When you or someone you know is injured, it's almost unheard of to expect automatic compensation that's timely and paid in full by the person at fault. Often, the only recourse a person has is to turn to the justice system in the hopes of receiving recompense. Fortunately, personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the law and get you the money you deserve after an accident. Before you hire the first lawyer you see listed in the phone book, don't forget to ask these four questions to make sure you're getting the best lawyer for your case.
When can you work on my case?
It might seem obvious, but many people forget to ask their potential lawyer if they are available to work on the case right away. Just because a lawyer agrees to take your case does not mean that they are willing or able to try it immediately--or even within the next year. To avoid waiting several months for your suit to be filed, get some concrete dates during your first conversation.
What is my lawsuit worth?
For better or worse, some people have unrealistic expectations about what their case is worth. Talk with a lawyer about what you can realistically expect to receive if the ruling is favorable. Of course, the result can vary based on a number of factors, including discovery and liability, but it's nice to have a general figure to work with before deciding on a specific lawyer, regardless of whether or not the lawyer promises that they can get you more money than anyone else.
Are my decisions regarding settlements final?
It's not uncommon for a lawyer and their client to disagree about things, especially regarding settlements and trials. Before hiring a lawyer, ask them a simple hypothetical: if you aren't satisfied with a settlement deal, but they think that the case can't be won at trial, will they accept the settlement or push for a trial anyway? How they answer this question can go a long way in foreshadowing the final result of future decisions.
Who will I be in contact with during the case?
Finally, it's always a good idea to know exactly who is working on your case. Ask about the attorneys handling your case, who you'll be speaking to throughout its duration, and who you can contact in the event that the primary attorney has to leave the case for any reason.
Talk with someone like The Law Offices of David B. Shapiro for more guidance about personal injury cases.