What Questions to Ask When Finding a New York Personal Injury Attorney
One of the most important aspects of a discussion with a potential personal injury attorney for your case is ensuring that they have the experience necessary to zealously advocate on your behalf.
- How many personal injury cases have you handled? Ask specifically how many personal injury cases the attorney has handled over the course of their career. How many years have they been in practice, and what percentage of their practice is dedicated to personal injury claims? You want a lawyer who is dedicated to the specific field of personal injury claims, not someone who only spends a small portion of their time on this type of work.
- How many claims like mine have you represented? Not only do you want a lawyer that is dedicated to personal injury, but you also want an attorney who has experience specifically handling your type of injury claim. Not all accidents are the same, and your attorney should have experience successfully advocating for injury victims who have experienced similar accidents to your case.
- Will you be the one handling my case? In some cases, you will meet with an attorney at a firm for an initial consultation only to discover after you have secured their services that the case is actually being handled by an associate with less experience. Be candid in asking who specifically will be litigating your claims, as larger firms are not always upfront with that information.
- What do you think my case is worth? A personal injury attorney with experience handling your type of claim should be able to provide you with an estimate on what your case might be worth, given the specifics of your case. While no attorney can guarantee a monetary result in an initial consult, a lawyer should be able to provide some guidance on what to expect in compensation.
Time and Case Progression
Another important element to discuss in any interview with a personal injury attorney involves the amount of time invested and the possible case progression of your claim. You want to find a lawyer who will dedicate their time to your case and has the experience to take your claims to trial.
- Typically, how long does it take you to resolve a case like mine? If a lawyer has had experience with your type of personal injury case, they should be able to give you an estimate of how long this type of claim takes to resolve with insurers. They should be able to tell you how long this type of case usually takes to settle with the insurance companies as well as how long the case could take if it goes to trial. You want a lawyer that is both efficient and effective in litigating your case.
- Will my case go to trial, and what is your success rate at trial? In some personal injury cases, the insurance companies disagree about fault, the extent of damages, or other issues in the case that ultimately go to trial. A lawyer should be able to tell you, based on the specifics of your case, what the chances are that your case will go to trial. Furthermore, you should ask what that attorney’s success rate is for clients at trial. You want a lawyer who has successfully litigated cases to a judge and jury representing your interests in court.
Fees and Costs
Discussing fees and costs associated with your claim is also critical in your discussion with potential personal injury attorneys. You need to know before you hire a lawyer what costs you are expected to cover both before, during, and after the case.
- What are your fees? Most personal injury attorneys work on contingency. This means that the client does not pay unless the lawyer secures compensation. On contingency, an attorney’s fees are collected as a percentage of the compensation awarded for their client. However, a few personal injury attorneys work on retainer, which requires the client to pay thousands of dollars upfront for representation. This can be extremely difficult for some personal injury victims who are already struggling with medical bills and lost wages.
- Will I be responsible for any case-related costs if we lose? Relatedly, it should be crystal clear whether you will be responsible for any case-related costs if your claim is unsuccessful. Some lawyers will require their clients to pay for costs like copying, requesting records and files, and court costs even if no compensation is won in the case. Be sure to ask specifically what, if any, costs you will be responsible for in any outcome of the case.
Talk to Our Firm Today
If you would like to sit down and have a conversation with a New York attorney dedicated to personal injury cases about your claim, call the office or contact us today at the Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel to schedule a consultation.