The legal process of personal injury claims is very complex compared to many other aspects of our day-to-day lives. Many people have never had to go through any sort of legal claim process before, so the prospect of filing a personal injury claim is often quite daunting.
Sometimes, it is unclear what you should do next or even what you should do to get started. Luckily, when you hire a personal injury attorney, you hire not just an advocate, but a guide to take you through the claims process and help you get where you need to go.
Before your lawyer can guide you through the legal process, however, you need to find the right one for you. Not every lawyer is the right lawyer for every person. Even for the same person, the right lawyer for a given legal claim is not always the right one for another.
No two people are alike, and no two cases are alike, so to figure out whether someone is the right lawyer for you, you need to ask them some questions to get to know them and how they work in practice.
Why a List of Questions Is Helpful
Before consulting with any lawyers, it helps to prepare a list of questions you are going to ask them. Once you prepare your list of questions, you should ask those same questions to every attorney you consult with. That way, you can objectively compare the attorneys you speak with using the same metrics.
To help you get started on your questions to ask a personal injury attorney, The Zimmerman Law Firm prepared this list of ten questions you should ask when hiring a personal injury attorney.
What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you ask a lawyer in Texas all the following questions to start with, you will have a head start on getting to know them. That way, you can determine if they are the right attorney for your case and leave nothing to chance.
1. How Long Have You Practiced Law?
Experience is critically important for any attorney. If the attorney you consult with has very little experience, they may not have the preparation necessary to successfully litigate your case.
2. Is Personal Injury Your Primary Focus Area?
Some law firms handle just about any sort of claim that comes their way. This has its advantages but can also have its disadvantages. Notably, lawyers that lack a focus area can have a hard time keeping up with important developments in various legal areas. Conversely, a lawyer who focuses on personal injury will be well aware of any important changes in the law.
3. Do You Offer Confidential and Risk Free Case Consultations?
This is a good question to ask before you consult with a given attorney. If the lawyers you speak to charge a fee for their consultations, you may not want to consult with them. After all, if you plan to speak with multiple attorneys, the consultation costs can add up quickly. Most personal injury attorneys do offer free consultations.
4. What Is the Value of My Personal Injury Claim?
By asking each lawyer you speak with about the value of your personal injury claim, you can compare their answers. If one lawyer’s estimate far exceeds the other estimates, it may be a sign that that particular attorney has a habit of overpromising.
5. Have You Successfully Litigated Personal Injury Claims Similar to Mine?
It always helps if your lawyer has successfully handled personal injury claims similar to yours. With that specific experience under their belt, they will know what to expect in your case, and can prepare accordingly.
6. What Fees Do You Charge?
To avoid any nasty surprises when billing time comes, you should always ask any attorney about their fees before retaining their services. Furthermore, you can compare each lawyer’s fees to try to find the best value for your money.
7. What Happens If I Lose My Case?
The answer to this question may come up in a discussion about attorney fees. Most personal injury lawyers work on the basis of a contingency fee. WIth a contingency fee payment arrangement, if you lose your case or it does not settle, your lawyer cannot collect a fee. By hiring a lawyer who works on the basis of contingency fees, filling your claim comes with very little risk.
8. Have You Faced any Disciplinary Action by Any Bar Association?
If a lawyer has faced repeated disciplinary action, it may be a sign that they have questionable moral and ethical practices. You can avoid a potentially bad situation by steering clear of attorneys who were subject to repeated disciplinary action. Don’t just ask about Texas either; be sure to ask if they have faced disciplinary action from any bar association. You can also look up this information yourself online. If a lawyer lies to you about their disciplinary record, do not hire them.
9) What Case Was the Most Challenging for You? Why?
Asking about what case was the most challenging for a given attorney will give you a window into their personality. You will get a glimpse into how that attorney reacts to adversity and how they work under pressure. It is a good omen if an attorney works well in difficult situations.
10) What Case Was the Most Rewarding for You? Why?
This is another question that will help you get to know your attorney on a more personal level before hiring them. By asking this question, you can see what drives an attorney to do what they do. Furthermore, it can help you learn a bit about that attorney’s morals and ethics.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive. You will always get to know someone better by asking them more questions. If you think of more questions after you consult with an attorney, you should make sure you ask those questions of the other personal injury lawyers you speak to. Furthermore, you can always call a personal injury attorney after your initial consultation to follow up with any additional questions.
Are You Ready to Speak with a Texas Personal Injury Attorney?
Hiring the right lawyer for your specific needs is critical. You can use the provided questions as a jumping off point for preparing your own additional questions for any attorney. When you seek consultations with Texas personal injury lawyers, don’t forget to set up a free consultation with us at The Zimmerman Law Firm.
We have helped countless clients recover from their injuries in the more than 60 years we have operated. In other words, we know Texas personal injury law, and we have seen it all. Michael Zimmerman, our managing partner, has worked within our firm for nearly 30 years at this point, so we have no shortage of experience to draw from.
Make sure that you speak with multiple attorneys so you can find the best one for you, but don’t forget to give The Zimmerman Law Firm a call! Contact us today for your free consultation!