7 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Hiring Them
Over 3 million people are injured every year in automobile accidents alone. So, it’s no surprise that most people need to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer at some point in their life.
If you are looking to hire a personal injury attorney, you may have noticed there are a lot of options. With all of the available options, finding a lawyer who is the best fit for you and your case may seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be though if you know the right questions to ask.
Before you hire a lawyer, consider asking them the questions below. Choosing the right injury attorney can make a big difference in the results you get and the service you receive.
1. What are Your Fees?
The majority of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that you never have to pay a fee unless they recover compensation for you. If you do recover money for your injury claim, your personal injury lawyers will then be entitled to a percentage of the amount awarded to you.
Typical fee percentages in West Virginia for personal injury claims range from 33% to 40%, sometimes less and sometimes more. The fee percentage may also be affected by whether your case is resolved before a lawsuit is filed, after a lawsuit is filed, or if your case goes to trial.
However, these percentages can vary depending on your case and the lawyer you choose. If you’d like to know more about how contingency contracts work, please call us for a Free Consultation.
2. If I Lose, Will I Be Responsible for Any Case-Related Costs?
Some personal injury lawyers charge for case-related costs, even if they lose your case. Knowing what, if any, out of pocket costs you may have to pay is very important. It is better to know if an attorney does require you to pay these fees sooner rather than later.
Some costs you may have to pay out of pocket should you lose include:
- Court filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Administrative fees
- Information-gathering expenses
If you choose West Law Firm to represent you, you never pay anything, including case costs and expenses, unless and until you recover compensation. In other words, you pay absolutely nothing unless you win.
3. Have You Won Personal Injury Cases Like Mine Before?
All lawyers’ areas of practice are different, just like doctors have different areas of expertise. So, it’s best to not assume a lawyer has experience handling a case like yours. Personal injury lawyers handle different types of cases, some of which include:
- Medical Malpractice
- Auto Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Products Liability
- Work Injuries
At West Law Firm, we only handle personal injury cases because that makes us better at what we do. Before you hire a lawyer, you should ask about their specific case experience and overall results handling cases like yours.
4. How Much Time Can You Devote to My Case?
Personal injury lawyers can be handling numerous cases at one time depending on the size of the firm and the experience of the lawyer. It’s important to know how much time and effort any potential lawyer will be able to devote to your case.
One way you can broach this subject is to ask the potential attorney what you should expect about the process. For example, you could ask him or her how often you should expect to get an update on your case, and how long does it usually take them to resolve a case like yours.
5. Who Will be My Main Point of Contact if I Hire Your Law Firm?
Some law firms use paralegals and secretaries to do much of the legal work, including handling communications with clients like you. You may want to ask who will primarily be responsible for taking your calls and providing you advice throughout the duration of your legal claim. If it’s not the lawyer you’re considering hiring, then what’s the point of hiring him or her?
6. What is My Role in the Lawsuit?
Some clients like to be involved in their case, while others want to leave the work up to their lawyer. Whatever your style is it’s important you find an attorney that can cater to your needs. Ask potential lawyers how big of a role you will play in your case. For any client-attorney relationship to work, you must both be on the same page about what your relationship will look like.
7. What are Your Peer Reviews?
One of the best ways you can get to know a potential attorney is by finding out what others thought of them. You can ask a lawyer specifically to provide this information or you can quickly research it yourself. To of the most trusted rating system for lawyers across the United States are:
- The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry: For over 130 years, Martindale-Hubbell has been the most respected source of reliable information about those in legal practice. They conduct a thorough review of millions of attorneys and give them a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™. West Law Firms’ attorney, David Dobson, was awarded the AV Preeminent Rating, which is the highest rating possible by Martindale-Hubbell.
- Superlawyers: Each year Super Lawyers reviews thousands of nominated lawyers across the United States to either be named a super lawyer or a rising star. They do this by evaluating 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. At the end of the process only Only 5% of the lawyers in each state are named Super Lawyers and only 2.5% are named Rising Stars. West Law Firm’s attorney, David Dobson, has been named as a rising star from 2017-2021.
Bonus Question: What are Your Client Reviews?
Client reviews are one of the best ways to evaluate how good of a job a potential lawyer will do for you and your case. The easiest way to evaluate a potential lawyer’s client reviews, is to google the name of the lawyer or law firm he or she works for. For example, if you google West Law Firm, LC, you will see that we have over 70 5 Star Client Reviews, including more than 60 Google Reviews.
Carefully, reading such reviews is also important because some reviews can be fake and or from friends and family members. The number of reviews is also likely important to consider when evaluating an attorney.
Get a Free Consultation From an Experienced West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
We hope the above helps make the process of hiring an attorney less stressful for you, and we also hope that this information helps you make the best choice for you and your family.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, at work, or because of negligence, we invite you to call us for a Free Consultation today. You can call us toll-free today at 1-877-943-9378 or visit us on our website. There’s no fee unless and until you recover compensation.
West Law Firm is located in Charleston, West Virginia and we serve clients throughout the state and country who have been hurt in WV. If it’s more convenient for you, we’ll come to you!