After an accident, insurance companies waste no time trying to pressure you into taking a settlement before you’ve had a chance to look into your options. Don’t be rushed into a settlement or in choosing a lawyer. Take the time to ask the right questions before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Here are 5 questions to ask a personal injury lawyer BEFORE hiring.
1. WHERE (AND WHEN) DID YOU GRADUATE FROM LAW SCHOOL?
It’s important that your attorney received his or her education at a reputable institution. It doesn’t have to be Ivy League, but it at least has to be accredited. Also ask what professional organization memberships your attorney maintains.
2. DO YOU HANDLE MORE THAN PERSONAL INJURY CASES?
Just as you wouldn’t go to a bone doctor for heart surgery, don’t hire a personal injury lawyer who doesn’t primarily handle accidents involving injuries. A vast amount of nuanced, detailed knowledge is required, both of local laws and the quirks of working within the local court system.
3. HOW MANY ACCIDENT CASES DO YOU SETTLE OUT OF COURT IN AN AVERAGE YEAR? HOW MANY GO TO TRIAL?
A personal injury lawyer doesn’t gain experience sitting on the sidelines. Volume equals experience. As with our doctor analogy above, if you need a hip replacement, you don’t want a surgeon who only does two or three a year—more like two or three a day.
4. HAVE YOU ASSESSED MY CASE? WHAT KIND OF COMPENSATION DO YOU THINK I’M ENTITLED TO?
Things often evolve as a case progresses, but a lawyer should be able to give you a quick run-down of your chances of settling out of court vs. going to trial, what categories of compensation you might be entitled to, and a rough estimate of the compensation amount.
5. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ARBITRATION OR MEDIATION?
Some cases may not need to go to trial, and a good personal injury attorney will be able to assess your case and evaluate the pros and cons of going to mediation instead.
You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers. Contact The Law Offices of Pat Maloney today at (210) 934-6609.