If you are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to seek damages for your pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills. However, you don’t want to take on an insurance company on your own, and it’s important to have the right personal injury lawyer on your side. However, not all lawyers are right for your case, and it’s important to vet potential legal representation. To help you choose a personal injury attorney in Raleigh, we are sharing some questions to ask and what kind of answers to look for.
Feeling Comfortable with a Personal Injury Attorney
During the initial consultation, as you’re asking questions, it’s important to look for a personal injury lawyer who answers questions openly, honestly, and sincerely. You need to be able to trust your legal counsel to help you make the right choices and to represent your best interests, so if you feel they are hesitating, hedging, or sidestepping questions, you should consider looking elsewhere.
Also, you are going to be sharing in-depth details of your injuries, your accident, and your finances, and you’re also going to have questions about your case and concerns about the legal process. Any personal injury attorney you hire should be compassionate, open to communication, and available to answer your questions and guide you through the process.
Even if you ask all the questions below, and you feel they are giving you the answers you need, if you feel the attorney isn’t right for you, it’s okay to move on. Again, this is someone who you are hiring to look out for you and help you move forward with financial security, so you want to ensure you can have a strong working relationship with them.
Questions Related to Personal Injury Background and Experience
It’s important to work with an attorney who has in-depth experience and knowledge of personal injury law. North Carolina has strict laws and guidelines, so it’s important to know your case is in experienced, capable hands.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Injury Law?
As we mentioned above, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who is well-versed in North Carolina law so they can effectively represent you. It’s also important that you ask specifically about how long they have been taking personal injury cases rather than this being a practice area they’ve recently entered.
Have You Handled a Personal Injury Claim Similar to Mine?
If you were injured due to medical malpractice, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who has experience in medical malpractice, rather than one who primarily deals with car accident claims. Verify that they have taken cases similar to yours to trial, and don’t be scared to ask about their success rate.
Approximately How Many Cases Do You Settle Versus Litigate?
While the majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court, it’s important to look for an attorney who will litigate your case if that’s what it takes to get the justice you deserve. Find out what would prompt them to halt negotiations and move to a civil trial, or when they would continue attempting to settle.
Assessing Your Personal Injury Case
After asking initial questions, you’ll want to discuss the details of your case and answer their questions. Once they have an assessment, ask the following questions related to what you discussed.
What Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
While it’s difficult to determine the exact worth of a case during an initial consultation, they should be able to determine a ballpark figure, especially if you present information related to lost wages or medical costs. Look for their willingness to go to court if needed, rather than settling your case for a minimal amount of damages.
How Quickly Can You Resolve My Case?
A good personal injury lawyer knows that settlement negotiations take time, especially when there are serious injuries, high costs, or complicated factors related to your case. However, an experienced lawyer can give you an informed estimate and in-depth knowledge of the factors that may affect the length of time it will take to resolve your case.
Is My Case Likely to Settle or Go to Court?
Insurance companies strive to increase profits and minimize payouts, so it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who is not only willing to stand up to them in negotiating a settlement but who is also willing to take the case to court. While there is no way of knowing how your case will resolve, your lawyer should be able to provide you with an informed likelihood about your case as well as the process of both outcomes.
Personal Injury Case Management and Legal Fees
The management and legal fees should be the final details discussed during your meeting.
What Are the Attorney Fees for Your Services?
Most personal injury lawyers do operate on a contingency fee basis, which means they only accept payment when you receive monetary compensation for your case. While you won’t pay upfront, they will take a fixed percent out of the money you receive.
Typically, an attorney will charge between 20 and 40 percent of the damages their client receives. It’s important to not choose the lowest rate, and instead choose a personal injury lawyer with experience who you feel can get the best outcome for you.
Do Any Factors Change the Fees?
Some personal injury law firms do change their rates based on the progression of the case while others charge case-related costs. For example, if your case goes to trial, the fees may increase, or if there are costs for clerical and operational costs, like retrieving accident reports, you may have to pay those. It’s important to be very clear on any fees you may have to pay related to your case, even if you don’t win.
Will I Receive Progress Reports About My Case?
Having legal counsel who provides you with personalized attention and keeps you informed of the process is very important. The legal process can be long, drawn out, and confusing, and it’s important to know that your attorney is continually working for you to get a fair and favorable outcome.
Choosing Your Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer
Before choosing your attorney, make sure you can answer yes to these questions.
- Did the lawyer answer my questions sincerely, openly, and honestly?
- Does the lawyer have the skills and experience necessary to handle my personal injury case?
- Did I agree with the attorney’s case assessment and strategy?
- Were the legal fees reasonable and did the award estimate seem realistic?
In Need of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Raleigh, NC?
Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas is a leading personal injury law firm in Raleigh that is dedicated to helping you get fair compensation for the injuries you have sustained. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 919-615-2473 or Request a case review today, and let us know how we can fight for you.
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