What to Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney During the Initial Consultation
The best way to determine whether you’ve found the right personal injury attorney is by meeting face to face. To ensure this meeting is as productive as possible, you should bring along any evidence you have obtained such as photos of the scene, medical and financial records, and the police report. You should also bring a list of questions that will help you determine if the attorney would be a smart hire. Those questions should include:
Have you handled cases like mine?
Every personal injury claim may be unique, but those involving the same kinds of scenarios tend to call for the same kinds of strategies. As such, it’s important to find a lawyer who’s handled cases like yours. If the firm focuses primarily on car accident claims, for example, they may not be equipped to investigate medical malpractice.
What is your fee structure?
Most reputable personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which essentially means payment for their services comes out of the final settlement or verdict. This ensures attorneys have a stake in the outcome, so they’re incentivized to seek the maximum payout possible for the client. It also makes quality legal counsel readily accessible, even for those who don’t have a lot of disposable income. Be wary of firms that promise to take your case for a low flat rate. If issues arise over the course of the proceedings, they are unlikely to proceed to litigation since this would come with added costs.
Do I have a strong claim?
Lawyers who practice with integrity talk openly and honestly with their clients. Since legal proceedings are unpredictable, they don’t promise to recover sizable settlements or verdicts just to secure business. Steer clear of attorneys who guarantee a payout.
How should we proceed?
Your attorney will have to conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine the most strategic way to proceed. During the initial consultation, though, the lawyer should go over a few potential approaches. If the lawyer can discuss various tactics with confidence, consider it a good sign.
How can I reach you?
You shouldn’t have to leave multiple voicemails at the firm before someone gets back to you. Likewise, you shouldn’t have to go through a secretary every time you have a simple question or minor concern. During the initial consultation, ask how you can reach the attorney moving forward. If you receive a direct line of contact such as the lawyer’s personal cellphone number, he or she will likely provide attentive counsel over the course of the proceedings.
What can I do to contribute to the strength of my claim?
If you hire a resourceful lawyer, you will be able to focus on making a full recovery while your case proceeds in good hands. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about the pending claim entirely. There are steps you can take to support your attorney’s efforts. For example, your legal team may advise you to stay off social media, start a personal injury journal, save all correspondence with the opposing party, and track your damages.
Are you willing to go to trial if necessary?
While most personal injury claims are resolved without going to trial, there’s always the chance that yours will end up in court. Should the opposing party refuse to offer a fair payout, you don’t want to be stuck with an attorney who’s determined to avoid a trial at all costs.
Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that unanticipated injuries can take on the whole family. If you intend to file a claim against those liable for your injuries, let us handle the logistics of your case so you can focus on more important matters. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in New York.