After experiencing a personal injury accident where you had to suffer damages or injuries from someone else’s negligence, the only natural thing to do next is to follow the necessary process for the claim. Settling for an experienced personal injury attorney in San Diego will be the first step among a series of others to ensuring you stand the best chance with your case. Most personal injury attorneys in California offer a free consultation for your first visit.
Your first visit to an attorney can make you feel anxious; that’s normal, just like visiting any other prospective professional you may want to hire or seek expert guidance from. An experienced attorney, who has dealt with many similar cases like yours, will instantly get familiarized with your case and easily lead you in your questions while offering clarification. This will make you feel at ease and open up more on the details of your case, which is an advantage.
You need to ask your attorney on that first visit that will help you in judging if they are the right choice to tackle your injury case. Read on! We’ll go through the top five you shouldn’t miss.
1. What is Your Experience Level With My Kind of Case?
Personal injury cases differ in their nature; some can be from fires, motorcycles & bicycles, electrical faults, and many more. The first thing to know is if the attorney has experience with personal injury cases of your nature. This will be integral in ensuring that the attorney you choose is up to the task to avoid missing out on crucial potential strong evidence. Inquire about the number of similar cases they have tackled before and what their success rate is. Ensure to confirm who will be working with you directly as a point of contact and how they’ll communicate the case’s progress to you.
Although most law firms direct their clients to the relevant specialized attorneys from the start, it is still prudent to confirm just to be sure.
2. What is My Claim Worth?
Based on previous similar experiences, your attorney will at least have a rough estimate after reviewing your case with the information you provide. The worth will boil down to the extent of injuries and damages you suffered, both physically and psychologically. More severe injuries, like being paralyzed from an accident, will be worth a lot more than minor injuries. Expenses relating to your case are important as they will be factored into the final worth and records.
The level of negligence will also be a key factor in getting maximum worth; building a strong case will be integral.
3. What is Your Experience Level With Trials?
Most injury claims usually end up as out-of-court settlements as there is usually no need for a court case. Most insurance companies abhor court cases, and they often settle claims without the need for a court case, although several cases go to trial. You may never know if your case might be the one proceeding to trial, so it’s prudent to know if your attorney is experienced enough to handle a trial.
If your attorney is the kind that only seals cases before trial and has no experience in the courtroom, then you might want to consider other options before deciding on which.
4. How Long Will The Case Take?
The time it takes to complete personal injury cases isn’t black and white for most cases, although the attorney will have a rough guess depending on the complexity level of your case. If you are yet to heal from the injuries, it’s not advisable to start the case. This is because you’ll still be incurring medical bills, and this could result in a lower claim worth. Permanent injuries could increase your claim’s worth; a doctor will declare an injury permanent when the expected healing time lapses.
The insurance company’s cooperation on the negotiation and the length of investigation are some other factors that could impact the duration your case will take.
5. How Much Do You Charge for Legal Fees?
Most personal injury firms across all states consider personal injury cases as a contingency fee. This means that you’ll not be charged if the case is lost. If won, the amount to be paid is calculated from a fixed percentage on the claim awarded. Legal fees and expenses are not included in this percentage of the claim. Inquire from your attorney about how they’ll bill your case prior to signing the contract.