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Six Crucial Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney

Posted In On October 27, 2020

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Personal injury is a complex field of law that can lead to many questions and concerns on a plaintiff’s part. Navigating Georgia’s personal injury laws can feel overwhelming without an expert to help identify what you need to know. Luckily, many personal injury lawyers – including the team at Dermer Appel Ruder – offer free consultations to give you the opportunity to ask a lawyer questions about what it will take to resolve your case. We’ve prepared six crucial questions to ask about a personal injury lawsuit when considering hiring a lawyer to represent you.

1. Does the Firm Have Experience With Cases Like Yours?

It’s important that the personal injury attorney you hire has a track record of handling cases within the same practice area. If you suffered an injury while at work, for example, the attorney you choose to represent you should have experience handling that type of case in Georgia. Real-world personal injury experience is invaluable. Find a law firm that best fits your law needs. Most attorney websites offer client testimonials – search them to find similar cases to yours. 

The DAR Law Answer

We have experienced lawyers who have provided legal representation for insurance companies and their insured. Because we have dealt directly with claims representatives and insurance adjusters as our clients, we have unique insight into how the insurance company routinely handles claims and what they need to resolve cases at the maximum level possible.

2. Who Will Be Working on Your Case?

Some personal injury lawyers pass cases off to paralegals or assistants, rather than handling the case as the lead attorney. Others may use a group effort to resolve a case, assigning multiple attorneys to one claim in a given time frame. Although no one way is necessarily better than another, make sure you are comfortable with the processes at a particular firm. The attorney you speak with during your initial consultation should be the same one that will handle your case. If the process will involve paralegals, they should keep you informed about each step as they complete them.

The DAR Law Answer

When you retain our Georgia injury attorneys, you never work with a “case manager”. We know our clients and we respond to their questions and concerns and keep them informed and involved every step of the way. Learn more about our team here: Stephen Dermer, Adam L. Appel, Kim M. Ruder, and Matthew A. Ericksen, Sr.

3. What Do the Firm’s Past Results Look Like?

A firm’s success rate in past cases does not guarantee that your personal injury lawsuit will have similar success results. However, it does prove that the attorney has the ability to achieve positive outcomes for clients. Take a look at the law firm’s case results (often posted online) before your consultation, if possible. That way you can ask about specific cases that have similar elements to yours, such as a recent success during a car accident claim involving permanent injuries. You can also ask the lawyer what it took to get those results (settlement vs. verdict, etc.).

The DAR Law Answer

You can review our our previous case results.

4. Does the Lawyer Have the Ability to Go to Court?

Most personal injury claims reach settlements without needing to go to court. It is important to have the option at the law firm you choose, however. That way if your case goes to trial for the best possible outcome, you will not have to switch firms halfway through the claims process. Ask the attorney if he or she has trial experience and for legal advice if the firm is willing to go to court if necessary for full compensation.

The DAR Law Answer

We are fully prepared to go to court if the situation necessitates it. Additionally, we have decades of courtroom experience, and we are dedicated to providing you with the best possible outcome. You can rest assured knowing that if you obtain our services, you will be able to rely on a respected and reputable Georgia law firm. 

5. How Much Will Legal Services Cost?

Do not be afraid to ask your lawyer how much filing fees, legal fees, and other services will cost you. The attorney should be able to offer a rough estimate and be upfront and honest about how much his or her services cost, with no hidden fees. Most personal injury attorneys offer services on a contingency fee basis. In these setups, the lawyer will not charge you for services unless he or she obtains a financial award for you. If the case goes to trial and your lawyer wins your case, the fees will come out of your settlement or verdict. The typical rate for contingency fee services is around 33%, but this can vary according to the specifics of your case.

The DAR Law Answer

To learn more about how much our services will cost you, please contact us so we can learn more about your specific situation.

6. Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

During your free consultation, the attorney should form an opinion as to whether you have grounds for a claim. After reviewing the facts of your case and the injuries or damages you suffered, the lawyer should let you know if your case has a chance to go to trial. The lawyer may or may not offer services to you, but should at least tell you if you have the elements of a lawsuit. If your case is not one the firm is interested in taking, the lawyer should give you a referral for another office that may be a better fit for your search in hiring a personal injury attorney.

The DAR Law Answer

There are a number of different ways you can discover whether or not you have a personal injury case. While you will probably need to discuss the details of your case with a qualified personal attorney, take a look at our blog post about signs you have a case.