How to Choose a Personal Injury Attorney: 5 Essential Questions You Need to Ask

How to Choose an Attorney

Choosing an attorney to represent you in a personal injury or auto accident case is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. The outcome of your case may affect your life and livelihood for years to come.  Do you really want to put your future in the hands of someone simply because he or she has the biggest billboard or yellow pages ad — regardless of experience and attention to your case? Of course not.

An experienced attorney will create a compelling case for your claim, negotiate aggressively on your behalf and, when necessary, take your case to trial. There are many factors that will affect the outcome of your case, not least among them is the skill and experience of your attorney.

One of the best ways to find a personal injury attorney is to request a referral from a friend, doctor or another attorney you trust. An attorney who doesn’t take personal injury cases may still be an extremely valuable resource. He or she will usually have a good understanding of the local legal community and those who would be best qualified to represent your case. Since most attorneys offer a free initial consultation, it’s to your benefit to interview more than one.

When consulting with an attorney for the first time, be ready to ask a few important questions:

  1. What percentage of your cases involve personal injury? If you were looking for a heart surgeon, you’d want to know how many heart surgeries the doctor performs each year. In the same way, when looking for a personal injury attorney you want a lawyer who has a successful track record in personal injury cases.
  2. Will you handle this case yourself, or will you refer it to another attorney? Having more than one attorney at a firm can give you the benefit of combined experience and knowledge as well as increased availability. But before you hire an attorney be sure you have a good rapport with the primary attorney who will be handling your case.
  3. What are some cases you have handled that are similar to mine? What was the outcome? While the details of every case is different, find out what cases the attorney has successfully represented that are similar to your own. While some types of personal injury claims are relatively common  (such as auto, truck and motorcycle accidents) it may be more difficult to find a local attorney with experience in areas of practice such as machine guarding injuries, mesothelioma and product liability.
  4. How long will it take to resolve this case?  The answer will depend, in part, on your own goals. However, a qualified personal injury attorney has the experience to help you understand the legal process, typical timeframes and potential outcomes.
  5. Will you take this case on contingency? Personal injury cases are almost always handled on a contingency fee basis. That means there is no cost to you until your case is successfully settled.

Looking for  a personal injury attorney in Ocala? Call (352) 622-1600 or use the form to the right to request a free consultation.