Hiring the right personal injury lawyer is a critical decision, but how do you hone in on a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who can best represent your case? The key is to do your homework by looking up reviews of the attorney and asking important questions.
You can use the following ten questions below to help size up your prospective attorney and decide if they have the skills you need to increase your chances of finding a favorable outcome.
1. Will You Actually Be Representing My Case and Working With Me, Or Will Someone Else?
This is the first and most important question to get out of the way since all your questions should be directed at the person who is handling your case.
Many firms put a senior partner or experienced associate attorney forth during the start of the process, only to relegate the client later on to juniors and inexperienced associates. Having these people handle your case can be fine, but you will want to know up front what they can offer.
2. How Long Have You Been Practicing Personal Injury Law?
Only a slim portion of state and federal codes deal with tort law, so a lawyer will have to study and practice personal injury law to have the proper experience and perspective to handle your case. Someone who up until recently practiced business law, for example, may be able to remember and quickly grasp aspects of a personal injury case, but they will not be able to approach it in the same way that a ten-year veteran would.
3. Have You Had Any Cases Similar to Mine Recently? How Did They Turn Out?
Even when specializing in personal injury law, having familiarity with circumstances similar to your case can help give your attorney a leading edge. For instance, they may have discovered an effective counter to a common defense or know how judges tend to interpret relevant statutes.
Even more importantly, having reports of successes can indicate you have a higher chance of a desirable outcome.
4. Can I Talk to Some of Your Past Clients as References?
Talking to your potential attorney’s past clients is the best way to get the full, honest perspective. Only a few clients are willing to do this, but every lawyer should be prepared to give out contact information for the ones that are.
5. Have You Ever Had Your License Suspended or Revoked or Faced Disciplinary Action From a State Bar Association?
Lawyers are obligated to disclose any actions taken against them by the state bar they practice in, but some try to gloss over past problems in other states. With enough digging, you can find out the answer to this question yourself, but they should be willing to tell you with their own lips.
6. What Is Your Typical Communication Policy With Clients?
This question helps establish a workflow with your attorney and also lets you know how available they are for personal communication. Ideally, you would be able to reach your attorney or a colleague any time you have a pressing need.
7. What Is Your Honest Opinion of My Case?
A lawyer cannot predict the future, but they can weigh the merits of a case based on past experience. If you have a low chance of success with a jury trial or a pressing need to settle as soon as possible, then you should be aware of these possible factors up front.
8. How Much Involvement Do You Need from Me?
Some lawyers handle nearly everything for their clients while others prefer the relationship to be a bit more collaborative. The more you know up front about your expected duties and what your attorney needs from you to increase your chances of success, the better prepared you can be.
9. Are You Good at Negotiating?
Even the “toughest” lawyers frequently have to settle, which often means being cordial and polite to the defendant or their insurance adjuster. Negotiation requires great people skills, patience and a willingness to put one’s own ego in check.
10. What Can I Expect to Be Billed For?
Talking about billing up front can prevent disagreements down the line. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, but they may also bill you for separate costs like filing fees, the costs of mediation and so on. If you do not like the idea of paying directly for your attorney’s lunch every time you meet, then get your payment arrangement in clear writing so you can know what to expect.
Use These Questions to Find the Best Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Possible
Asking tough questions like the ones above can help establish a smooth relationship with your Las Vegas personal injury attorney and set your expectations for the typically lengthy negotiation and litigation ahead.
If you want honest answers to all these questions, you can contact us at Paul Padda Law today.