QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
SERVING HAMILTON, BRANTFORD, BURLINGTON, STONEY CREEK, NIAGARA FALLS AND NEARBY AREAS OF ONTARIO
If you are looking for a lawyer to help you with a personal injury lawsuit, you need to choose carefully to ensure you find the right lawyer for you. It’s important to talk to several lawyers when considering one for your personal injury case.
One good place to look for referrals is the Legal Society of Upper Canada, whose Lawyer Referral Service that can help you find lawyers to talk to. But when talking to lawyers, what should you ask?
Here are a few sample questions to ask a personal injury lawyer to determine their expertise and fitness in handling your case:
· What percentage of your cases involves personal injury? You want a lawyer with a high percentage of personal injury cases so that you know they are regularly exercising and increasing their knowledge of these cases.
· Have you recently been lead counsel on a case that went to a jury verdict? Some lawyers focus their energy on getting settlements, and that is often the best outcome you can hope for in a case, but if an attorney isn’t prepared to go to a jury trial and win, you may not be able to get good settlement offers.
· How much will this case cost me? Make sure you are talking about all costs, not just lawyers’ fees. You also want to know about expenses, court costs, and interest to get to the end of the case.
· What is your contingency percentage? Contingency fee means that a lawyer doesn’t actually get paid a fee unless they win your case. However, when they win, you may pay 33%, 50%, or more of the actual verdict. Ask if the lawyer will offer a sliding scale for small verdicts or some form of expense sharing in the event of an unsuccessful case.
· How long will it take to resolve my case? Personal injury lawsuits can take years to resolve, and you need to be prepared to make it through the time before you can expect an outcome.
· What settlement value should we accept? What might we get at trial? Your lawyer should be able to estimate potential values for your case, so you can make an informed judgment about whether a personal injury lawsuit is likely to be worth it.
· Will you handle my case or will it be referred or delegated? You want to make sure you’re talking to the lawyer who will actually be handling your case. If not, you should consider talking to someone else. All the qualifications and experience in the world won’t help if that lawyer isn’t actually working on your case.
· How much communication can I expect about my case? You want to be informed about the progress of your case. You want regular updates and the ability to call for additional information. Your case is still yours and you deserve this respect.
· What types of cases do you handle? Our attorneys are skilled at handling all types of cases including personal injury, vehicle accidents, slips-and-falls, catastrophic injuries like a brain injuries, and more.
· What information should we bring to our consultation? When you come for your consultation, it is best to bring as much information as possible. Our attorneys will look through police reports, expert testimonies (if there are any yet), doctors’ reports, and any other information you have, so the more you bring, the better we’ll be prepared.
· How long have you practiced law? You should always ask your potential lawyer how long they’ve been in practice. You don’t want to end up stuck with an attorney that is bran new to law and may lose your case because of their lack of experience.
· What would you say is your area of expertise? This question helps you determine if your attorney is more focused on a specific area of law. For instance, Findlay Law is primarily a personal injury firm.
· Are there other ways I can resolve my legal issues? There is no reason not to ask your perspective attorneys if they believe that there is an alternative to legal action.
· What do you think will be the outcome of my case? Your lawyer should give you an honest expectation for your case. While he/she can’t give a 100% prediction, there is no reason that they can’t let you know if they think your case has a fighting chance at resulting in a settlement or cash award.
· Will my case go to trial? You should ask your attorney if they believe your case will be settled out of court or if it will go to trial. If it goes to trial, it will most-likely take longer for you to get any type of resolution, which can delay the reception of your award or settlement should your case win.
· Have you ever handled this specific type of case?It’s always good to know if your lawyer specifically has experience with the exact type of case you’re interested in pursuing. This type of experience can be invaluable as you proceed.
If you have been hurt by the negligence of another person in Ontario around Hamilton and Brantford, please contact Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers online or by calling 905-522-9799 and ask our lawyers these hard questions. We think you will like the answers.