Working with a personal injury lawyer comes with many uncharted territories if one has never filed a claim before. Claimants will find that they have many questions along the way and at times, realize later that they should have asked something that they did not.
Clear communication with your personal injury lawyer is an essential and critical part of a successful case.
By asking questions when needed, your attorney can help uncover new evidence, accurately describe legal options, track key events, and clear any potential miscommunications that can complicate the case.
Ready to file your claim for the damages you have suffered? Our attorneys at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law have worked with many clients, including those filing their first personal injury cases.
Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today by calling us at (559) 878-4958 or contact us online by filling out our contact form.
How to Ask Your Lawyer About Your Settlement
Claimants should take time to vet and meet their hired personal injury lawyer before beginning to work on their case. This is because building a positive and trusting relationship between both parties is essential to ensure proper communication throughout the process.
Before hiring an attorney, you should ask what level of communication is expected throughout your case.
Personal injury cases can take over a year to resolve, so it is not uncommon for victims to have questions or to need clarification on timelines before the point of reaching a settlement with the opposing party.
Your attorney must be able to not only provide a response within a reasonable time but also be able to properly explain the details of your settlement in a way that is easy to understand.
Especially when dealing with insurance companies and other lawyers, there can be legal jargon that is difficult to understand. Your legal team is responsible for comprehending what is being communicated between both parties and what is being achieved throughout the timeline.
Understanding Legal Fees
Probably the most important question to ask any personal injury attorney is how fees are charged. Most commonly, attorneys charge contingency fees.
Contingency fees are taken as payment when you are awarded compensation. The percentage of the contingency fee can be anything from 25% to 40%, although some attorneys may make different arrangements.
When comparing your options for an attorney, aiming for the cheapest fees might not be in your best interest. The cheaper personal injury lawyer may not have the experience or ability to win your case.
Always be sure to compare the compensation arrangement/fee schedule to the reputation of the firm and its history of getting proven results.
Who is Liable for Unsuccessful Case-Related Expenses?
Depending on your legal counsel, they may or may not charge case-related expenses if your case is unsuccessful. Most contingency arrangements operate on the assumption that there will either be no fees after an unsuccessful case or a baseline of reasonable fees.
All claimants should ask about no-settlement case outcomes with their attorney upon their consultation to clearly understand what expenses, if any, they will be liable for if their case is unsuccessful.
Ask Your Attorney if They Have Successfully Resolved Cases Like Yours
Working with an experienced attorney is one of the most critical factors that must be considered when looking for legal representation.
Attorneys knowledgeable and experienced in personal injury cases understand that personal injury claims can come from more than a car wreck or product defect. It can also come from situations involving:
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall
- Products liability
- Assault and battery
- And many more
Given the variability of personal injury cases, it is worth talking to an attorney to see if you have a claim and how to receive legal help. They will be more familiar with what strategies find success for your claim and whether any laws or prior case rulings could affect your chances.
How Long Will It Take to Close a Claim, and Do All Cases Go to Trial?
All cases vary in nature and can carry different complexities that must be overcome. Claimants should discuss how long it will take to resolve a case with their unique circumstances with their legal counsel.
The lawyer selected should be set to resolve a case as soon as possible. In an ideal situation, cases will be resolved at the submission of the demand letter to the other party’s insurer.
However, this is a rare outcome. While both parties do whatever they can to agree during negotiations, there are times when one cannot be reached, and the case must go to trial before a jury.
Personal injury lawyers should always be willing and capable of taking a case to trial and fighting for the maximum compensation if need be.
Make Sure Your Legal Team Can Make Time for Your Case
No matter the complexity or kind of case an attorney works on, it will always take time to ensure that cases are appropriately reviewed and analyzed.
Claimants want to make sure that they hire legal counsel that can dedicate enough time to ensure the case is well-researched, analyzed, and submitted timely for the other party to review and respond.
Common Issues or Difficulties In Your Case
All cases will have their unique complexities and potential complications. Speaking with an attorney can help address any questions and provide the evidence needed to anticipate — and hopefully, avoid — common delays and other obstacles.
Experienced personal injury lawyers have seen many cases and have had to navigate through their complexities before coming to a resolution, enabling them to predict what factors may arise and what strategies can maximize the chances of successful damages recovery.
Attorneys should never promise that a case will go without any issues, as no case will ever be a one-and-done kind of situation. In fact, the injured party should receive an honest disclosure from their attorney that complications can occur and likely may happen.
Just the same, they will provide a viable solution to resolve a complication if it were to occur.
How Often Will Reporting on a Case’s Progress Happen?
Knowing the status of your case is essential because of the multiple parties that can be involved in addressing your injuries. Personal injury lawyers usually will not make calls to their clients directly.
Often, they hire paralegals, associate counsel, and secretaries who are qualified to speak about the status of your case. Claimants who wish to only speak to their attorney should be clear and upfront about it during their consultation.
What Is My Case Worth?
Experienced personal injury lawyers understand that not all cases are the same. They should know how to account for total damages in your unique case by analyzing evidence and medical bills and determining the value of property loss.
When taking all of the damages caused by the negligent party, your attorney can come up with a value to account for all kinds of damages associated with your case.
The attorney’s ability to negotiate with insurance companies and present the case if it were to go to trial can impact the value of your case. Claimants should make sure that, if need be, their legal team is willing and ready to go to trial for them.
The Injured’s Responsibilities During a Personal Injury Claim
Claimants often want to be as involved as possible, but it usually is best to let your legal counsel handle all communications, as well as most steps and planning when it comes to the ins and outs of your case.
It just takes one misstep, misunderstanding, or miscommunication with the other party to complicate or lose out on owed payments entirely.
Personal injury cases cover a broad spectrum of situations. Victims of personal injury cases can experience adrenaline, a stress hormone released when one is in a dangerous situation during an event that causes injuries.
While in these dangerous situations, likely injuries have not appeared at the time of the initial conversations with an attorney.
The injured party should understand that not all injuries are present when injured and that they are responsible for addressing and discussing any changes to their injuries with their legal team as soon as possible.
Additionally, the injured must be ready to communicate clearly with their hired attorney. Communication is key when preparing all documents, including the claims forms, to avoid missing any damages.
A personal injury attorney must have all evidence and supporting documentation that confirms what is being detailed in a demand letter, and communicating with their client allows them to receive all evidence needed to support the claim.
It is important at this point to be careful when having conversations, even with your own insurance provider, as stating the wrong thing can work against you in your case. Also, the injured should not opt to allow recorded conversations or giving statements.
Is It Possible to See Testimonials or to Speak to Past Clients?
Choosing your personal injury attorney is an important decision that can ensure your chances of having a positive experience with your attorney. It is a good idea to read from or potentially even speak to past clients who have worked with the attorney you are considering hiring.
Have More Questions? Call Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law
Receiving compensation for injuries due to someone else’s negligence can become an unfavorable situation as claims can escalate, even if the negligent party is clearly in the wrong.
Fortunately, by law, victims can file a claim with their attorney listing damages against the negligent party to compensate for the lost time, money, and any other incurred financial and physical losses that the injured experienced.
Working with a legal team who will listen and answer any questions is key to creating a solid case. Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law are experienced personal injury lawyers who are here to help.
Schedule a no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office today. Call us at (559) 878-4958 or contact us online to schedule your no-obligation case review today.