experience Do You Have with Cases Like Mine?

What questions to ask a Personal Injury AttorneyExperience should be near the top of your demand list when seeking a lawyer.

When you ask your attorney about their relevant experience, probe about:

  • How often the law firm handles cases similar to yours
  • What experience the lawyer who will handle your case has
  • How many years the law firm has been handling cases like yours
  • How the law firm’s experience will benefit you and your case

All factors considered, when faced with similar options, you might opt to engage a lawyer with a greater level of experience than your counterparts. This decision can prove advantageous, as a more seasoned legal professional often brings a wealth of knowledge, refined skills, and a deeper understanding of intricate legal nuances, potentially enhancing the overall effectiveness of your legal representation.

What Attorney Will Lead My Case?

Law firms are the sum of their attorneys. You have a right to ask which specific lawyer will handle your case, and some firms may be willing to provide an answer. If you determine which lawyers will lead your case, you can research those attorneys and determine their fitness.

Do You Often Take Personal Injury Cases to Trial?

Many personal injury cases involve substantial sums of money. As one example, someone with a severe spinal cord injury may need millions of dollars just for medical care.

You should ask the law firm:

  • If it often takes personal injury cases to trial
  • Under what circumstances it might be willing to take your case to trial
  • What it will do if liable parties do not offer a fair settlement

Though trial is not typical in personal injury cases, you should typically only consider law firms willing to go to court if necessary. Law firms willing to go to trial prove their intent to secure fair compensation for the client, even in challenging cases.

What Kind of Fee Structure Do You Use?

Contingent fees require the attorney to complete a case successfully before being paid.

This is a common type of fee among personal injury lawyers because:

  • Many clients in personal injury cases have limited financial resources.
  • Law firms can cover the cost of completing claims and lawsuits.
  • Personal injury lawyers are often confident that they will obtain compensation for the client, so they are willing to use a results-oriented fee structure.
  • Requiring no upfront fee from the client allows the law firm to represent a broader range of clients.

Odds are that any law firm you’re considering uses contingency fees. However, you can be certain of a firm’s fee structure by asking them about it.

What Level of Communication Can I Expect from You?

Hiring a Personal Injury AttorneyLawyers are busy, but they should never be too busy to speak with their clients.

You may ask prospective attorneys:

  • Whether you have their cell phone number
  • When can you expect them to reach out
  • How often the attorney will provide case updates
  • What the firm’s general approach to client communication is

You deserve an attorney who will go the extra mile to keep you informed about your case, answer your questions, and ensure you are comfortable with your case’s direction.

Why Should I Trust My Important Case to You?

Do not shy away from difficult or demanding questions while searching for your personal injury attorney. You can ask the firm’s representative, point blank, why they deserve to handle your case.

As the client, you must consider the best interests of your case. This begins by asking a law firm any question you believe is relevant to you and your case.

Questions to Ask Once You Have Hired Your Lawyer

Once you have hired your attorney, you should not stop asking questions. You must receive assurances that the lawyer is handling your case professionally and urgently. Some questions to ask even after you’ve chosen a law firm include:

How Much Money Can I Recover?

If you know how much money your lawyer is seeking for you, then you can:

  • Have clear expectations for the outcome of your case
  • Evaluate settlement offers through the lens of how much compensation you deserve.
  • Evaluate your lawyer’s performance as your case unfolds; their success hinges on the compensation you receive (and rightfully deserve).

Attorneys cannot provide a case value until they have obtained all relevant information about your damages. Many factors, including the severity of your injuries, will affect the value of your case.

What Is Your Plan for Securing the Compensation I Deserve?

You deserve to be informed about the case strategy. Once they have had time to evaluate the facts of your case, ask your attorney how they plan to secure your financial recovery.

An attorney may obtain payment for their client through:

  • An insurance claim, which may result in a settlement
  • A lawsuit, which may conclude with a settlement or a jury verdict

Personal injury lawyers often begin cases with an insurance claim. They may then file a lawsuit if it becomes clear that insurers will not offer a fair settlement.

Will You Review Settlement Offers With Me?

Settlement offers are key developments in any personal injury case. You should expect your attorney to review each offer with you. Your lawyer should explain the insurance company’s reasoning and whether the offer is fair and worth accepting.

How Do We Know if We Need to Go to Trial?

Your attorney should express a willingness to take your case to trial. If so, you can ask them under which circumstances a trial will be necessary. If those circumstances come to pass, you should hold your lawyer to their promise of going to court.

Will You Keep Me Posted About My Case’s Progress?

Hiring a LawyerEvery personal injury lawyer should:

  • Have a direct line to their client
  • Provide regular updates about the case
  • Inform the client when settlement offers arrive
  • Encourage the client to contact them with any questions or concerns during the case process

You should not just ask your lawyer to provide proactive communication—you should demand as much.

The Importance of Asking the Right Questions

The quality and amount of questions you ask before hiring a lawyer can:

  • Ensure that you know everything possible about the law firms you are considering hiring
  • Reveal facts about the law firm’s qualifications and culture that you will not otherwise discover
  • Ensure you hire the most capable, client-focused law firm to represent you

Choosing the right law firm can directly impact your case’s outcome positively. Therefore, posing the right questions holds even more significance.

When Hiring a Lawyer, Consider More Than Just Their Answers to Your Questions

Questions and answers are just one way of evaluating law firms.

When choosing a personal injury lawyer who will fight for your financial recovery, you should also consider:

  • Relevant case results: Law firms all have case results. Some firms have more recoveries than others, and some law firms have larger recoveries than others. As you review case results, look specifically for settlements and verdicts a firm has obtained in cases similar to yours (like car accident cases).
  • Client reviews: Former testimonials can reveal what a law firm’s brand messaging doesn’t. Clients may largely praise or criticize a firm, and you should give equal weight to positive and negative reviews.
  • The firm’s accolades: Some highly decorated law firms have earned awards or rankings that you should factor into your decision.

You must use your judgment, instincts, and evaluation skills to determine which law firm should represent you. If you believe you have made the wrong choice of a law firm, you can find a new firm to take over your case.

Who Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Many people may benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney, including:

  • Car accident victims
  • Truck accident victims
  • Motorcycle accident victims
  • Pedestrian accident victims
  • Slip and fall accident victims
  • Victims of animal attacks
  • Victims of defective products
  • Victims of medical malpractice

If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may hire a lawyer to represent you. If you aren’t sure if you are a candidate to hire an attorney, a law firm will review your case at no cost.

Services a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Provide

Personal injury lawyers willingly shoulder the responsibility of securing financial recoveries for their clients. To achieve this overarching goal, they undertake a multitude of significant responsibilities, which often encompass:

Securing Evidence (as Soon as Possible)

Lawyers build winning cases with strong evidence of negligence. Witness accounts, professional testimony, photographs of accident scenes, and video footage can all be useful in personal injury cases.

Establishing Liability for the Client’s Damages

Attorneys must determine who is financially responsible for their client’s damages. Your attorney will evaluate evidence, consult a professional, and determine who should pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Securing All Available Proof of the Client’s Damages

Personal Injury ClaimLiable parties may need convincing evidence of your damages before they pay.

Your attorney may provide such proof with:

  • All medical bills that are relevant to your case
  • Professional testimony about your injuries and medical treatment
  • Professional testimony about pain and suffering (including any formal diagnoses of conditions like anxiety and depression)
  • Employment-related records that substantiate lost income, lost bonuses, and other professional damages.
  • Any other documentation that proves the value of your case

Attorneys work with investigators, doctors, mental health professionals, and others to produce a thorough, accurate valuation of their clients’ damages.

Establishing Settlement Demands

After they are familiar with your damages, your lawyer will determine the financial cost of those damages. This cost will set the target for settlement negotiations.

While there may be some room for negotiation in reaching a settlement, your lawyer should insist on full reimbursement for your recoverable damages.

Negotiating a Settlement

Settlement negotiations are a pivotal, potentially heated step in personal injury cases.

Your lawyer will need to:

  • Prove whose negligence caused you harm
  • Prove the nature and cost of your damages
  • Convince liable parties that they are demanding a fair settlement
  • Convince liable parties to provide the compensation you deserve

Your lawyer’s ability to take your case to court may give them leverage during settlement negotiations. Your attorney should inform liable parties that if they aren’t willing to provide a fair settlement, the trial will be next.

Going to Court (in Rare Cases)

Though the typical personal injury case does not go to court, your attorney should prepare your case from court from the outset. If insurers or other liable parties refuse to negotiate in good faith, your lawyer may advise you to let them file a lawsuit on your behalf.

What Damages Will My Lawyer Seek Compensation For?

Jacque Hawk, Attorney for Personal Injury in Augusta
Jacque Hawk, Augusta Personal Injury Lawyer

Your attorney will seek compensation for any damages they can tie to the liable party’s negligence, which may include:

  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental health treatment costs
  • Property costs (like replacing a damaged vehicle)
  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning power
  • Other professional damages

Attorneys know that each client faces unique circumstances. Your lawyer will develop in-depth knowledge of your damages to assess your case value accurately.

Don’t Wait to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney—Here Is Why

Your lawyer will need to obtain evidence as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more you risk losing evidence that can contribute to a winning case. Your lawyer may also need to file a lawsuit by a certain date, another reason to retain your attorney as soon as possible.