You’ve been in an accident, and you know you might need a personal injury attorney. With so many law firms to choose from, though, how do you select the right lawyer for your type of case? And how do you know if they are the right lawyer for you as an individual?

At the May Firm, we understand how crucial it is to have confidence in your attorney. After all, you need to have faith that they will do everything possible to get you the best settlement. So, to help you make the right decision, here are five questions to ask a lawyer before hiring them.

1. Do You Have Experience with My Type of Case?

Personal injury claims are all different. Even within the realm of personal injury law, each type of accident is unique.

For example, a lawyer who specializes in car accidents may not have much medical malpractice experience. Or a slip and fall accident attorney may be unfamiliar with how to best run a motorcycle crash claim.

An experienced lawyer understands the nuances of negotiating a settlement for your specific case type. They’ll know the pitfalls to avoid and how to present the strongest possible case in your favor.

At the May Firm, our accident attorneys all have expertise in different areas. This means that you will be assigned to the lawyer best suited to handle your type of case.

Young accident victim signing service contract with a personal injury attorney

2. What Is Your Success Rate for Cases Like Mine?

Of course, it’s not just about whether a lawyer handles cases like yours. It’s about whether they win cases like yours.

Check for a track record of success for similar cases. This could involve substantial awards from jury trials, or just out of court settlements. What matters is that there’s clear evidence that your lawyer is successful in practicing personal injury law.

Ask about past cases, verdicts, and settlements. The right lawyer for you should be happy to discuss such matters. At the May Firm, we’ll gladly talk about our past successes!

3. How Much Does It Cost and How Will You Communicate?

Personal injury firms often work on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that: 

  • You won’t pay anything unless your case is successful; and
  • If your case is successful, you’ll pay a pre-agreed percentage of your damages to cover the lawyer’s costs.

Be clear about the law firm’s fee structure. If they’re hesitant to discuss costs, or if they charge for a first meeting, this could be a red flag.

You should also have clear expectations regarding how to contact your attorney, and how they’ll contact you with updates. This helps to avoid misunderstandings about communication frequency. Remember, though, you should always feel comfortable calling the office with a query. The team is there to help.

4. What Are the Strengths and Challenges of My Case?

There’s no such thing as a perfect case, just like there’s no guarantee of success. Even the strongest cases have flaws. What’s important is that your lawyer can:

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case; and
  • Propose a clear strategy for overcoming potential challenges.

If a lawyer can’t identify your claim’s weak spots, then they can’t anticipate how to handle the other side’s questions. This could prove fatal for your claim or leave you with a lower offer than you deserve.

5. How Will You Approach the Negotiation and Settlement?

Your attorney should have a clear strategy for approaching settlement negotiations with lawyers and insurance companies. And if the case cannot settle, they must have the experience required to take your case before a judge.

If you are unhappy with how a lawyer proposes handling negotiations, then consider looking elsewhere. You must have confidence in your attorney. You’re a team.

Nervous about how to ask your lawyer about your settlement? Don’t be. Settlement is, of course, why you’re making a personal injury claim! Ensure that you fully understand:

  • How much your case is worth
  • What happens if the case does not settle
  • What it means for your case to settle
  • When you will receive your damages check

If your prospective attorney cannot answer these questions, they might not be right for you.

Red Flags When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

We’ve covered what questions to ask a lawyer about your case and settlement. But what are some “red flags” that an attorney is not for you? Briefly, here are four signs that you should look elsewhere.  

  • You feel uncomfortable asking questions or talking about your case. You should matter to your lawyer – if you feel like you are “bothering” them, steer clear!
  • They do not respond promptly to emails or calls. Now, “promptly” is, of course, subjective. However, if you feel like you’re repeatedly chasing a lawyer, then this suggests that they are poor communicators.
  • You don’t know who is handling your case. More than one lawyer can work on a case. But if you don’t know your main point of contact, then this suggests that they’re disorganized and erratic.
  • You’re unhappy with their case strategy. If you lack confidence in your attorney’s ability to settle your case, this is a significant red flag. You need a lawyer you can trust to work on your behalf while you recover.
  • Intuitively, you feel like it’s a bad match. Never underestimate the value of instinct. If something feels off, then look elsewhere. Otherwise, you could regret your decision to hire them later down the line.

Sure, you only have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, this is plenty of time to hire an attorney. Choosing a lawyer is a big decision. Don’t rush.

Free Consultation with Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in California

Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer in CA? Look no further than the May Firm.

Not only do our experienced attorneys have a successful track record, but we care about every single client. After all, at the May Firm, we’re a family. And every client is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

We never charge anything for a first meeting, and you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. You have nothing to lose by contacting our law firm. Contact us by phone or online now to schedule a meeting.