Imagine you’re navigating the aftermath of a car accident or dealing with the consequences of someone else’s negligence. In these tough times, choosing the right personal injury attorney is like finding a trustworthy guide through uncharted territory.
To help you make this important decision, here are the top 10 questions you should ask when hiring a personal injury attorney for cases involving car accidents or negligent deaths. Think of these questions as your roadmap, ensuring you pick an attorney who understands your needs and can steer you toward the justice and compensation you deserve.
1. Do I have a valid personal injury case?
Before hiring an attorney, you’ll want to know if you have a legitimate personal injury claim. Immediately after an injury event, it may be difficult to know the answer to this. Keep in mind that when we mention needing more than just emergency care, it underlines how severe our injuries should be to back up a personal injury case.
2. What is your experience with personal injury cases?
It’s important to inquire about the attorney’s experience in handling personal injury and negligent death cases in Montana, particularly those similar to your own.
Assess their track record, results, and the number of cases they manage concurrently. Be cautious of firms handling an overwhelming number of cases, as they may struggle to give your claim the attention it needs. Conversely, be mindful of small firms handling only a few cases, as they might need more resources or experience to effectively handle your claim.
3. What is your fee structure?
Understanding the fee structure is crucial for financial transparency. Every reputable personal injury attorney works on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only receive payment if you win your case. Clarify the percentage they’ll take from the settlement as their fee.
4. Do you offer a free consultation?
Many personal injury attorneys provide free initial consultations. Seize this opportunity to discuss your case and evaluate whether you feel comfortable and confident working with the attorney before deciding on who will represent you.
5. Do I have to go to court?
It’s exceptionally uncommon to appear in court for a typical injury case; this usually happens only when a case is headed for trial. The overwhelming majority, approximately 95% or more, of injury cases, are successfully resolved through negotiation without the need for any courtroom appearances.
This means that in most situations, your legal journey may involve discussions and settlements rather than stepping foot into a courthouse. Understanding this can help manage expectations and alleviate concerns about lengthy court processes.
6. Will you handle my case personally, or delegate it?
This question is crucial because law firms often have varying approaches. At Judnich Law Office, we pride ourselves on a comprehensive team approach. This means that every client receives attention from the entire team dedicated to handling injury cases, ensuring that no one is left navigating their legal journey alone. Unlike some firms that assign cases to specific lawyers, we believe in collective expertise to provide the best possible representation.
Moreover, we provide an online portal for our clients. This tool allows you unrestricted access to all the information about your case in real-time. This ensures you’re part of the process and well-informed about the developments as they happen. Our goal is to make sure you have the support of the entire team and feel confident to actively participate in your legal journey.
7. How will you investigate and build my case?
This question is like asking the attorney about their playbook. It’s important to know how they’re going to gather all the pieces needed to make your case strong. So, when you ask about investigating and building a case, you’re essentially checking if they have a game plan.
You’ll want to know how they go about getting evidence, talking to witnesses, and organizing all the important details. Think of it as assembling a puzzle — each piece, whether it’s evidence or a witness statement, contributes to creating a clear and compelling picture for your case.
Understanding their strategy is like peeking into their approach, and it’s a crucial step in feeling confident about the attorney’s abilities. It’s like making sure they have a well-thought-out plan to build a strong case on your behalf.
8. What is the likely timeline for my case?
Legal processes can be intricate, and it’s tough to predict every detail. While acknowledging the difficulty in establishing an exact timeline, this question seeks to provide a rough estimate. Personal injury attorneys must consider factors like the duration of medical treatment and negotiation when providing you with an estimate.
This helps in setting realistic expectations about how long your legal journey might take. They should give you a clear picture of what to anticipate, ensuring you’re well-informed at every step of the process.
9. How will we communicate throughout the case?
Effective communication plays a key role in ensuring clarity, fostering transparency, and promoting a strong attorney-client relationship. This vital element becomes the cornerstone for building trust, managing expectations, and achieving a successful resolution.
At Judnich Law Office, we make sure to explain how we’ll stay in touch to keep things clear and open. Plus, you’ll have access to a free online portal for easy updates and all your case info. We’re committed to keeping you informed and involved every step of the way.
10. What is the potential value of my case?
Recognizing the difficulty in determining a value right at the beginning, this question stresses the significance of evaluating potential compensation. By asking this, you’re prompting the attorney to think about different factors that can affect the worth of your case.
This ensures that you get a practical understanding of what your case might be worth, considering things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. It’s about getting a realistic view of the potential compensation you might receive.
Your decisions matter
Navigating the legal landscape after a personal injury can be complex and challenging. The key to making the right decisions lies in asking the right questions. By delving into inquiries about the legitimacy of your case, the attorney’s experience, fee structures, and communication methods, you equip yourself with the knowledge needed to make informed choices.
Your decisions matter, and they should be guided by a clear understanding of your rights and the legal process. Remember, these questions are your compass, empowering you to select an attorney who possesses the necessary expertise and aligns with your values and priorities.
Need a personal injury attorney? We can help!
At Judnich Law Office, we strive for a comprehensive and supportive approach to personal injury cases. Your peace of mind and the success of your case are at the forefront of our commitment.
Contact us online or call us today at (406) 602-8700 in Bozeman and (406) 721-3354 in Missoula, for a free consultation, and let us guide you towards the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve. Your story matters, and we are here to help you tell it.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.