10 questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before hiring them

1. How long have you been practicing personal injury law?

  • Experience matters, but it is not the only thing.  Many attorney are injured in other areas of the law and dabble in personal injury law.  You do not want a dabbler.

2. Is your practice devoted to personal injury law only?

  • Again, you do not want a dabbler.  The area of personal injury law is very specialized.  You want your attorney to focus on personal injury law only.

3. Will you be my contact, or will I be directed to one of your assistants?

  • Many law firms sign clients up, then make their assistants handle all of the communications and work.  Will you have access to your attorney for questions along the way?

4. What is your fee percentage to start?  Does it change if a lawsuit gets filed?

  • Important to know.  Often, the fee percentage increases with additional work and expense.  Clarify this at the outset.

5. Are you a Certified Specialist?

  • The State of Arizona recognizes only the best attorneys as Certified Specialists in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death law.  There are almost 18,000 attorneys in Arizona, but only 122 of them are Certified Specialists.  Find out if your attorney is one.  If so, you will know that he/she has a proven track record of success.

6. Do you file lawsuits for clients? 

  • VERY IMPORTANT question.  If you get an answer like “no, we don’t have to, we are good so all of our cases settle”, don’t walk.  RUN.  No one settles all of their cases favorably without lawsuits.  Your attorney must be willing to take that extra step, if needed, to fight for you.  If not, find another attorney.

7. Do you take cases to trial?

  • The second part of the same “do you file lawsuits” question above.  If the insurance company does not believe that you will take the case all the way if necessary, then you will never get the best result.  An attorney can become a Certified Specialist only with a successful trial record. 

8. What was the last case you took to trial and what was the outcome?

  • Anyone can say “yes, we file lawsuits” or “yes, we take cases to trial”.  Ask them for their last result.

9. Will your fee ever be more than I receive in my pocket?

  • You were in the accident.  You were the one that was hurt, right?  Why should your attorney ever get more than you get? 
  • Ask the question, and get it in writing in the fee agreement. 

10. How long will my case take?

  • Good question.  Your attorney likely will not be able to answer it, but can at least explain the process, and what can make the case settle more quickly, or take longer.  Either way, it will help you determine how much your attorney knows about the process. 

This is not an exhaustive list of frequently asked questions that you should ask a personal injury lawyer, but if I were looking for an attorney and did not know much about the process, these are some great questions to ask.

Please feel free to contact Zachar Law Firm for a free consultation regarding your case. Having the right Phoenix personal injury law firm will make all the difference in your case.