If you were injured in an accident and someone else was at fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the personal injury process and seek the compensation you deserve.
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer may seem like a daunting task. However, most personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation to discuss your case. During your consultation, you can ask the attorney questions to determine if they are the right attorney for you.
The attorney or their representative will ask also you questions about your accident and injuries. Asking the following six questions should give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
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What Types of Personal Injury Cases Do You Handle?
To get the best outcome, you should hire an attorney with expertise in your type of case. It may seem obvious, but you would not want to hire someone specializing in criminal defense law to handle your personal injury case.
However, there are many types of cases within the broader category of “personal injury,” and you should hire an attorney who has expertise with your specific type of personal injury case. For example, some attorneys primarily handle car accident cases, while others may focus on slip and fall cases.
Different types of personal injury cases involve different areas of law, different insurance companies, different procedures, and more. During your consultation, ask the attorney about their background and whether they have handled your type of case before.
What Are Their Fees and Costs?
Typically, personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is collected by the attorney at the end of the case and is based on a percentage of the client’s ultimate financial recovery. This fee is often between 33% and 40%. If you don’t recover compensation at the end of the case, the attorney will be unable to collect attorney’s fees.
A contingency fee is different from other types of attorney’s fees. Some attorneys charge an hourly rate for their work, while others may charge a flat fee for certain types of cases. You should ask the attorney whether they work for a contingency fee and, if so, what percentage of your recovery the fee is.
You should also ask about other costs, such as court filing fees, copying fees, and other administrative costs. Ask whether you are responsible for those costs if your case is not successful and whether you must pay them upfront or if the attorney advances those costs for you.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Last?
The length of your personal injury case will depend on several factors, such as the extent of your injuries and how long it takes to complete treatment.
You do not want to settle your personal injury claim before the extent of your injuries and the required treatment are fully known. Your medical treatment will affect the amount of your medical costs and the amount of time you may need to miss work.
Ask the attorney how long they think it will take to settle or litigate your personal injury case. Look for an attorney who gives you an honest and reasonable answer about how long the process may take.
What Damages Are Available for My Injuries?
In personal injury cases, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages relate to the financial consequences of your accident or injury and may include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs and other property damage
Non-economic damages may be available to compensate you for the emotional or psychological consequences of the accident or injury and may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Disability or disfigurement, and the related impacts on your life
- Diminished quality of life.
During a consultation, ask the attorney which damages may be available in your specific case. This will help you to have reasonable expectations about the potential compensation in your case.
How Often Do Cases Proceed to Trial?
Most personal injury cases settle rather than proceeding to trial. However, if a favorable settlement can’t be reached, going to trial may be the best option.
You want an attorney who’s adept at negotiating with insurance companies but also a skilled litigator who can take your case to court if necessary.
Ask the attorney how often their cases proceed to trial and about their past results in settling and litigating cases.
How Will We Communicate About My Personal Injury Case?
One of the most important qualities in an attorney is good communication. You want an attorney who will keep you updated about major case events and respond to your questions in a reasonable time frame.
Ask the attorney how they communicate with their clients and how long it usually takes for them to respond to their clients. Knowing this information can help you avoid frustration with your attorney in the future.
Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyer to Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you’re a Clearwater resident who was recently injured in an accident due to someone else’s wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation with Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers today by calling our office at (727) 796-8282 or contacting us online.