Common Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

questions to ask personal injury lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a loss caused by someone else’s negligence, you are left with a series of important decisions to make in the coming days and weeks.

Choosing the right Los Angeles personal injury attorney is one of them.

When choosing an attorney, it’s important to be prepared and has a list of personal injury questions.

This will help you decide which attorney has the right experience for your case and who you feel most comfortable working with.

Questions to Ask Personal Injury Lawyer

There are some common questions that you should ask a personal injury attorney when you attend the initial consultation. Some of these include:

What area of law do you focus on?

This is important because a law is a broad field. You will want to make sure your attorney has handled a number of personal injury matters before you consider him or her as your personal injury attorney.   

The California State Bar prohibits attorneys from advertising that they “specialize” in personal injury matters. In order to specialize in an area of law, an attorney must be certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS).

However, the CBLS does not offer certifications for torts (“civil wrongs”) or personal injury, so an attorney labeling him or herself as a personal injury “specialist” is violating state bar rules, which should be a major red flag.  

You want to make sure that the attorney handling your case has handled several personal injury matters and obtained favorable results. You also want to make sure your attorney has trial experience. 

It’s fine if other attorneys in the firm handle estate planning, criminal defense, etc., but you want someone who has the right experience handling your specific type of case.

What are your fees?

Almost all personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.

This means that rather than paying them an hourly fee, your attorney will take a percentage of your settlement or judgment if your case resolves.

You need to verify what percentage of your settlement the attorney will be taking.

Generally, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket until your case settles or you win at trial or arbitration.

How long do I have to file a claim?

No matter what state you are in, you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations.

For example, in California the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally two years from the date of the injury. But for medical malpractice cases, its one year from the date of injury. 

This means that once the date passes and the statute of limitation is not preserved, the other side is off the hook.

How long should a case like mine take to resolve?

While every case is different, a good personal injury attorney can tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your case and give you some idea whether there is a chance of it resolving soon or whether it might end up in a trial down the line.

Variables can include injury type and severity, insurance company involved, at fault party’s insurance limits, facts of the accident, etc.

What is my case worth?

As the injured party, it’s obviously personal, and you are likely to think your case is worth more than it might be.

A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to give you some idea what your case is realistically worth and the reasons why.

Will I be responsible for any costs and fees in the event I lose?

Generally, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket until your case settles or you win at trial or arbitration.

With personal injury cases, your attorney should advance fees and costs while your case is pending.

These can be legal filing fees, costs to hire experts, etc.  

Be careful, some attorneys may charge any case-related costs in addition to the contingency fee and require you to pay if you lose. Ask your potential attorney about who will be responsible for the “out of pocket” expenses in the unfortunate event that your case does not have a favorable result.

What is your current caseload? Do you have ample time to devote to my case?

While it’s great a firm, they might be busy, and you don’t want an attorney who is stretched thin with too high of a caseload.

If an attorney can’t devote enough time to your case, then he or she could miss crucial aspects and cause you to lose out on a higher settlement.

In addition, an attorney who is too busy may not have enough time to answer your calls or be very responsive.

Contact our Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers Today

The personal injury attorneys at Starpoint Law are committed to providing the best service for injured victims. Our firm specializes in personal injury matters and are tough advocates for our clients.

If you or a loved one was injured due to someone else’s negligence in Southern California, our attorneys are here to help.

Contact our legal team today to set up a consultation and let us answer all your personal injury questions related to your case.

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