Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer
You Deserve the Right Answers
We believe it is important that you or your loved one get all the answers needed to choose the best possible personal injury lawyer for you and your case. We even encourage our clients to get a second opinion or at least interview more than one lawyer before making a final decision. Ultimately, the choice is yours and if you don’t have the answers you need, then you can’t make an informed decision.
However, what are the right questions to ask your potential personal injury lawyer? We’ve assembled a list of at least 10 of the most important potential questions your prospective lawyer should be ready to answer and the kind of answers you should expect to hear.
1. Do You Specialize in Personal Injury Law?
Like doctors, lawyers are specialists. When you first start talking to a lawyer about your personal injury case you should make sure that they do specialize in personal injury law. More than likely if they do, they will be a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA). Lerners Lawyers are not only all members of OTLA, but more than a few have been past presidents of the organization.
2. Have you handled personal injury cases like mine before?
When it comes to personal injury law, experience matters a great deal. The more experience your lawyer and their firm have in handling cases that involve the kind of personal injury you have suffered, the more likely you are to get the outcome and compensation you deserve to get on the path to recovery.
3. How many personal injury cases have you taken to trial? Were they successful?
Often personal injury cases can be settled without going to trial and still deliver a great result for you and your family. However, if the lawyer you are speaking to has no trial experience, this is a serious disadvantage to you and your case. A lawyer willing to go to trial has the experience and the leverage to push for a proper settlement, and if those settlement demands aren’t met and you and your lawyer agree that what is being offered isn’t fair, then the ability to go to trial is critical if you want a positive and fair outcome from your case. All Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers have trial experience and are never afraid to argue your case in court when it matters most.
4. How often will you be communicating with me about my case? Who will answer my questions as the process moves forward?
One big red flag to look out for is if that lawyer sends a paralegal or “investigator” to your initial consultation. You want the ability to speak to the lawyer handling your case and they should give you personal attention. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be talking to members of their staff, it takes a team to effectively manage and win a personal injury case. That being said, you should still have consistent and easy access to the actual lawyer handling your case. At Lerners, our lawyers come to you whether it is in the hospital or in your home; your level of confidence and ability to communicate with your Lerners lawyer whenever you have questions is our priority.
5. How long does it typically take to resolve a case like mine?
If your lawyer responds to this question with an answer that sounds “too easy” you know you’re in the wrong place. More often than not, personal injury cases take years, not months, to conclude and if your lawyer isn’t honest with you about the length of the process then your either not getting the attention you deserve or they simply don’t have the experience to truly understand the personal injury legal process. At Lerners, we’re going to be with you every step of the way and fully invested for however long it takes to get you the result you deserve.
6. How many cases are you currently handling? Do you have time for my case?
While the answers to this question may vary widely, it is important for you to know your case will get the attention it needs. That being said, depending on the lawyer and the firm, they may be able to work a number of cases at the same time, leveraging their staff to move paperwork forward and do the necessary research to push your case along. There is no “right” answer to this question, just trust your gut when they answer, you’ll know if they are going to give you and your case the attention you need.
7. If I am not satisfied with the insurance company’s offer of settlement will you be the lawyer to take my case to trial?
Your personal injury lawyer should be the one handling your case from start to finish, period. Sometimes you will find law firms or, as they are called in the business, “lead aggregators” that will have one lawyer to settle your case and another to handle your trial. This is another red flag. If the lawyer you’re speaking with isn’t going to take your case to the finish line, find a new a lawyer. Your Lerners Lawyer will be with you every step of the way, no matter how long it takes or if the case has to go to trial.
8. Can I get references from past clients?
Like any kind of service, if your lawyer isn’t willing to connect you with a satisfied client, you know something isn’t right. Lerners Lawyers have helped thousands of individuals get the compensation they deserve and while we have testimonials on our website and on each lawyer’s bio page, we are more than happy to connect you with a few of our current and past clients so you can gain the confidence you need to hire us.
9. Have you ever been suspended from the practice of law or faced disciplinary action?
This is a pretty straightforward question and the obvious answer should be no. You don’t want a lawyer who has been suspended from the practice of law for any reason. If they answer yes to this question, it’s time to go to another lawyer.
10. What is your contingency fee? How much does this cost?
Understanding your lawyer’s fee structure is important. In the case that they ask for a retainer fee up front or a contingency fee, you should use that number to compare with the other lawyers you interview. For personal injury cases, retainer fees are not common. At Lerners, our fee structure is simple. You don’t pay a dime unless we win.
Trust Your Instincts
While these questions are a great start to helping you better evaluate the strength and experience of your personal injury lawyer. In the end, you may interview a few that answer all these questions correctly. Ultimately, your decision should come down to which lawyer makes you feel the most comfortable. Trust yourself when evaluating your lawyer, if it doesn’t feel right, move on.
At Lerners we believe our clients are our neighbours and we treat them with the respect, dignity, and personal attention we would give our own friends and family. We understand that whatever you’re facing is one of the most challenging things in your life and we’re here to get you the compensation you need to get you on a path toward recovery.