Key Points of This Article:
- About 4.5 million people are injured in car accidents every year in the United States, many of whom will be involved in an auto accident claim.
- Seeking compensation for accident injuries and other losses can be complicated; however, knowing what to look for in an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
- Speaking with a lawyer during an initial consultation, with prepared questions related to costs and experience, can lessen stressors and reduce the chance of any legal surprises that could hurt your case.
- With over 40 years of experience in winning for the people of Michigan, The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg can help settle your car, truck, or motorcycle accident claim. The team is happy to answer any questions you may have during a free consultation.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you want to feel confident when hiring a legal expert to support your recovery. This personal injury lawyer should know what benefits you are entitled to, how to negotiate with insurance companies and provide a general idea about what your case is worth, and how quickly you can settle. But before you choose an attorney to represent you, it’s best to learn as much as you can about the law firm and team supporting your case, and also ask as many questions necessary to know you are working with the best fit for you. Here are ten questions to consider asking a potential personal injury lawyer after you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident.
#1 – Why do I need to hire you to represent me?
Without a lawyer, you may miss out on eligible compensation, and an attorney is the one person able to truly identify your rights to these benefits. Also, it can be very difficult in achieving compensation for Michigan car accident injuries without legal representation, because unfortunately, insurance claim adjusters too often push liability onto crash victims. Financial constraints caused by car repairs, doctors’ visits and medical treatments, and lost time from work can create even more added stress. An attorney can serve as a trusted advisor and help recover the most compensation for those damages while negotiating with insurance on your behalf.
#2 – What types of fees do you charge?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay nothing until your case has been settled. If you recover monetary damages, they will likely receive a percentage of the award. It is also just as important to understand the qualifications of the attorney you hire during this time as well as their fees. Some attorneys may mention a minimal contingency fee, but they may not be experienced or have the resources necessary to handle your injury claim.
#3 – How much time will you need to work on my case?
Reputable lawyers often have heavy workloads, and they sometimes won’t be able to take your case on as quickly as you would like. Your file may be put on hold or given to other staff to ensure it receives the attention it deserves. This is why it is vital to get started quickly and speak with an attorney about your accident as soon as you are able.
#4 – Who will I be working with?
Many law firms have multiple team members, including partners and associates, who take on certain tasks related to personal injury cases. Ask who will be your primary contact and also about the people you can expect to hear from. Ask whether less experienced associates will be handling your case, and if so, who is responsible for supervising them and will any fees charged reflect that.
#5 – How long will I need to wait to know my case will be resolved?
Knowing how long it usually takes to settle or close a case can be difficult to determine since many factors are involved, and some cases are more complicated than others and will naturally take longer. Even the location of the case may impact how quickly jurisdictions in Michigan move. However, most experienced attorneys should be able to offer a rough timeline that includes resolving your claim as soon as possible.
#6 – How will you keep me informed? How often will you be in touch?
As busy as attorneys are, you will want to make sure the lawyer you choose to hire takes time to review all of the information you supply, and replies to your questions while remaining supportive of your situation. Hiring someone who can accurately communicate with you on time will also help ease your worry and build confidence in presenting and winning your case.
#7 – What is my claim worth?
You may receive a vague answer to this question, but it is still important to ask. At the very least, an attorney should be able to provide a range using their best judgment and experience. You can also research an attorney’s winning claims and case history to question any unrealistic or overzealous estimates given. Just remember that settlements and court awards in personal injury cases can typically range anywhere from $3,000 to $75,000.
#8 – Will I have to go to court? Have you won cases before a jury?
This is an important question as your injury lawyer should expect every case to go to trial and be armed with as much evidence as possible. While most cases do settle out of court before proceeding to trial, you will also want to make sure your attorney has a successful track record of presenting arguments before a jury.
#9 – What happens if we lose? Will I have to pay you?
Some personal injury lawyers charge for any case-related costs they acquire in addition to the contingency fee, also known as out-of-pocket costs. If your injury lawsuit is unsuccessful, ask who will cover those costs and if it is you, how soon they will need to be paid in full.
#10 – Have you ever worked on a case like mine before? What was the outcome?
When speaking with a potential lawyer, ask about the results of similar cases they have worked on. If you were injured in a semi-truck accident, you might not want to hire a personal injury attorney who has only worked on workplace injury lawsuits. You can also ask for references or testimonials from former clients.
Our last piece of advice is to do your research, gather as much accident evidence as you can before meeting with an attorney, take notes when speaking to them, and follow your instincts in hiring the best personal injury attorney to help you win your case.
We Look Forward to Answering All of Your Questions
Recovering from an auto accident is expensive, but we also know that we are capable of ensuring you the compensation you deserve so that you no longer feel those financial pressures. If you have any questions about what it is like to work with us, please call 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). Contacting us is free, and there are no fees or costs until we win your case.