Choosing the right lawyer for your individual case is essential to getting the result you want. In order to find out if a lawyer is right for you, here at 5 crucial questions to ask:
1: What kind of lawyer are they?
Some lawyers are “general practitioners” who work on a variety of types of legal cases, including personal injury cases. With a serious personal injury claim, you need an expert lawyer who handles personal injury cases on daily basis. The practice of law has become so complex that is it practically impossible for a ‘jack of all trades’ lawyer to stay on top of all the changes in personal injury law practices. The majority of lawyers who are hired by insurance companies to defend personal injury cases are experienced experts who limit their practice to the defence of personal injury cases. A non-expert lawyer is likely to be at a large disadvantage when they represent a claimant against a law firm that specializes in the defence of personal injuries cases (on behalf of insurance companies).
2: Track record: Have they taken cases similar to this one in the past? How many? What was the result?
Even though a lawyer may specialise in a particular practice they may not be particularly accomplished in it. They may be new to the area of practice, practice it part of the time, or might just be unskilled. How many cases like yours have they handled in the past? Experienced personal injury lawyers who have been helping claimants with cases for many years will have gained valuable negotiation and trial expertise. They should have knowledge about the legal circumstances of a case like yours. In addition to experience, your lawyer to have a proven track record of success on cases similar to yours. Ask the lawyer what results they have had in the past, good or bad. Reading about previous success stories will give you an idea of the possible results and your lawyer’s abilities.
3: How long does the attorney think it will take to resolve this case?
Time is a precious resource when you’re in the processing of claiming compensation, medical expenses and time out of work add up. Knowing approximately how long it will take before you are compensated for your injuries helps in preparing yourself for the process ahead. It is important to know how long your life may be disrupted by attendance at legal proceedings, investigative doctor visits as these unseen time costs can add to the stress of your situation. There are a number of factors that will affect the duration of a trial, therefore while a lawyer will not be able to give you a precise time frame, they should be able to give a general indication based on how long cases comparable to yours have taken in the past.
4: Who will actually be servicing your case?
The lawyer you meet with at the initial consultation should also be the lawyer handling your case in order to get the best service and representation. Most large law firms use an approach where you will be initially speaking to a partner or higher up who is experienced and skilled but then your case will be handed down to a junior lawyer or general team. You need to know the name of the lawyer who is actually doing the legal work on your claim and if that lawyer is a specialist in personal injury law. If not, they are not the right lawyer.
5: Do I feel comfortable with this lawyer handling my case?
This is as an important question as any, as with many things in life, often our gut instinct is right. In your first meeting with a lawyer, you should be able to feel if you can trust them with your personal injury case. Trust, communication and honesty are essential qualities of a good personal injury lawyer and you should only pick a lawyer that you believe can get the best result for you.
Contact us with any queries you may have, and to check all of the above points! We can come out to you for a no obligation free first consultation.