If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence and are considering moving forward with a personal injury case, you will want to know what to expect from your personal injury lawyer before the process starts.
Choosing the right attorney to handle your case is one of the most important decisions you can make, and having the right expectations in place can help you tremendously in setting your claim up for success. From the first consultation to the communication process throughout your case, here is what you can expect from a qualified personal injury attorney:
A Free Consultation and No Up-Front Fees
If you are researching the process of filing a personal injury case, it is important to note that many personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation and no up-front fees to discuss your case. This initial meeting is simply for them to learn more about your claim and an opportunity for you to ask questions and get a general sense of whether they are someone you would like to work with.
Once you make the decision to move forward, your agreement with your attorney often times will not include any up-front fees or payments. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that if you don’t win your case, you don’t owe any money to your lawyer.
Their goal is for you to get you the compensation you deserve, and it is common for personal injury attorneys to work on contingency. Once the case is complete, they will take a percentage of the final amount for payment, but this percentage is determined in advance so you can be fully aware of how much you will be paying.
Answers to All of Your Questions
During the no-cost consultation, it is important that you ask all the questions you have so you can leave feeling informed about your case. Some typical questions include:
- How long can I expect my case to take?
- Have you handled cases like this before? If so, what was the final settlement amount?
- Will I be able to receive compensation for my past medical bills, as well as any ongoing treatment costs?
- How will your legal team divvy up the workload on my case?
- How are court costs structured?
- How many of your personal injury cases are settled out of court? What is your experience level on going to trial?
- What is the California statute of limitations for moving forward with my claim?
While asking these and any other questions you may have at the initial consultation is wise, remember that you should have a working relationship with your personal injury attorney every step of the way. This means that they should always be more than willing to answer questions, provide you with information, and be an ally for you throughout the entire process, from initial consultation to final settlement.
A Clear Outline of the Process
Though personal injury cases are quite familiar to lawyers that have expertise in this field, most clients who bring forth these claims are having their first interaction with the world of law. It is important to pick an attorney that is aware of this and happy to share their expertise with you so you feel fully informed.
Before your case begins, they should set expectations with you on how the process works, how long every step will take, and what information they will need from you to help your claim succeed. Throughout the investigation process, they will likely work with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and investigators to gather more evidence against the negligent party, and they should keep you abreast of progress like this as well. By staying informed, you can have more peace of mind regarding the progression of your case and trust that your attorney is doing everything they can to fight for you.
Open and Timely Communication
While one of the main benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney is that they will handle discussions with the insurance company and the defendant’s legal team on your behalf, it is also important that they communicate with you in an open and timely manner to get updates on your case. Once you choose to work with a personal injury lawyer, you should establish how much and what manner of communication you can expect from them. Whether they will be checking in via email, phone, regular meetings, or a combination of the three, they should always get in touch with any updates, as well as to see how you are doing and offer any support you may need.
Suffering from a personal injury and going through the subsequent case process can be overwhelming, and it is important to find an attorney that understands both the logical requirements of a case as well as the emotional toll it can take on victims. A compassionate and expert personal injury lawyer will be able to do both of these things seamlessly and keep in touch with you during every stage of the process.