When you get hurt in an accident, you deserve to be compensated for the injuries you suffered. You need help, however, from a personal injury attorney to get these damages. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying your claim. They will bully you, cajole you, threaten you and even try to claim the accident was your fault. Fighting back without legal help in your corner can seem insurmountable.
Even still, going with the first attorney you come across can be a mistake. Your injury lawyer is someone you need to trust with your life and livelihood, to have your best interests at heart, and to fight for you. That’s why you should ask these important questions before you decide on the right personal injury attorney for your case.
What Is Your Area of Specialty?
No attorney is a generalist and if they say they are, that’s a red flag. Find out their area of specialty, and if it’s not personal injury, look elsewhere. Likewise, if they don’t have a focus on the type of accident you’ve suffered, they might not be right.
What Kinds of Cases Like Mine Have You Handled?
A good injury lawyer has seen just about every kind of case under the moon. While every case is unique and has its own qualities, they have likely seen a few that are similar to yours in some way. That means they know how to approach getting your settlement.
What Settlements Have You Obtained?
The case history of your potential attorney matters. If they’ve handled a hundred cases but lost seventy, that’s not a very good track record. Ask how many cases they’ve represented, how many they’ve won, and how many went to trial.
How Long Do You Estimate My Case Will Take?
Every case has its own personality, and the results can vary wildly. That being said, your attorney should be able to ballpark what other cases like yours took to resolve. Having this in mind will allow you to plan for the financial situation you face.
What Will Our Communication Be Like?
One of the most important questions you can ask is how your attorney will handle communication. Transparency matters and you want an attorney that will dedicate time and effort to your case, while always keeping you in the loop regarding what’s going on.
Are You the Attorney Who Will Handle My Case?
A huge red flag is if the attorney sends a paralegal, intern, or investigator to handle your initial consultation and doesn’t sit down with you themselves. You need to know that the attorney takes you seriously and will devote the time and effort to your case.
That doesn’t mean they will be the only point of contact. Attorneys have teams and sometimes you might speak with a paralegal. Still, you need to know that an actual attorney will be at the helm and that it’s the same one you talk to on consult.
Can I Contact You If I Need To?
You also want to be sure that regardless of the team members working on your case, that you can reach out directly to the attorney in charge of your case when you need peace of mind. They should be available for you, or at least should always return calls promptly and in person.
What Is Your Current Caseload?
This is a tricky question because it’s a balancing act. An attorney with no current cases has plenty of time for you, but you have to ask yourself why they don’t have any current cases. On the other hand, attorneys with a ton of cases are probably good, but may not have the time to devote to your case. Don’t be afraid to ask for assurances that they can both devote the time you need, and satisfactorily settle your case.
Do You Have References?
Never be afraid to ask for client references. People who have had good experiences in the past are a good resource to understand what it’ll be like to work with the attorney.
What Is Your Fee Structure?
Almost every attorney has fees. That being said, a good personal injury lawyer will never charge a fee up front. Their consultation will be free, and they’ll only charge you if they win your case. Most of the time, the fee will then be a percentage of the award.
If you’ve been hurt in the Lafayette, Louisiana or Metairie, Louisiana area and you need representation from an experienced personal injury attorney, Blaine Barrilleaux can help. Contact our offices for a free consultation today!