EIGHT QUESTIONS TO ASK A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
When dealing with a new situation, you need to ask questions. Recovering from an
accident is a difficult and scary process. You have probably never dealt with an insurance
company before. You should never hire a personal injury attorney without asking
questions. When you hire a personal injury attorney, do so with confidence that your
case will be handled well.
To learn more about what your personal injury lawyer, here is a tip sheet of eight
terrific questions to always ask:
1. Will you personally handle my case?
Nothing feels worse than hiring someone to do a job and never speaking with them after
the initial interview. Trust gets immediately washed away. Get all your expectations out
on the table right up front. You need, and should want, consistent, seamless
representation and anything less is unacceptable.
Regardless of office size, ask how involved the attorneys are going to be with your case.
Sometimes, a law firm is hired, and a personal injury victim never even speaks with the
attorney he or she hired.
2. Are you willing to go to trial?
As interested as you may be in hiring an attorney and starting a claim, you are probably
more interested in how and when a case finishes. It is important to recognize that not all
claims settle before a lawsuit is filed. In fact, insurance companies will sometimes not
even consider properly compensating an accident victim until they have a reason too.
The right attorney will be able to litigate your case to secure the compensation you deserve.You want to know if your attorney is willing to run the full marathon for you, and if need be, take your case to the courtroom. You should ask questions like:
“When was the last time you personally litigated a case?”
“When was the last time you defended your client’s deposition?”
“How familiar are you with discovery?”
“When was your last courtroom hearing?”
“Have you been to trial?”
No good attorney will ever guarantee that a case will settle before a lawsuit is filed.
While a good attorney will try to settle a claim as fast as possible, at the end of the day,
an insurance company is the entity that decides when to pay, how much to pay, etc. A good attorney will fight the necessary battle to secure the compensation that your case
and injuries deserve.
3. What are the most important things you need from me?
You should realize that a case is a team effort. In other words, the attorney or law firm
you hired cannot do their job without your involvement. Since you are going to be
involved ask and learn what is important for your attorney. If you are not told, and
educated, that you will be involved in the process upfront, you should be wary of moving
forward. Listen carefully and assess the reasonableness of what you have to do. You are
joining a team now. There must be a level of comfort that includes yourself.
4. How do you typically communicate with your clients?
Every office operates differently. Some have online portals where you register online to
set up a personalized dashboard and access news and information, day or night, 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week. Others use a combination of e-mails, telephones, U.S. mail, and
texting. It is important to have an immediate and good understanding about how your
prospective attorney’s communications skills and loops work.
5. What paperwork needs to be seen and signed?
Should an initial consultation go well, and if you feel comfortable, you will want to retain
the services of this lawyer. You need to see all contractual paperwork including
authorizations. You should ask any questions you may have about anything that needs to
be signed by you
6. What are my financial obligations?
Personal injury attorneys typically will not charge legal fees until a case is resolved.
Whenever the case finishes by way of settlement, favorable jury verdict, adjudication,
etc., payment to the law office for legal fees is expected then. In civil personal injury
claims, payment is typically a percentage of the resolution depending on when and how
the case settles.
A good question is, “If my case is not won, what financial obligations do I have?” Be
sure you clearly understand your financial responsibilities.
7. What do you expect will happen with my case?
Experience matters. Regardless of the job, we want someone who knows exactly what
they are doing. When it comes to personal injury attorneys, clients should assess how
experienced the handling attorney will be because case outcome will be affected. While
no good attorney will ever make a guarantee as to an outcome. Guaranteeing an outcome
is wrong and unethical because no two cases are the same. No good attorney should compare and contrast what you are going through to a former accident victim because
you are a completely different person with a new and different claim. However, a good
attorney will tell you that he or she will fight and work as hard as possible to get you
the compensation you deserve. While there are no guarantees, it cannot hurt to ask how
often your attorney handles car accident claims, pedestrian claims, trucking accidents,
8. How well do you understand medicine?
A personal injury attorney is not a doctor. However, an experienced personal injury
attorney deals with medicine daily. An attorney’s understanding of medicine not only
affects the individual needs of a client, but it also affects case evaluation. The insurance
companies value injuries in specific ways so your attorney needs to understand what you
are physically, emotionally, and mentally going through. If your attorney cannot explain
the difference between the cervical spine and lumbar spine, for instance, you should be
concerned. No one wants to be involved in a learning experience with the attorney
handling their case.
Morris Chichyan, Esq. will candidly and completely answer your questions.
If you have a question, ask Morris Chichyan. No reasonable question goes unanswered.
After talking to Morris, you will learn that he is experienced and cares for injury victims.
He understands that you have limited exposure to this process, so he is fully committed tohelping you with any questions or concerns.
When you retain Chichyan Law APC, Morris is the attorney you work with. Your case
will get the personalized time and attention that each case deserves. If you were recently
injured in an accident, please call our office at 818-488-9448 for a courtesy consultation
or e-mail Morris today at firstname.lastname@example.org.