So, you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another person or entity, and you know you need the services of a personal injury lawyer. But where do you turn?
It’s critical to find a personal injury lawyer who will be a good fit for you and the particular situation you find yourself in. Therefore, your first step should be to narrow your choices.
The best way to do this? Ask questions.
Find a firm who specializes in personal injury law, make a consultation appointment, and bring a list of your most pressing questions. Most personal injury lawyers offer no-obligation initial consultations. This means you can meet with them for free to explain your case and get some feedback.
Generally, at this meeting, the lawyer will tell you if they think you have a strong case. But it’s also an excellent time to ask important questions that can help you decide if this lawyer will be right for you.
In our more than 20 years of experience practicing personal injury law in Phoenix, we’ve found that the most important questions clients ask during their consultation meetings are as follows:
1. How long have you been practicing law?
With this question, the answer you’re looking for is simple: The longer the lawyer you’re speaking with has been practicing personal injury law, the better.
It’s also good to affirm that the lawyer has been practicing personal injury in your state and region. Local laws change as you move around the country, and you want someone with experience in your particular geographic location.
2. What types of personal injury cases do you usually handle?
There are different types of personal injury cases. Many lawyers will specialize in one sub-area — for example, personal injury auto accidents. Get a good handle on what types of cases the lawyer you’re speaking with has handled in the past.
3. Have you handled cases such as mine before?
Remember that personal injury cases can be different even in the same sub-area. So, for example, if you were driving and got involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, this type of case will still be very different from an accident wherein you were hit by a company semi while on your bike.
Ideally, your personal injury lawyer has experience with cases that occurred under similar circumstances as yours. This will give them valuable understanding and an advantage as they move forward with your case.
4. Do cases like mine generally have a positive outcome?
If the lawyer you’re interviewing has indeed handled cases similar to yours, ask about the outcomes. Naturally, you want to hear that they were able to win the cases for their clients and receive substantial payouts to cover the deserved damages.
5. Will you actually be the one handling my case?
Some legal firms will have huge teams of lawyers working for them. Though you may meet with a partner upon your initial visit, this won’t necessarily mean that you’ll be working directly with that lawyer.
While this isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, you deserve to know if that’s going to be the case. Unfortunately, some lawyers won’t volunteer this information. Therefore, always ask: If I move forward with my case at this law firm, who exactly will I be working with on a regular basis?
6. How does a case like this work? What is needed from me?
Ask about their procedure for handling the case. This may vary, depending on your unique situation and the circumstances of your case. Generally, you’ll be asked to provide documents and evidence to start with, which can take a substantial amount of time. The documents and evidence may include photographs and video, police reports, medical reports, pay stubs, insurance information, witness testimonials, and more.
7. How much will it cost me to hand over my case to you?
Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t pay them unless your lawyer wins your case for you. In that case, they will receive a percentage of the damages you win from the at-fault party. Generally speaking, the fixed percentage that will need to be paid to the lawyer if you win will be about one-third of your recovery (damages).
8. How long do cases like this usually last?
Lastly, you’ll want an idea of how long your case should usually last if you decide to move forward. Again, this can vary widely, depending on a myriad of factors, but it’s a wise question to ask. Your lawyer will often have a rough idea of the timeline you can expect.
Are You in Need of a Highly Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in the Phoenix Area?
Personal injury cases are those in which an individual is seriously injured as the result of the negligence of another person, company, organization, or the government.
Being severely injured in such a situation can lead to tremendous physical and emotional pain and suffering. Moreover, recovery will undoubtedly require substantial and ongoing medical treatment and mounting health care bills. Some people individuals will end up losing time at work and may even lose their jobs entirely.
At Petersen Johnson, we work on behalf of these individuals and their families. It is a cornerstone of our firm that they are treated fairly and with compassion and commitment.
If you have been unfairly injured due to the negligence of another, please call Petersen Johnson. We would be happy to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with you to discuss your case. Call today at 602-910-4952.