6 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation

When you need to recover personal injury compensation, one of the most important decisions you face is which personal injury lawyer to hire. It can be hard to know who is best for your case. Fortunately, when you understand how to ask the right questions, you’re able to make the most of your free consultation.

Not every personal injury lawyer is right for every person or case. As such, it’s important to take the time to speak with different lawyers and compare factors like their case evaluations and experience. Doing so allows you to hire the lawyer you think best fits your circumstances confidently.

1. Do I Have A Case?

Not all injuries give you grounds for filing a personal injury claim. Whenever you meet with a lawyer, your first question should be whether they think you have a case. Personal injury law is often based on the concept of negligence. When someone else’s carelessness results in injury, they can be held responsible for costs like medical bills and lost wages.

Your free consultation is an opportunity for a lawyer to review the accident details and identify whether they can prove negligence.

They typically also need to be able to hold an insurance company or business financially responsible for the accident, such as:

If a lawyer thinks they can prove negligence and identify a source of compensation, they’ll likely agree to take your case.

2. What Is My Likely Case Value?

A lawyer won’t be able to give you an exact figure for how much personal injury compensation you will recover. However, they should be able to look over your case and give you a ballpark estimate. Personal injury compensation is based on many factors.

Some of the most common include:

  • Medical bills
  • Medical devices
  • Attendant care costs
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of earning ability

Factors like whether you’ll make a full recovery or ever be able to return to work can have a significant impact on how much compensation you qualify for. A lawyer should be able to give you an initial assessment of how they would go about identifying your case value based on your injuries.

3. How Much Experience Do You Have?

It’s a mistake to hire an inexperienced personal injury lawyer. The longer a lawyer has practiced, the more time they’ve had to learn what works and to build up a list of case results. You can learn about a lawyer’s experience level before you consult their website.

Most firms share case results and client testimonials online. This helps you get a feel for how long a lawyer has practiced law, what types of results they’ve obtained for past clients, and what previous clients have to say about working with a certain lawyer.

However, asking about their experience during your consultation is also essential. Ideally, you will choose a personal injury lawyer who feels confident about taking your case because they’ve done so successfully many times in the past for others in similar circumstances.

4. Have You Handled Cases Like This Before?

Don’t mistake general experience for experience with your case type. The most skilled car accident lawyer may not have handled many medical malpractice claims. An attorney who mostly takes car accident cases would be a poor choice for a medical malpractice claim, no matter how impressive their case results are.

Whatever case type you have, you want to know that your lawyer has plenty of experience dealing with it. Each kind of claim will have unique legal challenges, and it’s important to have a lawyer who understands precisely how to tackle them.

You may also need to assess whether a lawyer has experience dealing with cases involving certain types of injuries. Catastrophic injuries, such as a spinal injury or a brain injury, tend to bring high compensation values. It can be challenging to build the case a client needs when a six or seven-figure compensation award hangs in the balance.

If you’re dealing with a specific or complex type of injury, ask questions about a lawyer’s experience building similar cases. Also, make sure to inquire about what sort of outcomes they obtained.

5. Do You Have Trial Experience?

Most personal injury claims are settled during negotiation. Insurance companies usually prefer to avoid the expense of a lawsuit. However, they rarely make it easy for you to recover the compensation you need.

When an insurance company won’t settle, filing a lawsuit may become necessary. Sometimes, simply the act of filing is enough to compel the other party to settle. Other times, a case ends up going to court for a verdict.

It’s a good idea to find a personal injury lawyer who is willing to take a case to court. This means you should ask about their trial experience and results. If you need to file a lawsuit, you don’t want to be stuck with a lawyer who doesn’t have experience going to trial.

6. How Do You Handle Payment?

It’s best to leave your free consultation with a clear understanding of how a lawyer handles payment. Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means you only pay if and when they win your case. This type of payment agreement makes it easy to hire a lawyer, even if money is tight after an accident.

However, the details of the contingency agreement differ for each firm. First, you should ask what percentage of your compensation a lawyer takes as payment. Averages typically range from 33–40%. You should also learn whether they charge any fees upfront if there are additional costs for going to trial, and if they ask for any extra fees or expenses.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Waiting too long to hire a personal injury lawyer can cost you compensation. You have only one year from the date you sustain or discover your injuries in Louisiana. However, it’s also important to do your research and choose a lawyer carefully.

​​Kenny Habetz Injury Law is a personal injury law firm in Lafayette, LA. Over the past 10 years, we’ve recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help with your personal injury claim, you can schedule a free consultation with an experienced Lafayette personal injury lawyer.

Learn how we can help with your Lafayette personal injury case. Call ​​Kenny Habetz Injury Law and schedule your free consultation today.