Jan 11, 2023
A personal injury claim can be brought following any number of scenarios, such as car accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, wrongful deaths, medical malpractice, and more. If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to a cash settlement for damages such as hospital bills or medical treatment, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more.
But recovering the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and ensuing damages can be a challenging and often intimidating process. Having a skilled, proven, and dedicated personal injury lawyer fighting for you can be a huge advantage.
That said, with so many personal injury lawyers to choose from, how can you find the best one for your case? Dordulian Law Group has put together the Top 13 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer below.
Attorneys are paid an excellent wage, largely due to the benefit that expert legal representation can provide to a client in need. That said, in personal injury cases, it is extremely important to determine whether your prospective lawyer charges an hourly rate or works on a contingency fee agreement. The former is self-explanatory – the lawyer charges for every hour worked at a set rate. The latter involves no money up-front on the part of the client. Rather, in a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer only receives compensation after a damages award has been secured for your personal injury case. Based on the settlement or verdict you receive from your personal injury case, a lawyer working on a contingency fee agreement will then take a percentage of that amount. The percentage can vary depending on how long it took to settle the case (often referred to as a sliding scale). Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, be sure to go over all details related to the contingency fee agreement – what the percentage is, what fees are included, etc.
This may seem like a straightforward question, but you might be surprised to learn that many personal injury lawyers (including those advertising on TV, radio, billboards, etc.) don’t have many years of experience. When you suffer an injury in a car accident, dog bite, or other type of incident, an attorney with several years or even decades of experience can be a substantial advantage. Experienced attorneys know how to negotiate maximum financial damages awards on behalf of clients, and they can draw on their past cases to help protect your rights.
Again, although this may seem like a no-brainer, many personal injury lawyers advertise for specific types of cases (dog bite, slip and fall, etc.) despite never having handled them in the past. If you were injured in a car accident, you should hire a personal injury lawyer with extensive experience not only handling motor vehicle collision cases, but winning said cases.
Firstly, if your prospective personal injury lawyer fails to even acknowledge the potential for losing a case, it might be a serious red flag. Personal injury cases – particularly those that go to trial – aren’t always slam dunks. And the attorney you meet for a consultation should be honest with you about that fact – no case is ever 100% guaranteed to be a success. With that in mind, it’s important to at least discuss what will be expected of you – fee-wise – in a worst case scenario. If your personal injury case happens to be unsuccessful, will you be responsible for any fees out-of-pocket?
The personal injury lawyer you see on TV every day might seem like a great person. However, will he or she actually be handling your case? At many “settlement mill” firms, your case might actually be handed off to a first-year associate rather than the partner smiling on billboards throughout the city. Moreover, how much time can the attorney(s) assigned to the case devote to it? These are important questions you will want to have answered during your free consultation.
If the prospective personal injury lawyer you meet with has had experience handling cases similar to yours, he or she should be able to provide you with an estimate for how long your case will take to settle. While extenuating circumstances can always cause a case to be litigated longer than expected, an estimated timeline is a standard part of the personal injury consultation phase.
Did you know that many personal injury lawyers have zero jury trial experience? Moreover, some personal injury attorneys don’t actually handle cases if they must proceed to trial. While the vast majority of car accident, dog bite, and other types of personal injury claims can be settled, some that are complex or involve high-value damages awards may require a jury trial in order to reach a conclusion. If your prospective personal injury lawyer doesn’t handle jury trials and your case can’t be settled, you might be out of luck and forced to find another attorney. At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), our founder and president, Sam Dordulian, has extensive personal injury law experience that includes over 25 years of litigation expertise and more than 100 jury trial victories.
Whether or not your prospective personal injury lawyer handles jury trials is a completely separate issue from whether or not your case will likely proceed to trial. Once you’ve determined if your personal injury lawyer is capable of handling jury trials, it’s important to get on the same page in terms of whether such a thing is likely (and if so, the extent of that likelihood). Knowing whether your personal injury case has a high likelihood of proceeding to trial is important information for you to consider before choosing the best lawyer to handle your case.
If a personal injury lawyer is coy about his or her win/loss rate, it might be a red flag. At DLG, we display our 98% success record prominently for everyone to see. When you sit down for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, be sure to ask what his or her win/loss ratio is (both in terms of settlement victories and jury trial victories).
An estimate for how much your personal injury case might be worth is typically a standard aspect of the consultation phase. Your prospective lawyer will likely review all the facts related to your case, assess your injuries and how they may impact your quality of life/ability to work, and then use past case settlements and verdicts as reference points to help give you an estimated value for your personal injury claim that is as accurate as possible.
This is important because you will want to understand upfront what your role is during the legal process. Will you need to undergo additional medical evaluations? Will you need to gather evidence? Will you need to make official statements or potentially appear in a courtroom? A prospective personal injury lawyer should be able to give you an overview of what your role will be from start to finish.
If your case has any potentially problematic aspects, it’s important to know what they are as early as possible. Ensuring that this question is answered during the personal injury lawyer consultation phase can help you in the long-run. Having such information available in the beginning, rather than being surprised mid-way, can save you time, energy, stress, and potentially even a lot of money.
Reviews are a great way to evaluate how a prospective personal injury lawyer treats his or her clients. Reviews and testimonials can also give you a perspective into how successful a prospective attorney has been when handling personal injury cases similar to yours.
Injured victims always have the right to handle claims on their own. You can send a demand letter to the at-fault party or insurance company and hope for the best. And in some cases, an injured victim is able to recover financial compensation on his or her own.
But is the amount you are able to secure on your own the maximum settlement you could potentially receive? A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you win what are often hard to prove damages, such as pain and suffering or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), potentially increasing your overall settlement considerably.
Hiring a DLG lawyer to handle your personal injury claim can be in your overall best interest for a variety of reasons. Confirmed data shows that personal injury victims who hire private attorneys often secure greater financial compensation for their claims.
A study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that:
When you reach out to a DLG personal injury lawyer for a free consultation, we’ll review the facts of your case and provide you with all available legal options to ensure that your rights are protected and the maximum financial damages award you deserve is sought. We’ll also provide an estimate for how long your case may take to settle and how much your personal injury claim may be worth. DLG serves personal injury clients in California as well as throughout the United States.
DLG’s No Win/No Fee Guarantee means there is never any fee until after we’ve secured financial compensation on your behalf. You’ll never pay a penny until one of our experienced and proven personal injury lawyers recovers a maximum financial damages award for your claim.
DLG was founded by Sam Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who has been fighting on behalf of injured victims for over 25 years, helping them secure justice through maximum financial compensation. To date, DLG’s personal injury lawyers have recovered more than $100,000,000 for injured victims like you while maintaining a 98% success record.
Injured in a California car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other type of incident? Searching for the best California personal injury lawyer to handle your important claim and help you secure justice? Don’t settle for anything less than the DLG Advantage. Contact us 24/7 for more information.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.