9 Important Questions to Ask When Hiring an Accident and Injury Lawyer
Posted on Tue Jun 29, 2021
Life can suddenly change drastically because of the negligence of someone else. Whether it's injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident, poorly maintained property, or an industrial accident, you should never have to pay for someone else's negligence. Personal injuries can result in major medical bills, lost wages, and a lifetime of physical pain.
Working with a personal injury attorney in Huntsville, Alabama is crucial to protect you and your family. You should ask the attorney the following questions to make sure you get the most knowledgeable and competent representation.
1. Does the Attorney Have Personal Injury Experience?
Just as you would not expect a dentist to help you with an eye disease, you can't expect an attorney not skilled with personal injury to be equipped to represent you in court. For example, at Warren & Simpson, P.C., our primary focus is on litigation and personal injury cases in Alabama associated with car accidents, wrongful death, and catastrophic events. Therefore, we know what elements are involved, what evidence you'll need, and how to try your case in court.
2. Has the Attorney Handled Cases Like Yours?
Every personal injury case is unique, even though they can have some similar elements and processes. For example, there are more than 400,000 motor vehicle accidents involving big trucks in the United States every year. If a personal injury attorney has handled a case that is similar to yours in the past, they will know what to expect, know how to gather the evidence, and how to properly guide you from filing your claim to working to obtain a settlement in your case.
3. Does the Law Firm Have Financial Resources to Pay for Experts to Support Your Claim in Court?
There can be expenses that come along with gathering evidence for a personal injury claim. Expert witness testimony, reconstruction experts, and other depositions may be necessary to fairly represent you in your case. Make sure to ask if you will be expected to cover these expenses or if the firm has the resources to cover these expenses on your behalf until your case is resolved.
4. Will the Case Be Handled By the Consulting Attorney Or Another Attorney?
It is not uncommon for firms with multiple attorneys to pass cases along to another attorney after the initial consultation if they feel someone else is a better fit for the case. Additionally, legal secretaries and paralegals may have a hand in helping pull your case together. It is always a good idea to ask if your claim will be handled by someone else within the firm so you know who to communicate with about your case.
5. Does the Attorney Have Experience with the Court System That Will Handle Your Case?
It is helpful if the attorney you choose has some level of experience with the courthouse where your case will be filed. For example, if your accident is in Huntsville, Alabama, your case will be handled at the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville, so your accident lawyer should be familiar with the judges and their staff members.
6. Has the Attorney Undergone Peer-Reviews?
Peer reviews are done through professional organizations like Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell. These reviews involve other lawyers and judges using a survey to professionally review the legal ability of their peers. Finding out if an attorney has undergone peer reviews so you can look at that information will help you track down the professional with the best reviews.
7. Is the Attorney a Member of Trial Lawyer Associations?
Determining if an attorney is a member of certain trial lawyer associations, such as the American Association for Justice or the Alabama Association for Justice, will tell you that the attorney is practicing to certain standards set forth by these associations. These organizations offer additional resources to help lawyers litigate cases.
8. What Are Your Contingency Fees?
Litigation cases like personal injury claims usually involve what is referred to as a contingency fee, which means you will not be charged for the services of the attorney until the case is settled or a verdict is obtained from a jury. Percentage amounts for contingency fees can vary according to the case, but the best attorneys will be upfront with you about the fees they charge during the initial consultation. Percentage amounts for contingency fees can vary from law firm to law firm too. Ask your accident lawyer whether the percentage being charged is similar to the percentage charged by other firms.
9. How Do You Ensure Clients Are Kept Informed of Case Progress?
Communication during a personal injury case is critical. Find out what efforts will be made to make sure you will be kept informed throughout the different steps in your case.
According to the CDC, there are at least 39 million accident-related visits to emergency rooms across the country every year, and many of these visits will result in personal injury claims. If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, take your time to find a personal injury attorney in Huntsville who will be most equipped and knowledgeable to handle your case. Contact to us at Warren & Simpson, P.C. for more information about personal injury claims.