Injuries occur every day and for a variety of reasons. A trip over the rug or an accidental cut with a kitchen knife are common mishaps that can happen to anyone. Typically, medical attention is sought or the wound bandaged and the person can continue on their way. However, things become more complicated when the injury is severe, and the situation is compounded even further when that severe injury results from another’s negligence.
When a driver is rear-ended while heading to work or struck by a fatigued truck driver, broken bones, whiplash, herniated discs, and even more severe injury may be the result. For the victims, their bodily harms often require ER visits followed by more doctor’s appointments, missed work, and stacks of medical bills. On top of it all, it is likely that struggles with insurance companies over their claim will ensue. It is often during this time of mounting stress that an attorney is initially sought out. While most clients would like to simple settle matters on their own, the fact is that most will need an expert in their corner to ensure that they aren’t taken advantage of. However, many worry about the competence and trustworthiness of the lawyer they choose to turn to. To guarantee that you have found the person who is most qualified to represent your case, there are some initial questions that you should ask:
- What level of experience do you have with this type of case?
The bottom line is that you’ve sought out the expertise of an attorney so that you can have a skilled and knowledgeable professional in your corner. However, it is important to note that just because an attorney is able to take your personal injury case does not mean that he or she has the level of experience that you need. Do not make assumptions about their areas of expertise, even if you’ve seen it in their advertising. If your injury resulted from an auto accident, ask how often they handle injury cases due to car wrecks similar to yours and what kind of results they have obtained the past.
- What are your legal fees?
If an attorney wants to take your personal injury case on a retainer, it is in your best interest to look elsewhere. Reputable and capable injury lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you owe nothing until your case is settled, at which time, your attorney will receive a percentage (typically one-third) of the final settlement amount. This structure not only protects you in the event that no settlement is recovered, but it also incentivizes your lawyer to remain on top of things.
- Do I Have a Case?
Understanding how much your case is worth and if it is feasible to pursue legal representation is very important. While an attorney can certainly make no guarantee or give a specific dollar amount, they can help you get an idea of what you can expect. In order to best determine your likelihood of a recovery and the overall strength of your lawsuit, give your attorney as much pertinent information as possible. The more informed they are, the better they can guide you during not only this initial consultation, but throughout the remainder of the process.
- What Contact Should I Have With My Insurance Company?
Wisely so, many clients are wary of sharing too much with their insurance company or claims adjuster. Most have come to understand that saying too much may inadvertently harm their case. While some contact with your insurance company will be necessary, make sure your lawyer is first aware of any communication you may have. By doing so, you can ensure that any statements made will not be to your detriment. Additionally, it is also vitally important to have any documents or checks thoroughly reviewed by your attorney before you sign.
- What Do You Need From Me?
The success of your case will depend largely on your involvement and communication with your attorney. While they can guide you on next steps and who to speak to, much of the action will be your responsibility. Make sure that you clearly understand what is needed of you to ensure your success and never be afraid to ask questions if you are unclear about what you should or should not be doing.
After suffering an injury, there are seemingly countless things to worry about. Fortunately, a good attorney can help ease much of the stress you feel by helping to guide you through what is often a very lengthy and confusing process. By asking a few simple questions upfront, you can guarantee that the attorney you choose will be the one best suited to represent you.
At Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have over 100 years combined experience handling a variety of personal injury cases, including those from auto accidents and medical malpractice. If you have been injured in the state of Louisiana due to another’s negligent actions, contact our office by clicking here or calling (225) 387-2323 and requesting a free case evaluation with one of our skilled attorneys.