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Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted In On May 15, 2019

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 help from a personal injury attorney. Luckily, most personal injury law firms – including Dermer Appel Ruder – offer free consultations to give you the opportunity to ask a real lawyer questions about your case at no risk or obligation. Going to your meeting prepared with questions to ask the personal injury lawyer can help you make the most of your time.

Does the Firm Have Experience With Cases Like Yours?

No two cases are identical. However, your personal injury attorney should at least have experience 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 workplace accident claims in Georgia. Real-world case experience is invaluable. Find a lawyer with proven results for cases similar to yours for the best peace of mind.

Who Will Be Working on Your Case?

Some law firms pass cases off to paralegals or assistants, rather than a lead attorney taking care of the case. Others may use a group effort to resolve a case, assigning multiple attorneys to one claim. Although no one way is necessary better than another, make sure you are comfortable with the processes at a particular firm. The attorney you speak with during your 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.

What Does the Firm’s Past Results Look Like?

Past case results do not guarantee that a law firm will have similar success with your case. 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.).

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 does need a 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 if the firm is willing to go to court if necessary for full compensation.

How Much Will Legal Services Cost?

Do not be afraid to ask how much the lawyer’s services will cost you. The attorney should 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 you a financial award. If the lawyer does win 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.

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 you can or should proceed. 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 better suited for your needs.