1) What is your Contingency Fee?
Most personal injury lawyers contingency fee is 1/3 or 33.33% of the recovery obtained. However, this is not always the case. Some attorneys will increase the contingency fee to 40% when a lawsuit must be filed. It is important to know up front what percentage of the settlement or verdict the attorney will obtain for their work on your case.
2) Will I be responsible for any advanced case costs at all if we lose?
All law offices and personal injury attorneys do not have the same policy regarding costs advanced in a case. Some attorneys will advance all costs associated with your case with no expectation of being reimbursed in the event they do not win your case. Some offices require the client to advance all costs. This is an important question to ask before retaining a personal injury attorney.
3) What kind of cases do you handle?
You want to make sure the attorney you are meeting with regarding your case handles personal injury routinely. Ask for your lawyer’s experience and results. Some lawyers are general practitioners who do a little of everything, including personal injury cases. But if they do not do this type of work every day, injured people who hire them are at a disadvantage. It takes a highly qualified personal injury attorney to really know the field to practice at the highest skill level – and to get the best results for the client.
4) Does the lawyer try lawsuits in court, or is every case settled out of court or referred to other lawyers to try?
This is an important question that many people never think to ask. There is only one way to get top dollar for your case in a settlement. That is to show the insurance company that you are ready, willing and able to try the case in court. If you hire a lawyer who always settles and never goes to court, be prepared to take a substantial discount on your case.
There are lawyers who advertise heavily and get many clients as a result – and who then either settle their cases quickly or refer them to other lawyers to do the real work. Make sure you hire a lawyer who actually goes to court and tries cases in front of judges and juries. A personal injury lawyer who is willing to take your case to court is an attorney who the insurance companies will take seriously.