If you’ve been injured by another person’s negligence, you may feel violated, helpless, and frustrated. You may rightly want to file a personal injury claim with the courts, and the best way to protect your rights in this situation is to get the help of a competent personal injury lawyer. But how do you choose a good one? Here are four important questions you should ask before hiring a law firm.
Who will be handling my claim?
Unfortunately, some who advertise that they’ll take your personal injury case are actually farming out cases. You want to be certain that the person you are talking with is really the person you will be dealing with throughout your case. You need answers from people with genuine experience in personal injury claims like yours.
Even if your case will be handed over to someone else at the law firm you’re speaking with, you should know from the beginning who you will be working with.
How long have you been practicing, and how much of your practice is personal injury?
It takes time for a lawyer to become competent. Law school is certainly rigorous, and in recent years many law schools have stepped up their game to include more real-world experience for students. But there is simply no substitute for on-the-job experience. Some cases could heavily impact your life, and you want to know that the person who’s handling that case knows what they’re doing.
You also want to be sure that a lawyer has specific experience in the type of law you need help with. The law code is intricate and complicated, and experience in one area of law, such as family law, does not automatically translate into expertise in another arena like personal injury.
Can you explain your fee structure?
The next question you want answered is whether the law firm will charge a tiered fee or a flat fee. Tiered fees are based on how much time and work go to a case. If the case is resolved before a claim is filed, the lawyer will take the smallest percentage fee. If the claim is filed but resolved before questioning begins, the lawyer will get a bit more. If the claim moves through questioning and gets all the way to trial, the lawyers will take even more.
A flat fee is just what it sounds like: one fee that does not change no matter how long the case takes. While flat fees sound a bit higher initially, they are often the least expensive route in the long run. The most important thing is that the lawyer can explain their fee structure clearly. You can also ask for more information about legal aid services offered by the government.
How often do you take cases to court?
It is always ideal if a personal injury case can be resolved before going to trial. Many cases are resolved this way. However, in some cases it is necessary to go to court. You want to make sure that the law firm you’re talking to has actual experience prosecuting claims all the way to trial. Some firms balk at that step because of the extra costs and time it means for them. A good law firm will only take your case if they think it has merit and if they’re willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a difficult and time-consuming proposition. But if you’ve been injured, it’s important that you protect your rights and get the help you need to get back on your feet. That’s why it’s crucial to ask the right questions when you’re looking for a personal injury law firm in Toronto or anywhere in your area. Ask the right questions and you’ll get the answers you need.