What Should I Ask at My First Meeting with an Attorney?
San Diego Attorney Explains Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer
Before officially hiring a lawyer for your personal injury case, you should take advantage of a free initial consultation. This first meeting costs nothing, and allows you to get to know the lawyer and find out more about your claim. During your free consultation, you should ask questions to determine if the lawyer is properly suited for your claim. Include questions about the attorney’s experience and working style. If you have concerns about the specifics of your claim, then voice those, too. In some circumstances, you may wish to interview several different attorneys before settling on the one you want. The outcome of a personal injury claim may affect the rest of your life – it is your right to take the time to find a lawyer you can rely on and trust. We encourage you to take the time you need while keeping statutes of limitations in mind.
San Diego personal injury attorney Frederick Dudek is happy to answer any questions you have during a free initial consultation. As a passionate cyclist, he has a special affinity for representing injured cyclists in bike accident claims. However, Frederick also has extensive experience with many other types of personal injury cases. He can explain what you can expect and has the skills necessary to guide you throughout the claims process.
What Are Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you meet with a personal injury attorney for the first time, be prepared to ask and answer certain questions. Bring all the information you have with you so the lawyer can offer you accurate legal advice. Questions that you should ask may include:
- How much experience do you have with this kind of personal injury claim? It is important that you find a lawyer who understands how to investigate and pursue your particular kind of claim. For example, if you sustained injuries in a bicycle accident, then you need a lawyer who is familiar with cycling, bike values and the unique aspects of a bike accident claim.
- Do you take cases to court? You may not want to go to court, and the truth is that the majority of personal injury claims settle. However, you do not want a lawyer who always settles and never goes to court. This is a sign that he or she is interested only in a quick turnaround and may accept the first settlement offer, regardless of whether it is fair. Instead, look for a lawyer who will devote time to your case and can fight for you in court, if necessary.
- Will you actually handle my case personally? Sometimes, you may meet with a partner at a law firm, but then your case will be passed to a less experienced associate. Therefore, you should always clarify exactly who will be your lawyer. If you do not get a straight answer, then consider finding another law firm.
- How do you handle contingency fees and expenses? Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay any attorney fees until the end of your case. Then, your lawyer gets a percentage of your settlement or verdict. One major benefit of this system is that you usually do not owe any fees unless you recover compensation. However, expenses are separate from fees, and some attorneys charge clients for expenses, regardless of the outcome. Make sure to clarify this system before you hire a lawyer.
- Do you have the resources to effectively represent my claim? The attorney should be able to tell you how he or she will handle your claim; if your particular case is too complex for the law firm, then the lawyer should inform you of this. However, you may be able to ask him or her to refer you to a larger law firm that has the personnel and resources to handle a complicated claim.
- As your client, how would I be able to contact you and what is your average response time? You should look for a lawyer who will keep you informed at every stage of the personal injury claims process. A responsive attorney will also return your calls and emails in a timely manner.
- As your client, what will I be doing during the case? You may want to stay very involved in your case, or you may want your attorney to handle everything. Regardless, you should find a lawyer who will work with you in whatever capacity you would like.
Additionally, you should voice any concerns you have about the particulars of your claim. Your lawyer should explain how he or she will handle possible complications and obstacles in your case. For example, if your injuries resulted from a hit and run accident, then your attorney should explain what steps you can take to possibly identify the liable party.
Call Today for a Free Consultation with Our San Diego Personal Injury Attorney
If you need a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, then contact our law firm today for a free consultation. Attorney Frederick Dudek founded Dudek Law Firm with an emphasis on customer service and responsiveness. Therefore, when you come in for a consultation, you will always meet with him. He also handles each and every case personally, and will keep you updated at every stage.
To learn more or to schedule a meeting, call (858) 530-4800 or contact us online today.