What Questions Should I Ask My Accident Attorney at the Initial Consultation?
During your initial consultation with an auto accident lawyer, you should expect the attorney to ask most of the questions, as the attorney needs to find out if you have grounds for a claim and whether he or she will take on your case.
However, it is just as important that you ask your prospective attorney questions as well. There are a lot of lawyers out there – so why should you entrust this one with your case?
The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you evaluate a prospective lawyer’s case portfolio to find out if he or she has successfully handled cases that are similar to yours. Your case is important to you, and rather than get stuck with an overworked attorney who has not handled cases that are similar to yours, why not choose one who has extensive litigation experience and plenty of time to give you excellent service? Don’t settle for anything less!
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7 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Auto Accident Attorney:
DO YOU WORK ON A CONTINGENCY BASIS?
Most injury attorneys only charge legal fees if they win. Contingency fees can range from 25 percent to 40 percent of your monetary recovery. Ask the attorney exactly what the payment structure is.
Lawyers may also charge their clients for court fees, witness subpoenas, investigators and other expenses. This is on top of their contingency fees. Bottom line here is to ask for details on everything that will come out of your pocket.
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WHAT IS YOUR SUCCESS RATE FOR SIMILAR PERSONAL INJURY CASES?
Not all attorneys have experience handling motor-vehicle accident claims. In fact, many specialize in other areas but occasionally do personal injury on the side. It’s better to hire a personal injury specialist, and ask your lawyer to explain the outcomes of his or her previous cases that were similar to yours.
ARE YOU ABLE TO WORK ON MY CASE RIGHT NOW?
Many lawyers are overworked. Do not hire an attorney who does not have the time to give your case the individual attention that it deserves.
WHEN WILL YOU FILE MY LAWSUIT?
There is a deadline for filing personal-injury lawsuits in Louisiana. Pursuant to La. Civ. Code Ann. Art. 3492, in most cases, the plaintiff’s attorney must file the lawsuit within one year of the date when the injury happened. Otherwise, the defendant’s attorney will file a motion to dismiss the case, and the court will probably grant it.
WHAT IS MY CLAIM WORTH?
Your attorney cannot guarantee a monetary recovery, let alone a specific amount. However, he or she can explain the outcomes of previous cases to give you an idea of what your case might be worth.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO DO FOR MY LAWSUIT?
A successful claim relies on excellent teamwork between the victim and his or her attorney. Ask your lawyer if there is anything you can do to support your claim.