Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Philadelphia Injury Lawyer
Normally, when you're in a situation that requires a Philadelphia injury lawyer, it's probably pretty stressful. You could be severely injured and may even still be hospitalized.
It's also possible you're having a difficult time with your employer if you haven't been able to work. The bills might be piling up, and you're just physically and mentally spent.
However, it's imperative that you contact a Philadelphia injury lawyer. They can help you navigate any events leading up to and beyond your injury.
Many people don't know the appropriate course of action to take when they suffer an injury at the hands of someone else. It could be from an accident or even on someone else's property.
Regardless of how and where it takes place, the most important role of a Philadelphia injury lawyer is ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
To ensure you have the highest quality attorney possible, there are several questions you should prepare to ask the lawyer. Having these ready for the meeting will give you the highest odds of retaining a high-powered, no-nonsense attorney.
Questions to Ask
After you've made some calls and gotten a feel for who you believe the right attorney for the job is, you need to set up a face-to-face meeting to present them with the details and facts regarding your case. This includes any paperwork and evidence you have. Police reports, photos, witness interviews, and anything else you may already have can be helpful during the initial meeting.
This will give them a general idea of how high your chances of success are. During this meeting, you need to ask certain questions to put your mind at ease regarding the quality of the attorney. In the section below, we've listed the most important questions to ask your Philadelphia injury lawyer.
- Does he/she provide free consultations?
Normally in the case of a Philadelphia injury lawyer, the consultation should always be free. If it's not, this could be a huge red flag. The process usually works like this: You contact the attorney, and they decide whether or not they want to take your case based on how strong they think the evidence is. If they feel like you deserve to be compensated and the other party was negligent, they'll take the case. However, Philadelphia injury lawyers normally don't take compensation until the case is decided. They work for a certain percentage of the final settlement amount. If you don't win, you normally don't owe anything.
- What percentage of his/her practice consists of representing people against insurance companies?
This can help give you an idea of how effective this person could possibly be at getting compensation for your injuries. It also gives you an indication of what type of case you'd be dealing with - either straightforward injury litigation (in which case the insurance company would likely already have sent its attorneys out to handle things) or workers' comp claims where the insurance adjuster would probably try to pin all the blame on you.
- How many cases does he/she typically take on each year?
You want to see evidence that this particular attorney has enough experience handling cases similar to yours and can effectively deal with the insurer. Also, keep in mind that more complex cases often require additional resources such as paralegals, investigators, etc., which increase costs overall.
- Are past clients satisfied with his/her services?
The most reliable method to get accurate information regarding an individual or firm's performance is through word-of-mouth referrals from other attorneys or former clients. Look for reviews online and contact references after meeting with the attorney. A combination of all of these sources should tell you everything you need to know.
- Is she licensed to practice law in my state?
In order to guarantee representation in court, a personal injury attorney must be admitted to practice law in the jurisdiction(s) where your claim arises. There are two ways to go about doing this: 1.) Check her credentials with your local bar association; 2.) Simply ask to see their credentials. It might seem silly, but obviously, you want to make sure your Philadelphia injury lawyer is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania!
- Is there a possibility for additional fees?
Remember, most lawyers of this type take a percentage of what's awarded to the victim. However, as we said earlier, additional expenses may come into play. The attorney may have to contract the services of experts surrounding the case. Investigators and researchers are often needed for cases like this to prove the facts surrounding an injury situation. You need to be about the possibility of any additional expenses you might incur during the course of the case. Ask the lawyer to put it on paper if there's any chance that you may owe more than the initial agreed-upon percentage.
- Will she commit to fighting aggressively for me?
One thing you absolutely must look for is proof that your attorney will fight hard for your rights. Many times, attorneys who say they will vigorously pursue your interests simply mean that they will negotiate a fair compromise between both parties, regardless of their true feelings. While this kind of approach may save them money, it certainly won't earn you any points in terms of obtaining favorable results. See a lawyer who promises to stand behind your side no matter what, without exception.
- Can we speak privately whenever necessary?
Although everyone appreciates open communication, sometimes privacy is needed to properly discuss sensitive issues related to your case. Whether it involves discussing confidential details of your accident or speaking candidly about your finances, you shouldn't feel pressured into sharing everything with family members or friends. Find out ahead of time if your chosen attorney requires private meetings to adequately protect your interest.
- 10. Should I expect to hear from him/her within 24 hours of filing my claim?
When choosing an experienced personal injury attorney, it's essential to understand exactly how quickly your situation will be handled. For example, if you file your lawsuit immediately following an accident, your attorney will likely submit it to the court clerk's office as soon as possible, usually within one business day. However, if you wait too long to file your claim, the statute of limitations will expire before you ever bring forth a formal complaint! It's critical that you understand the timeline of the process and are always available to discuss it with your Philadelphia injury lawyer.
- 10) What's their caseload like at the moment?
This might not seem like a big deal. However, it could come into play in a big way. If your Philadelphia injury lawyer is juggling too many cases, you might want to consider looking for a different firm to represent you. Find out how many practicing lawyers they have in their firm. If they have a decent size staff, the chances are high that they're not as pressured to handle everything on their own. When lawyers are overloaded with cases, they might not put in their best work, which doesn't spell good results for you.
- 11) Does he/she have a solid understanding of personal injury?
Personal injury encompasses a large share of potential scenarios. Therefore, it makes sense that most Philadelphia injury lawyers be well-versed in bodily injury, property damage, lost wages, pain & suffering, and emotional distress. Unfortunately, many attorneys focus solely on physical damages resulting from personal injury without considering other types of losses. Thus, they frequently fail to obtain optimal compensation for victims who were hurt physically, psychologically, financially, or emotionally due to personal injury.
What Happens If I Disagree With His Strategy in Philadelphia?
Every case is unique and differs significantly depending on numerous factors, including the extent of fault attributed to the responsible party, the victim's health status, the severity of injuries, and the type of recovery sought. Once again, it's crucial that you select an attorney who understands how to strategically evaluate all aspects of your case and develop an actionable game plan.
Otherwise, your attorney could leave money on the table, and you won't end up with the compensation that you deserve. Conversely, some attorneys prefer to move forward immediately with trial proceedings in hopes of achieving a quick result.
Either choice is acceptable, provided that your attorney takes your case seriously and treats you fairly throughout the entire process. But if you're unhappy with your legal representative's strategies or lack of progress, don't hesitate to seek another opinion. Ultimately, the decision belongs to you alone.
Asking yourself these tough questions now can prevent you from being stuck with less qualified professionals in the future. And if you happen to come across an incompetent attorney who refuses to communicate with you, report them to the appropriate licensing authority via the State Bar Association website.
Call Today For A Free Case Evaluation From An Experienced Philadelphia Injury Lawyer
You could also avoid all the hassle and contact the best Philadelphia injury lawyer from the start. At Mattiacci law, we have the experience and expertise you need to navigate your personal injury case. We'll make sure you get the compensation you deserve for a price you can afford.