If you’re looking for a reputable personal injury attorney in Utah, it’s important to be prepared with the right questions to ensure they can properly and expertly handle your case. Here are the top 10 questions you should ask before hiring a personal injury attorney.
Although an attorney may handle several types of cases, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the superstar experience to handle your personal injury case. It’s important to ask them direct questions about their expertise to deal with complex legal issues and the types of settlements they have successfully secured for past clients. An attorney who has handled at least 400 personal injury claims is experienced enough to handle your claim. You’ll also want to ask whether or not they’ve ever been to trial for a personal injury case. Contrary to popular belief, not every attorney knows how to try a lawsuit in court.
A reputable personal injury attorney will have several testimonials proof of past results. Many law firms will have these placed on their website. However, if you don’t see them, simply ask. You’ll want to make sure they have the skills required to handle your case, but you may also want to ensure they’re someone who is enjoyable to work with. If you don’t think they’re a good match, consider asking them for referrals for other attorneys with different specialties.
This is an essential question you must ask your personal injury attorney. Every law firm is different in how they will charge you for handling your case. Some will charge you whether they win or lose. Other personal attorney law firms, like Parker & McConkie, will only get paid if you get paid. If you lose your case or cannot receive money in a settlement, they eat all of the cost. You will never have to pay costs or attorney’s fees out of your own pocket.
An attorney with too many cases will not be able to provide you with the service you need. Ask your attorney how many cases they are handling. If the answer is more than 45, it may be wise to look elsewhere. Attorneys juggle a lot with only so much time in a day to devote to each case. If they have multiple legal assistants, paralegals, and secretaries, they’re most likely handling the brunt of the work. At the end of the day, you want peace of mind knowing that the right lawyer is devoted to directly handling and managing your case.
Although you can ask them this question directly, you can also check with the State Bar or Avvo to see whether the attorney has any disciplinary action for past conduct. You’ll want to feel confident that you can rely on an ethical attorney who you can trust. Unfortunately, there are unethical attorneys who may not be out for your best interests.
Each case is unique, so it can be difficult to estimate your case value accurately. However, they can give you an explanation of what you can expect. For example, you are entitled to receive money for special and general damages. Special damages include past and future medical bills, loss of future earning capacity, past and future wage loss, past and future benefits and pensions, property damage, etc.
General damages are more difficult to calculate but should never be overlooked. General damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of enjoyment of relationship, emotional distress and anguish, deformity, incapacity, immobility, inconvenience, and more.
Several factors can impact how long it will take to resolve and close your case, including whether you had pre-existing injuries similar to those you received in the accident or how badly you were injured. An attorney should be able to give you a rough timeline. While both you and your attorney want to resolve your case as soon as possible to get you the compensation you’re entitled to, they must do their due diligence to make sure all of their ducks are in a row.
It’s doubtful that your personal injury case will go to trial. In fact, more than 90% of cases settle before going to trial. With that being said, your attorney should prepare your case as if they are going to trial. A follow-up question to ask is what their trial success rate is. You’ll want to be sure you’re armed with an aggressive and experienced team of lawyers.
While some people want to be involved in their case by attending depositions and meetings, others would like their attorney to handle everything and remain on the sidelines. Make sure to have clear communication about your role in the lawsuit to keep you on the same page.
Finally, you’ll want to ask for their objective and unbiased assessment of your case. The attorney will tell you what their process is, your chances are of winning, and approximately how much your case is worth financially. This will set clear standards and save frustration down the road.
Don’t feel pressured to hire the first attorney you call. It’s essential to do your due diligence before deciding which law firm to hire. At Parker & McConkie, we offer free consultations to give you the chance to get to know our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys. Schedule a free consultation now by contacting our team at (801) 708-0029