Are all personal injury attorneys created equal? The answer is no, so it is important to ask specific questions of any lawyer before hiring them to represent you.
What is the contingency fee?
A contingency fee agreement means that the lawyer you hire does not collect a legal fee unless there is a monetary recovery. If your case has merit, an attorney will take your case on a contingency fee agreement, which is negotiable and typically ranges between 25–40 percent of an award or settlement. The stronger the case and more severe the damages, the more malleable the fee agreement.
Lawyers also charge any costs advanced, which can be substantial, and is almost always deducted from the client’s share. Ask the attorney who takes your case if you will be liable for any out-of-pocket expenses such as depositions, hiring investigators or experts, and scheduling special court proceedings.
What is my case worth?
Ask this question because the lawyer you hire will have an idea. The worth of a lawsuit is a broad range based upon discovery, liability and unknown medical issues. Your lawyer, at the very least, should provide a spectrum and explain unknown variables to you. Use your judgment. Do not be swayed by lawyers who make unrealistic promises.
Have you tried personal injury cases before?
Do not assume that all lawyers have handled or tried your type of case. Ask for an attorney’s experience and results, even speak to their former clients, if possible. Control the consultation. You are doing the hiring, so do not be intimidated or bullied during the process.
Lawsuits are about money and the focus is on obtaining the maximum recovery. There is only one shot to try a case. Make the most of it by hiring the right attorney and asking tough questions before deciding who to hire.