Car accident victims often feel overwhelmed when it comes to dealing with the aftermath of an injury. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then the first thing that you should be doing is talking to a personal injury attorney. A good lawyer will help guide you through this difficult time and make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Here are the top 10 questions car accident victims should ask their personal injury lawyer:
1) What types of cases does your firm handle?
You want to hire an attorney that specializes in your specific type of law. For example, if you needed a divorce lawyer you would want someone that either only handles family law or that works on divorce cases the majority of the time. When it comes to personal injury cases you want to find an attorney that works solely on accident cases and has the knowledge and experience needed to fight lengthy and trying suits.
2) What experience do you have with cases like mine?
Personal Injury lawyers must go through years of training before they can practice law so make sure that yours has dealt with cases similar to yours. Ask about how many cases they have settled and how many years they have been practicing law. You should ask how many cases they take to trial and how many they have won themselves. Do they refer their cases out or fight them all in-house. Do they have any awards or honors in their field? These are all things you can ask an attorney during your initial consultation.
3) Can I meet with an attorney before signing any contracts?
Most personal injury attorneys will offer free, no-obligation case reviews/consultations. At that meeting you can ask the attorney these and any other questions you have before you sign any contracts or hire them for your case. The average car accident victim contacts three law firms and meets with two attorneys before they decide who to hire to represent them. Choosing an attorney is a big step so do not feel obliged to sign with the first one you meet.
4) How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Having a personal injury attorney on your side can make the process of filing an insurance claim for your injuries much less stressful. It’s important to know how much hiring a personal injury lawyer costs and what they will be doing for you before you choose one. When in comes to personal injury law, most attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay anything unless they win your case. When it comes time to settle or after you have won in trial the attorney will then take a certain percentage of the settlement. Your attorney will go over their fees with you during your initial consultation.
5) Do our fees vary depending on whether we settle out of court or go all the way to trial?
Taking a case to trial requires many more hours of work and more money spent on resources such as expert witnesses and exhibits to present. Therefore attorneys will usually charge a higher percentage of the settlement if the case goes to trial to mitigate their expenses.
6) Who pays for expenses during the process of my case?
Some attorneys will help pay for your medical expenses and even living expenses while you are waiting for your trial to settle or go to court. These expenses will be taken out of the settlement when the case is closed. You will never have to pay any expenses unless your attorney settles your case or wins at trial.
7) Do I Still Have Time to Make a Personal Injury Claim?
The statute of limitations in Texas is generally 2 years from the date of accident/injury. Your attorney should be able to answer any questions you have about the timeline of your injuries and how long you have to file a claim.
8) What is the Value of My Personal Injury Case?
An experienced personal injury attorney should be able to review the facts of your case and provide an estimate on it’s value. However, this will only be an educated guess. Insurance companies will always try to give as little as possible or nothing at all after an accident. If your case goes to trial it can be hard to guess what a jury will determine the settlement should be, if anything at all.
9) What Kind of Damages Might I Collect for My Personal Injury?
Texas law recognizes three types of damages in personal injury cases: (1) economic, (2) non-economic, and (3) punitive. Economic damages are the most common type of damage awarded to victims. This includes compensation for medical expenses, lost wages or loss of earning capacity, future lost earnings or income potential, past unreimbursed medical bills and other related costs. Non-economic or “pain and suffering” is a type of compensation awarded to compensate victims for their pain and emotional distress stemming from an injury. Punitive damages are a punishment given to those responsible for inflicting harm on others in order to discourage them from committing future acts of intentional wrongdoing against society’s standards.
10) Will it take long for me to get paid if I win the settlement?
The entire lawsuit process can take years. However once your case has been settled/won at trial, processing a settlement usually takes a few weeks. After months or perhaps years of legal proceedings, most clients will patiently await the finalization of their claim. If you are wondering, how long does it take to get money from a settlement, you can call the lawyer’s office for a timeline estimate.
Contact a Texas Personal Injury Attorney
We hope you found this list of questions useful. If not, please let us know what other information would be helpful for our readers in the comments below or by contacting us. And remember to always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before settling any case on your own. If you have been injured call our office today at (713) 572-3333 and speak with one of our attorneys about how we can help take care of all the details while also getting fair compensation for your injuries. We don’t just Bark, we BITE!