If you’ve been injured in an accident and need help navigating the process of filing a personal injury claim, an initial consultation is an excellent way to get to know a law firm and its attorneys without committing to anything.
At Peterson Law Office, we want you to make the most of your no-cost case evaluation. We recommend bringing paper, something to write with, and questions to ask us. We know that you have concerns and worries that are unique to your situation, but we also understand that many injury victims feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start.
For this reason, we have compiled the following 5 questions to ask a personal injury lawyer during a free consultation. We hope that the information provided here will be a jumping-off point to crafting your own questions and will be helpful as you pursue legal guidance during what is likely a difficult period of time for you and your family.
1. What Are My Legal Options?
You were in a car accident, and now you can’t work. You were shopping at the grocery store when you fell and hit your head. You were putting your garbage bins out for pickup, and a neighbor’s dog bit you. So what can you do about it? There’s no reason to skirt around the topic. Ask the lawyer you’re meeting with about your legal options.
During your free case evaluation, your lawyer will clearly explain what the legal options are for your situation.
In general, filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company is the most effective course of action for someone who has been injured by another person’s negligence. However, a small number of cases may require the filing of a lawsuit, for which there are specific requirements and time limits, known as a statute of limitations.
2. Have You Handled Cases Like Mine in the Past?
Your injury claim is too important to leave with a lawyer who does not have the experience, knowledge, or background to handle it successfully. During your free consultation, ask the attorney if they’ve handled cases like yours in the past.
If they say “yes,” ask them about the results of those cases. Did they have to go to trial? Why?
If they say “no,” don’t be afraid to ask about what qualifies them to handle your case. If you’re not satisfied with their answer, you’re under no obligation to hire them.
3. What Challenges Do You See With My Case?
You want to work with a lawyer who is open and upfront with you through every step of the legal process. This includes being honest and forthright about potential challenges that may pop up in your case.
It is important to note that lawyers are not psychics—we cannot predict all the possible roadblocks or problems that may pop up in your specific case. What we can do, however, is detail common challenges that occur in cases similar to yours. This does not mean that a specific challenge will occur in your case, but rather that it has the potential to.
4. What Is My Case Worth?
Be wary of any lawyer that gives you a firm number regarding the worth of your claim during your very first meeting. Correctly valuing a personal injury claim takes time, as there are many complex factors that must be correctly evaluated, including your:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
A lawyer may choose to provide examples of what cases similar to yours have been settled for in the past, but this information should never be provided as a guarantee of the outcome you can also achieve.
5. What Are Your Fees, and How Do You Handle Payment?
Any lawyer you work with should be open and honest about what their attorney’s fees are and when and how they collect them. If anything is unclear about these fees, ask more questions until you are certain that you have a firm understanding of how they work.
There’s no need to be alarmed if you don’t owe anything up front, as many law offices work on a contingency fee basis. At Peterson Law Office, this means that we only get paid if we win your case. Our attorney’s fees are paid as a small percentage of your final award. This approach allows us to provide our unparalleled legal services to injury victims who are already facing enormous financial stressors in their everyday lives.
More Questions To Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation
The above information can be used as guidance for creating more questions that you would like to ask during your free consultation. However, we understand that this is an exceptionally difficult period of your life, and brainstorming meaningful questions on top of everything else that you’re facing can be a struggle.
If you need further guidance or ideas on what to ask a lawyer, here are a few more:
- How long do I have to file my claim?
- Will I owe anything if my claim isn’t successful?
- What evidence do I need?
- How will you investigate my claim?
- What happens if the insurance company won’t settle my claim?
- How can I get in touch with you?
- How and when will you update me on the status of my claim?
- Are you the attorney who will actually be handling my case?
- What awards or honors have you received?
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- Do you have testimonials from previous clients?
Peterson Law Office Is Ready To Answer Your Questions
At Peterson Law Office, we provide free consultations to injury victims and their families. We find that these no-cost, no-obligation meetings are a great way for potential clients to get a feel for how we do things and to decide whether we’ll be a good fit for one another.
Don’t wait to reach out—the state of Kentucky imposes a time limit on your right to take legal action. The sooner we meet, the sooner you’ll be able to make a decision on how you want to proceed.