Accidents can happen at any time and without notice, which can leave many individuals feeling confused or lost about how to proceed.  If there are serious personal injuries or other significant damages, decisions will likely have to be made in a timely manner in order to preserve any rights you might have to compensation.  If you’ve been injured in an accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment, but then it is also critical that you set up a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your potential claim.  To that end, there are a few questions you should consider asking a personal injury lawyer to determine whether they are the right one for your case:

  1. Does your law firm have experience practicing personal injury law?

You likely would not see an ear, nose, and throat doctor or a brain surgeon when delivering your baby, even though they are both physicians, and similarly, you would want an attorney who has extensive experience with personal injury law rather than real estate or property law.  Make sure that the attorney you decide to hire is equipped to handle your personal injury claim.  Further, not all personal injury attorneys handle the same types of cases. While many will handle the common auto or car accident, some specialize in areas like wrongful death or brain injuries.

  1. How long will it take to resolve my case?

If you’re worrying about missing work and mounting medical bills and other expenses, you likely will want an estimate of the amount of time it might take before you receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.  The amount of time it takes to resolve a case will usually depend on the facts and circumstances so there is no attorney who can give you an exact time frame.  However, a good attorney should be able to give you at least an idea of how long it might take, particularly if they’ve handled similar cases in the past.

  1. How much do you charge to handle a personal injury case?

Most personal injury lawyers will take your case on what’s called a contingency fee basis.  This means that they will not charge you for their services and instead will take a percentage of the compensation you receive when you settle your case or receive a positive outcome at trial.  In other words, in most instances, you don’t have to pay your attorney unless and until your case is resolved successfully.

  1. How often do you take a case to trial?

An attorney who has significant trial experience can be a sign that they aren’t afraid to stand up to insurance companies in court.  An attorney who rarely goes to trial might be indicative of someone who is more open to settling a case quickly rather than fighting to achieve the maximum amount to which you may be entitled.  However, it is important to note that the strategy your attorney chooses to utilize will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case.  For instance, in your particular case, it might make more sense to settle a case rather than to take one to trial.  Just because your case settles outside of court does not mean your attorney did not work hard to achieve the best possible results in your case.