In many ways, choosing a personal injury lawyer is second in importance only to choosing your spouse. A good lawyer can make or break a case. The lawyer you hire will play a major role in how much compensation you get—or whether you get any compensation at all. To ensure you hire only the right lawyer, ask the following questions at each consultation.
How Many Personal Injury Cases Like Mine Have You Handled?
Not every lawyer practices personal injury law. And many lawyers take only a handful of cases a year, focusing on divorce or criminal matters the rest of the time. You definitely want someone with sufficient experience in this field. At your consultation, ask how many cases like yours the lawyer has handled. Also ask the lawyer to describe them a little bit so that you can see they are similar.
For example, if you suffered a slip and fall in a supermarket, you’ll want to know if the lawyer has ever sued a business for slip and fall. Have they sued the same supermarket?
Who Else Will Work on My Case?
At some settlement mills, legal assistants and document clerks handle most of the case. These people are not attorneys and do not have legal training. Make sure you understand who will be doing the bulk of the work. If the lawyer has junior attorneys, ask if they will be working on the case as well.
What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of My Case?
A good personal injury lawyer should be able to quickly synthesize information and analyze whether you have a valid legal claim. If you are missing vital pieces of information, the lawyer should identify them for you. Also pay attention to how clearly the lawyer explains things to you. This is a sign of a confident attorney.
How Do You Communicate?
Communication is the cornerstone of a successful attorney-client relationship. Nothing is more frustrating than a lawyer who never returns your calls or emails. Also, a lawyer cannot ethically fulfill their duties unless they keep your reasonably updated about the case.
At your consultation, ask how the lawyer likes to communicate: Email? Phone? In person? Also ask how long it takes them to get back to you and whether you will hear back from them or from an assistant working on the case.
Does the Lawyer Have References?
A good lawyer should have a few references you can call to talk to. Call them up and ask about their experience with the lawyer. Of course, you need to take references with a grain of salt—the lawyer wouldn’t have used them if they had a negative experience. For this reason, also check reviews on Avvo and check whether the lawyer has been cited for ethical violations by the state bar association.
Contact a Yakima Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Unlike some other Washington law firms, Kapuza Lighty, PLLC puts clients first. Our personal injury lawyers are eager to answer any questions you have, so please schedule your consultation by contacting us today.