After an accident or injury, your first priority is to seek medical care for yourself and your family. However, it is also important to seek legal advice from an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer. You could be entitled to compensation for your damages from the party who caused your injury.
Before you meet with an attorney, it can help to write down the questions you want to ask. Below are six questions to ask a personal injury attorney. These questions help you judge whether an attorney is the best attorney to handle your case.
When you walk into an attorney’s office for the first time, have a checklist in hand with the following questions:
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1. How many cases like my case have you handled?
A personal injury attorney may handle several types of cases that fall under personal injury law. It is best to choose an attorney who has substantial experience handling cases similar to your case.
For instance, you should hire an attorney who practices premises liability law if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. Likewise, if you are injured by a defective product, choose a product liability lawyer instead of an attorney who only handles car accident claims.
Experience matters when dealing with an insurance company, defense attorney, judge, or jury.
2. How long will it take to settle my personal injury case?
Each personal injury case is different. Your recovery is a significant factor in how long it takes to settle a personal injury claim. Settling your claim before you complete medical treatment could result in a much lower settlement amount.
In addition to your recovery period, other factors affect how long it takes for a personal injury case to settle. Certain types of cases take longer to investigate than other cases. For example, medical malpractice cases and product liability claims may take longer to resolve because of the complex issues involved in investigating and proving liability in these cases.
If the other party refuses to negotiate a reasonable settlement, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary. Filing a lawsuit lengthens the time it takes to resolve a personal injury claim.
Our legal team understands that you need to receive a settlement for your personal injury claim as soon as possible. Therefore, we will do everything within our power to settle your case quickly. However, we do not rush to a settlement just to close your case.
Our attorneys fight to recover the maximum compensation possible for your case. We invest the time and resources necessary to protect your best interests.
3. How much is my personal injury case worth?
If an attorney tells you that they can recover a specific amount of money for your case during your initial consultation, you should be cautious. Determining what your case is worth takes time.
An attorney needs to conduct a thorough investigation, document your damages, and analyze the evidence before calculating the value of your injury claim. Otherwise, the attorney is guessing about the value of your claim.
We explain the types of damages you can expect to recover for your case during the initial consultation. For example, compensation may include economic damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, and personal care. You may also receive compensation for your pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
We can tell you how much other clients received for similar cases. However, your case is unique. Therefore, we base the value of your case on your unique circumstances. For example, if you sustained permanent impairments, our lawyers may consult with medical experts and financial professionals before calculating the value of your damages.
4. How often do you go to trial for personal injury cases?
Personal injury lawyers are exceptional negotiators. As a result, most cases settle without filing a lawsuit.
However, your case may need to proceed to trial. If so, you want to ensure that your lawyer is a skilled, experienced, and aggressive trial lawyer.
Therefore, ask the attorney how often he tries cases in court. If an attorney has little experience trying cases in court, you might want to continue searching for a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, California.
5. Who will manage my case?
Some law firms pass cases along to paralegals or junior associates. The attorney you met with for legal advice might not handle your case.
You are paying an attorney to manage your case. Therefore, the attorney should be the one in charge of your case.
However, a law firm’s legal staff is a key factor to consider. An attorney needs experienced staff to help with various aspects of the case. Sufficient support staff is a resource that benefits your case, provided the attorney oversees and manages the case.
6. How much are the attorneys’ fees for a personal injury case?
Most law firms accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is a percentage of the settlement or jury verdict the attorney recovers for the case. Thus, the attorney is only paid for services if the attorney recovers money for your injury claim.
The percentage charged for a contingency fee depends on several factors, including:
- The attorney’s education and experience
- Special skills and certifications the attorney holds
- The type of personal injury case
- The complexity of the case
- The geographical area where you live
- Whether the case goes to trial
- The parties involved in the case
When you discuss attorneys’ fees, make sure to ask about the costs of the case. The costs of the case include filing fees, postage, deposition costs, expert witness fees, and other costs of investigating and pursuing the claim. Ask the attorney if you are responsible for paying these costs even if the attorney does not recover money for your personal injury claim.
Call Our San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
We know that there are more than six questions to ask a personal injury lawyer during a free consultation. Our lawyers do not rush through consultations. Therefore, you can get the answers to all of your questions about personal injury claims in your meeting with us.
Our attorneys at Mission Personal Injury Lawyers. are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured victims and their families. Contact our law office at (619) 777-5555 to schedule a free consultation with one of our San Diego personal injury lawyers. Our goal is to win your case to get you the money you deserve.