Questions to ask your personal injury attorney
You need help with a personal injury case in South Carolina and are looking for an experienced, effective personal injury attorney to handle your case. But how do you find the right attorney for you? Below is a list of questions you may want to ask before retaining an attorney on your case. Most law firms offer free, no-obligation consultations, which is the perfect opportunity to ask these questions and gather information before you make a decision.
(Asking questions is just one step; check out our blog on How to Find a Good Personal Injury Attorney for a comprehensive step-by-step process on how to find a personal injury lawyer and what to look for.)
7 Essential Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney Before Hiring
How many years of experience do you have handling personal injury cases like mine? Ideally, they will have 5-10 years or more experience under their belt.
How much of your caseload is personal injury cases like mine? Personal injury should be one of their primary practice areas, and you should look for an attorney who regularly handles cases like yours, whether that’s car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc.
How did cases similar to mine turn out? Ask about their success rate with cases similar to yours; it’s no guarantee that you’ll get the same result, but it will give you an idea of their track record. Find out whether they settled or went to court, how long the process took from start to finish, and about how much they got in damages.
One question missing from this list is “How much do you think my claim is worth?” You may want to ask this anyway, but be prepared for the attorney to avoid answering the question. At this stage, they don’t have enough information about the particulars of your case to give a well-founded answer, and a figure that’s too far off the mark – whether overinflated or under – just leads to incorrect expectations. That’s another reason to ask about similar cases; finding out how much they got in damages may give you a ballpark idea for what to expect in your case without asking directly.
How do you feel about going to trial? Most personal injury cases settle out of court, but sometimes it’s necessary to go to trial to try to get fair and just damages. However, going to trial is always a gamble, and it’s expensive in terms of time and money. With all this in mind, you want an attorney who is neither too reluctant nor too eager to go to trial. Look for one with experience litigating and winning in court.
Do you think I have a good case? Ask if they think your case is worth pursuing and what its strengths and weaknesses are. It’s not a good use of anyone’s time to pursue an extremely weak case with little chance of a good outcome. However, many weaknesses can be addressed in order to strengthen a case and give you a better chance of recovering fair damages.
What are your fees, and how do they work? Personal injury cases are almost always done on a contingency basis, meaning your attorney doesn’t get paid unless you get a favorable outcome. In South Carolina, contingency fees of 33-45% are common. Find out if there are any additional fees you can expect too, such as postage and copying, or if the contingency fee changes based on whether the case goes to trial or is settled out of court.
Who will be my main point of contact, and how much communication can I expect? Even in smaller law firms, it’s typical to work primarily with a case manager, paralegal, or other member of support staff rather than with the attorney directly. However, you should still feel that you can talk to your lawyer if needed. (Poor communication is one of the biggest complaints clients have about working with attorneys, which is why we emphasize communication here at The Carolina Law Group. Not only do we give our clients regular updates, but our attorneys also give them personal cell phone numbers.)
For general questions about personal injury, check out our blogs on personal injury.
Schedule a Consultation with the Personal Injury Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group
If you’re looking for help with your personal injury case in South Carolina, come talk to us at The Carolina Law Group. We help people with motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, nursing home and elder abuse, TBI (brain injury) cases, wrongful death suits, and more. Our personal injury lawyers will fight to get the damages you deserve, whether that’s in or out of the courtroom. Call us today at one of the numbers below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).
Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.