Six Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation

If you are seriously injured, the financial impact alone can be devastating. You may be facing expensive medical bills and unpaid time off work in addition to a long, painful recovery process. If your accident was caused by someone else, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses, but the process can feel overwhelming when you’re already dealing with so much. 

A personal injury lawyer can help you in many ways. Your lawyer will handle the paperwork and communications, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurer refuses a fair settlement, an attorney will take your case to court to pursue a jury award. 

Choosing a lawyer to handle your case is a big decision. After all, you’re entrusting them to pursue the compensation you are counting on to get the medical care you need and potentially offset long-term disability. 

Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation to review your case, give you their opinion, and answer any questions you may have. Ahead of this initial consultation, it’s helpful to write down a list of questions to ask so you have everything you need to know to plan your next steps. 

Here are six important questions to ask a personal injury lawyer and what you should look for.

1. What Is Your Experience With Cases Like Mine?

What Is Your Experience With Cases Like Mine?

One of the most important things to look for in a lawyer is experience with similar cases. Personal injury law is very broad and covers everything from car accidents and premises liability cases like slip and fall accidents to workplace injuries. The more experience the lawyer has with your type of case and similar circumstances, the more familiar they will be with relevant legal statutes and case law. 

This experience helps your legal team identify possible issues with your case, turn over the right stones to gather evidence, and develop the strongest legal argument possible. 

Don’t be afraid to ask how many similar cases the lawyer handles in a year. Ideally, their experience should go beyond achieving settlement agreements. Look for an attorney with courtroom experience. Very few personal injury cases actually go before a jury, but experienced lawyers will prepare for this possibility from the very beginning. 

Some lawyers may avoid going to court and instead push settlement agreements, even when it’s not in the client’s best interest. More lawyers simply lack trial experience and have never presented a case before a jury.

2. Are There Any Challenges With My Case?

Every case comes with unique challenges or legal issues. An experienced lawyer can likely point out potential problems or hurdles in your case and discuss the best strategies to address them. 

Be wary of an attorney who tells you your case will be a breeze and there will be no issues. They may lack the experience to recognize challenges, or they may not be giving you an honest and objective opinion.

3. What Do You Think My Personal Injury Case Is Worth?

Determining the full value of your case will likely require a more thorough investigation, but a lawyer can likely give you a range during your consultation. They can also explain how certain issues may affect what your case is ultimately worth.

4. What Kind of Outcome Do You Expect?

There is no way to predict the outcome of your case, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can explain possible outcomes. They can also give you their opinion about what they think is likely to happen and the overall strength of your claim. 

The lawyer can also give you an idea of how long your case may take. No one can tell you exactly how long it will take to reach a fair settlement agreement – or even if a settlement can be reached – but an experienced attorney can give you insight. They may have experience dealing with a particular insurance company, for example. If your case is complex, a lawyer can brace you for a potentially long process.

5. What Is Your Fee Structure?

Most personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. This type of agreement allows you to benefit from legal representation without out-of-pocket legal fees or a retainer. You only pay attorneys’ fees if and when your lawyer recovers compensation for you. 

Still, it’s important to ask about the lawyer’s fee structure and how their contingency fee agreement works. They may have a flat fee that is taken out of your recovery as a percentage, or they may have a tiered system. This means you pay a lower percentage if your case is settled before a lawsuit must be filed, but the fee increases as the case becomes more expensive and complex. 

You should also ask about any fees or costs you may be responsible for outside the attorney’s fee. Your case will likely generate document fees, court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs. Some lawyers will cover the expenses and get reimbursement from the financial recovery. Others may require you to pay these costs as they’re incurred or pay a deposit to cover expenses. 

6. Who Will Handle My Case? 

During your consultation, ask if the lawyer will personally handle your case. With a larger law firm, the lawyer you speak with initially during your consultation may not be the one handling your case, or they may be part of a larger legal team. 

Ask about the people who may work on your case and who you will mostly be in contact with. This may be a paralegal or case manager. 

You will also want to know how your lawyer will communicate with you going forward. You should feel confident that you will be kept up-to-date and know who will be handling your case.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With an Experienced San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney

The initial consultation is an opportunity to learn more about a lawyer and decide if you feel comfortable with them handling your case. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions to make an informed decision about your next steps. 

Have you been injured in an accident? Contact the experts at George Salinas Injury Lawyers or give us a call at (210) 225-0909 to schedule a free consultation with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer. We will listen to your story and discuss your legal options for recovering the compensation you deserve.