While an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer is used to help you get a professional evaluation of your case, it should also be used to help you evaluate the skills and integrity of the attorney. Since the quality of your lawyer will contribute to the outcome of your case, it’s important to look for the best possible attorney to represent you.
Do You Have Experience Handling My Kind of Case?
When seeking any type of legal advice, the one thing you will commonly hear is that it’s important to seek out an experienced attorney. While this is important, it’s more important to find a lawyer with the specific type of experience you require for the handling of your case. This goes beyond differentiating between a criminal defense attorney and a personal injury lawyer in Lakeland FL or your local area.
You should also find out what type of injury cases the personal injury attorney has handled. For example, a firm that primarily handles medical malpractice or product liability cases won’t be much help in handling your auto accident claim. In that situation, you will want a car accident lawyer with five to 10 years of experience in handling those types of injury claims.
What is Your Rate for Favorable Outcomes?
An attorney can’t discuss the specific details about individual cases, but they can discuss their success rate as an attorney. To determine that rate, ask the attorney how many cases they typically handle within a year. Of those cases, find out how many of them resulted in a favorable outcome for their clients. This will tell you how many cases also resulted in losses for their clients.
You can get a more detailed impression of their success rate by asking how many cases were settled out of court versus how many cases resulted in lawsuits. An attorney who settles most of their claims may suggest that they avoid going to court even when it’s in the best interests of their client. Conversely, a lawyer who has a high number of lawsuits suggests someone with poor negotiation skills. Ideally, you should look for a lawyer with a good mix of settlements and lawsuit wins.
Can You Offer References That I Could Check?
When you think you have found the best personal injury attorney for your case, ask them for references from past clients. Often, an attorney will ask a satisfied client to write them a letter of reference. You can use the references to learn more about the attorney’s services from clients who have experienced them firsthand. In addition to checking online reviews for the lawyer, personal references can help you verify the attorney’s skills and knowledge.
How Often Will I Be Notified About Changes in My Case?
One of the biggest complaints that many injury victims have about their attorneys is that it’s difficult to reach them. While it’s important to remember that any attorney will be handling several cases at one time, you should still expect regular updates about your case. Ask the attorney how often they will communicate with you. Verify that the communication will come from the attorney themselves rather than coming from a secretary or paralegal. Gaining a full understanding of how this process will work will help you find an attorney who is going to give your case the attention it deserves.
How Many Cases Does Your Office Typically Handle at One Time?
Ask the attorney how many cases they usually handle at one time, and follow that up by asking how many cases they are currently handling. If they already seem to be at their limit or over it, you should assume your case won’t get adequate attention. You should look for an attorney who has enough time to devote to your case without overburdening themselves. An attorney who is already overworked is going to get less sleep, feel more stressed, and struggle to keep up with a hectic schedule. This increases the chances for mistakes that could adversely affect your case.
You should also keep in mind that the initial consultation will be free of charge. This helps you find an attorney without having to pay consultation fees to multiple law firms. Additionally, the information you share during the consultation is still considered confidential. A free and confidential consultation makes it easier for injury victims to find the legal help they need.