When you have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you should have some questions prepared to decide if they’re the right fit for you. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to prepare for your consultation. You’ll find information on:
- How to talk to a personal injury lawyer
- Questions to ask a personal injury lawyer
- Questions a personal injury lawyer asks you
- What to do before you accept a settlement offer
- How to choose a personal injury lawyer
How To Talk To A Personal Injury Lawyer
Your consultation can be anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours. This is an opportunity for both you and your lawyer to get to know each other. Arrive 10 minutes early with your questions and answers prepared. Be well-dressed and polite to everyone in the office.
Your lawyer will likely watch you closely to see if you’re being honest and genuine. Remember that both your story and your body language needs to tell the same story. So if you complain about pain in your right leg, but limp on your left leg, you’ll seem dishonest.
Similarly, you should also look to see if your lawyer is also a genuine person. If you need clarification on something, don’t be afraid to ask. Your personal injury lawyer shouldn’t make you feel stupid for not understanding something. They also shouldn’t promise you multi-million dollar settlements unless your accident truly calls for it.
Personal injury lawyers understand that accidents can be traumatic and do have an emotional toll on clients. However, lawyers aren’t therapists, and they shouldn’t act as such.
If you’re still emotional about your case, the right lawyer will refer you to the correct resources. Be weary of personal injury lawyers who do try to help you navigate through your emotions beyond just moral support and legal advice.
Also Read: What’s A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
12 Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer Before Hiring Them
When you’re interviewing your personal injury lawyer, you should assess for whether or not they’re suited for you and your case. Upon consultation, ask your personal injury lawyer:
- What are my legal rights in this case and during this time?
- What else can I do to help my claim? Is there more evidence I need?
- Will you be the one handling my case, or just delicating it? Are there any other partners on my case?
- Do you have time to take on my case, and how big is your normal workload?
- Have you handled cases like mine before? Do you think mine will have to go to trial?
- What’s the best outcome you hope for my case? How long would it take to resolve the case and reach a settlement?
- How do you prefer to communicate and how often will we communicate? Will I be charged for every phone call and email?
- Do you charge by a flat rate, hourly rate, or a contingency fee? What percentage do you charge for a contingency?
- How do I handle my medical bills? Do you need an inventory of other expenses I’ve had so far?
- Who can I talk to about the accident? Who isn’t allowed to hear details about the accident or the case?
- Will you talk to the insurance company on my behalf? Is there anything I shouldn’t do or say to them that might jeopardize my case?
- What is the estimated value of my claim including all my expenses, pain, and lost wages?
During your consultation, you and personal injury lawyer should be able to cover all these questions. If your lawyer is unable to answer your questions, or they seem dishonest, it might be time to move on.
What Questions Will A Personal Injury Lawyer Ask You?
Likewise, your personal injury lawyer will also have some questions to ask you. Come prepared with some information on your accident, such as:
- A timeline of the accident
- A detailed story of your accident
- Your doctors’ names and specialties
- Your injuries
- An inventory of your medical expenses
- How much work you’ve missed
- If you’re collecting disability and how much
- Any other relevant expenses, such as travel or property lost
Don’t speak over your lawyer if they have more questions. If they ask you something you’re unsure about, just say you don’t know. You only have a limited time with them, so you need to be prepared.
You should not exaggerate anything to your lawyer. The best way to handle the interview with your personal injury lawyer is to be honest.
Also Read: 7 Things Not To Say To A Workers Comp Doctor and What To Expect From A Workers Comp Doctor
Questions To Ask Before You Accept A Settlement
When you do receive a settlement offer, your personal injury lawyer will let you know whether or not it’s a good deal. However, you should still take a moment to think about your needs. Are all your concerns with the negligent party heard and understood? If so, there should be changes that will prevent your accident from happening again.
When you look at your settlement offer, ask yourself:
- Will it cover future medical bills?
- Are lost wages recovered?
- Is property damage included?
- Is your pain and suffering also included?
- Will the settlement impact punitive damages?
Discuss more with your lawyer, or seek out a personal injury lawyer if your settlement offer doesn’t address all your injuries and concerns.
Also Read: Getting A Settlement For Your Traumatic Brain Injury
How To Choose A Personal Injury Lawyer
Your personal injury lawyer should also be someone you have a connection with. Your lawyer will learn some very personal things about you during this time. It’s important for you to get along with them and be on the same page about your goals.
When finding a personal injury lawyer, check online to see if anyone in your area has good reviews. You can also check out their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to see if there are more testimonials. Look for reviews from other lawyers, colleagues, and previous clients.
Other important details to try and look for in a personal injury lawyer’s profile are:
- Memberships in law societies and trial lawyers associations
- General areas of practice
- Specific areas of practice
- Years of practice
- Trial and negotiation experience
If you want to find qualified personal injury lawyers in your area, you can easily call My Case Helper. We work with thousands of lawyers across the country who can help your case.