7 Most Important Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Committing
After an accident, your whole world is shaken up. Between all the doctor appointments and insurance claims, life is suddenly 10x harder, thanks to your physical limitations. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.
And even when the dust settles a bit, the question remains whether seeking financial compensation is worth battling through a drawn-out personal injury lawsuit. Over the years of helping injury victims recover rightful compensation, we’ve seen firsthand how securing the maximum settlement can provide real relief. Financial security empowers folks to take that crucial first step toward healing.
But here’s the catch—all attorneys are NOT created equal when it comes to getting top-dollar settlements. Finding the right personal injury lawyer in your corner? Critical. That’s why at our firm, we insist on very candid, nitty-gritty conversations before partnering with any potential new client.
Here’s what every injury victim should be asking before signing on the dotted line.
Have They Handled Your Type of Case Successfully?
Securing fair compensation requires a lawyer well-versed in the specifics of your injury case details.
For instance, at Pasternack Injury Law Group, we have hands-on experience handling:
- Car Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Slip and Falls
- Truck Accidents
Personal injury law contains a lot of complexity and nuance. You need someone in your corner who is intimately familiar with every facet of cases, just like yours, to navigate the system successfully. Their expertise directly impacts the final results.
During an initial consultation, dig into the layers of expertise. Ask for specifics like:
- What’s your case success rate for my injury type?
- What are some examples of past settlements or jury awards?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in California courts?
Gauging real-world performance helps determine if a firm has the skills to zealously pursue maximum compensation for your situation.
How Will They Handle Settlement Negotiations?
By nature, insurance companies want to settle claims for as little as possible to boost profits. Their first offer is almost always an intentional lowball.
In contrast, as your legal advocates, we aim to secure the full settlement you deserve under the law. That requires aggressively negotiating while preparing to take cases to trial when warranted. Over the years, we’ve only gone to trial when insurance firms attempted to deny reasonable claims.
To understand how a personal injury firm approaches critical settlement negotiations, ask:
- What’s your negotiation style when dealing with insurance adjusters?
- If I’m offered an unreasonably low settlement, what next steps would you pursue on my behalf?
- Are you willing to take a case to trial if fair compensation can’t be secured through settlement talks?
- Realistically, what’s your average timeline for resolving personal injury cases?
Vetting negotiation capabilities helps predict if the attorney can deliver your desired financial results.
Who Exactly Will Handle Your Day-to-Day Case?
Some firms assign junior staff with limited qualifications to manage caseloads behind the scenes. Make sure you understand exactly who will spearhead your legal fight.
We deploy integrated teams combining the perfect balance of compassionate support staff with trial-tested attorneys overseeing each case.
Ask any potential firm:
- What are the credentials and experience of my full legal team?
- How long has the lead attorney been in practice?
- What’s the background of the paralegals that will be involved?
- Who handles tasks like gathering medical records or interfacing with health providers?
Understanding the expertise and collaboration of the full team provides insight into what to expect.
Can They Provide Client References to Call?
Speaking with former clients offers invaluable, unfiltered insight into how a lawyer handles real-world cases.
Listen closely to understand:
- How satisfied were they with the personalized attention and empathy received?
- Did the attorney secure a settlement or court award aligned to the expectations set?
- Ask for references with injuries or cases closely matching yours.
While respecting confidentiality, most attorneys can connect you with existing clients willing to describe their firsthand experience. These candid conversations provide clarity when weighing choices.
Do They Have the Resources to Take on Your Case?
Successfully fighting large insurance carriers requires substantial financial resources and networks of experts. Cases involving serious injuries often have expenses exceeding $100,000 long before settlement.
Understand how firms fund cases and source specialized experts by asking:
- What’s your access to and relationships with investigators, medical specialists, and researchers?
- Will you pay out-of-pocket litigation expenses until case resolution?
- Is there a lien against final settlements or other repayment requirements I should know about?
Having a clear picture of capabilities and associated costs allows for making an aligned decision. At our firm, we advance all case costs to rigorously build claims on our client’s behalf. Repayment only occurs from a settlement – no win, no fee.
What Percentage Will They Receive of Your Personal Injury Settlement?
Most personal injury firms work on a contingency fee basis, collecting a percentage of final settlements. Standard rates range from 25% to 40%, depending on case complexity and projected timeframe.
However, some firms take advantage by overcharging contingency rates of up to 50%. Protect yourself by proactively asking:
- What is your exact legal fee percentage?
- Are there any items like expenses deducted before or after you calculate contingency fees?
- Does your contract include room for negotiation if I believe costs are too high for my situation?
Aligning fee expectations from the start prevents frustration down the road while creating space for adaptable solutions.
Do You Feel Comfortable with Their Bedside Manner?
The emotional trauma of injuries makes legal cases highly personal. Consider compatibility factors like:
- Do they actively listen to fully understand your situation?
- Does communication seem clear and transparent?
- Do you sense genuine compassion and commitment?
Keep exploring until finding an attorney who instills trust and confidence. With so much at stake, feeling secure is invaluable during intense legal battles ahead.
Get a Free Consultation and Ask All the Right Questions Today
Committing to legal representation marks a pivotal moment to regain control after personal loss and suffering. By having in-depth conversations on these key considerations and using our questions as guidance, you can partner with the right personal injury lawyer to start restoring stability once more.
If our experience and approach resonate as a potential fit for your needs, connect with our firm to explore options during an initial FREE consultation. With years of experience securing results for injury victims in San Diego, we welcome the opportunity to understand your situation and collaborate on tailored solutions.