Any accident injury—head injuries, whiplash, soft tissue injuries, broken bones—can create legal issues. If you’re injured in an accident, you need a competent injury lawyer. Naturally, picking one can be difficult.
Ask some important questions before hiring an injury lawyer. Asking the right questions can help you find the right lawyer and ensure you’re on the same page. To determine if a personal injury lawyer is right for your case, ask many important questions during your first meeting.
What Are My Options for Recovery?
Your case’s complexity and likelihood of success may determine your strategies. These include civil lawsuits and out-of-court settlements.
Lawsuits require extensive preparation and costly legal proceedings. However, winning and having the guilty party pay damages can help bring closure.
Plaintiffs seeking a more amicable resolution may also consider settling outside of court. Both parties compromise in a negotiated agreement. Settlement negotiations are cheaper and faster than litigation. However, attorneys should always review and approve settlement agreements to protect the plaintiff’s interests.
What Happens During a Lawsuit?
Legal action is a lengthy and complicated process. Even the simplest cases require a lot of planning and preparation, and the process can take weeks or years, depending on your case and the court’s backlog. Planning includes gathering medical and financial records, interviewing witnesses, depositions, motion practice, and pre-trial hearings.
To settle a case before trial, pre-trial proceedings may include settlement conferences or mediation. After pre-trial, the lawsuit continues with jury selection, trial, and post-trial motions.
An experienced injury attorney will help navigate the lawsuit process no matter what. An attorney can set a realistic timeline and cost expectations and ensure all necessary steps are taken to achieve the best results.
Questions on Pricing
Before signing a contract, talk to your injury lawyer about fees. Litigation can be expensive. Contingency lawyers, who only get paid if you win, seek payment through your settlement or compensation, so you and your lawyer will agree on a percentage of your claim, not a set dollar amount.
Ask about their payment structure and service due dates. Make sure you’re comfortable with an attorney’s rates and that they’re transparent about lawsuit costs before signing a contract.
Due to the lengthy lawsuit process, lawyers may seek damages from the defendant’s insurance agency. Asking this question can help you understand your compensation because attorneys have different levels of experience and insurance agency relationships. Find out if the lawyer has resolved cases with a particular insurer and if they’re willing to go to court if the insurer won’t settle fairly.
Depending on the defendant’s insurance coverage, plaintiffs may have to negotiate with adjusters who represent their policyholders. When deciding whether to accept an insurer’s settlement offer, an attorney’s experience and objectivity can be invaluable.
You should decide if your lawyer can fight insurers in court if negotiations fail. You can talk to your lawyer about insurance coverage options with more confidence if you know more about them.
Negotiations and Trial Questions
Injury cases often benefit from insurance company negotiations or settlements rather than trials. However, it’s crucial to understand how your lawyer will negotiate and whether they’ll be comfortable going to trial. Knowing your negotiation or court deadlines is also crucial. Key negotiation and trial questions:
- Can this claim be settled out of court?
- What makes my case settlement-friendly?
- Have you handled insurance companies like mine?
- How might you negotiate for me?
- What are my case settlement barriers?
- Are there negotiation or trial time limits?
- How do you handle insurance company confrontations?
- How long do most cases like mine settle?
- Are there negotiation or trial deadlines?
- Have you won trial verdicts that gave clients like me fair compensation?
- What is the risk-benefit analysis of going to trial versus settling out of court for my case?
Understand your lawyer’s process and insurance company experience before settling out of court. Ask about their timeline, negotiation strategies, and trial verdict rate. This will show how confident your lawyer is in settling your injury claim fairly.
Trials are more expensive and time-consuming than negotiations, but they may result in better results and better compensation. You and your lawyer make the decision, but understanding both sides will help you decide.
Ask a Lawyer About Your Personal Injury Claim
When you’re facing a personal injury lawsuit, you may have plenty of questions about your claim and your future. Getting answers can be difficult without the professional guidance of an attorney.
Ready to get answers? Reach out to an attorney at Lane & Brown LLC for a free consultation. We can be reached when you call 312-332-1400 or when you contact us through the free online contact form below.