10 Questions To Ask Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding the right personal injury lawyer to handle your case can seem like a difficult task. If you or somebody you care about has been injured, you want to be sure that your case is handled appropriately and by an attorney with experience in the field.
Additionally, you need to know that the attorney you are working with has your best interests at heart. It is important for personal injury victims to do their due diligence when searching for the right attorney for their case. Here, we want to talk about 10 questions that you can ask prospective personal injury lawyers in Chicago, as you seek to find the right partner for your case.
1. How long have you been practicing law in Illinois?
You can often find this information on the attorney’s website or in various biographies after doing a quick Google search. You need to know how long they have been practicing law in Illinois. In general, the more experienced the attorney, the better off you will be.
2. How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
Even if you know how long the attorney has been practicing law, you need to find an attorney that specializes in personal injury cases. There are many fields of law, and you do not want to hand your case over to an attorney who has very little experience handling complex personal injury cases. When you go to the doctor for your heart, you do not want help from a doctor specializing in pediatric orthotics. Similarly, for your personal injury case, you do not want an attorney that specializes in family law or estate law.
3. Have you handled personal injury cases like this one in the past?
Even a personal injury lawyer may not have experience handling certain types of personal injury cases. For example, you may have some attorneys that specialize and car accident cases but have very little experience handling a dog bite incident. Ask your prospective attorney whether they have handled a case similar to the one you need help with. Ask if they have any specific examples and outcomes were when they handled a similar case.
4. How much do you think the case is worth?
You can ask your attorney how much they think your case is worth, but you need to know that no personal injury attorney can give you an exact figure. However, based on experience and past settlements or jury verdicts, an attorney may be able to give you a ballpark range after they examine the facts of your case. They may also let you know how much they expect your case could settle for outside of court as well as the possible jury verdict amount by taking your case to trial.
5. How long do you think it will take to resolve the case?
Every personal injury case is different, and the timeframe surrounding each particular case is going to revolve around the facts related to the specific situation. In general, most personal injury claims are settled before they go all the way to trial. Cases that do go to trial are going to take much longer to resolve. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer in Illinois will be able to give you a general idea about how long your case may take to reach a resolution.
6. Are you willing to take the case to trial?
Ask your attorney if they are willing to take your case to trial. Truthfully, there are some personal injury attorneys that are not looking to go to trial. Often, attorneys you may meet with are looking to settle the case as quickly as possible so they can make fast money. Unfortunately, this often leaves the personal injury victim at a disadvantage and a much lower settlement than they would receive if their attorney was willing to push for a trial. If your attorney says they are not going to go to trial with your case, you may need to move on.
7. Will you be the attorney actually handling the case?
Ask your attorney if they will be the ones directly handling your case. In some cases, a more senior attorney in a firm will be used to draw clients in the door but then hand the case off to a junior attorney or even a paralegal. You want to know exactly who will be handling your case upfront.
8. How easy is it to get ahold of you?
Communication between an attorney and a personal injury client is important. Ask your attorney how easy it is to get ahold of them if you have any questions or concerns that may arise during the personal injury lawsuit process. If there is another person at the firm that will be the contact point for your case, ask how easy it will be to get ahold of them. You do not want to be given the runaround by an attorney or law firm that is handling your case.
9. How often will I receive updates about my case?
Even if you do not have questions or concerns that arise throughout your case (which you will), you still need to be updated regularly. Ask your prospective personal injury lawyer how often they update clients about what is going on with their case.
10. How much do your services cost?
You need to know how much an attorney is going to cost you. This is crucial, as many personal injury victims are regularly placed into precarious financial situations due to their injuries. Often, a personal injury lawyer will take these cases on a contingency fee basis.
This means that the client will not be responsible for any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. When a case is taken on contingency, the attorney will not collect any legal fees until after they secure the compensation their client deserves. This type of fee arrangement makes it so that injury victims are able to stand up to aggressive insurance carriers and at-fault parties, regardless of their means.