Interviewing your Personal Injury Lawyer: Questions to Ask
Locate a Local Personal Injury Lawyer
Do I need to Interview my Personal Injury Lawyer?
What information should be obtained from the interview?
Information related to the Lawyer:
- Background check-
- What school did the lawyer obtain their law degree from?
- What state bar associations have they been admitted to?
- Are they currently in good standing with the state bar? (i.e., not disbarred, no criminal history, has not been subject to discipline)
- In which jurisdictions are they permitted to appear in court?
- What is their record of cases won/lost in court?
- How long have they been practicing in the field of personal injury?
- Do they have any areas of expertise or special knowledge that might be relevant to your case?
- Lawyer’s role in their firm-
- Are they a partner, associate, or founding member?
- Will they be working alone or with a partner or team?
- Will they be assigning portions of the work to other lawyers?
- Personal views/conflicts of interest-
- Do they hold any personal views that might prevent them from effectively arguing your case? (For example, they are financially interested in the case’s outcome, etc.)
- Have they worked on other cases involving matters that are “substantially related” to your claim, especially for the opposing side?
- Are they currently representing another party that might be adverse to your claim, such as an insurance company?
Information related to your PI case:
- Success in related cases-
- Has the attorney ever handled a case like yours?
- What is the rate of success for clients in similar cases?
- How many have been won and how many have been settled?
- What is the estimated amount of monetary damages that you will be entitled to receive?
- Are there any other available remedies, such as an injunction?
- Can they give you a ballpark figure of how much the entire case will cost including fees?
- Will they be working on a contingency fee basis or an hourly rate?
- Will they accept payment in increments?
- What forms of payment will they accept?
- Will they be sharing the fee with another attorney?
- Projected outcome of your case-
- Do they know all the various arguments and defenses available for your case?
- Are they able to anticipate the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing side’s arguments?
- How long will the case take to resolve the dispute? (this may also be related to the overall cost of the suit)
- Are there any alternatives to litigation, such as mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?
- Is there any way to save time and resources by ending the suit quickly, such as through a motion to dismiss?
Are there any other considerations?
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Last Modified: 10-25-2012 12:32 PM PDT
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