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What questions should I ask my personal injury lawyer?

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Businesses spent $1.65 billion dollars last year in marketing/advertising; personal injury lawyers spend millions of dollars marketing their services. You can’t turn on the television and not  be inundated with personal injury lawyer ads; add to that, radio, billboards, newspapers, magazines, city buses and direct mail, and personal injury lawyer ads seem to be everywhere. How do you as a consumer determine which personal injury lawyer is the right one for you? You need to ask questions when interviewing with a personal injury lawyer for the first time, whether on the phone or in person. In my practice, we welcome questions; in fact, we encourage it! If the lawyer you are interviewing with seems put out or annoyed by your questions, than perhaps you need to look for a different attorney to represent you. Do you want a lawyer who is offended and becomes defensive by your questions, or do you want an attorney who both has the experience  as an injury lawyer, and seems compassionate and caring about you? This list of questions isn’t intended to be exhaustive; if you can think of one that I haven’t, post it here as a comment; remember, we welcome your questions and will provide answers to all of them, gladly and without being defensive or annoyed by your concerns; after all, it’s all about you, and your case, not us!
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Do you practice exclusively in injury law or other areas of law? If so, how much of your practice is devoted to accident cases?
  • How many injury cases have you handled in your career?
  • Have you handled a case similar to mine?
  • Will I get copies of all documents in my case?
  • What is your response time to phone calls and e mails?
  • Do you have flexible hours or are you limited to 9-5 Monday- Friday?
  • Will you take my calls or only to your staff or paralegals?
  • When my case is ready to be settled, will you involve me in the process?
  • Do I have input and final say so in the approval of any settlement?
  • What is your philosophy towards litigating cases as opposed to settling cases?
  • What will you or can be done to assist in the settlement of my case?
  • If I don’t accept all your advice, how will that affect our relationship?
  • How many times do you go to court a week on injury cases?
  • How many personal injury trials have you done in your career?
  • Will I be required to sign a written fee agreement? (under ethical rules in Wisconsin, a contingency contract in an accident case must be in writing). They are always signed by the client.
  • If I lose my case or it is dropped for any reason, will I owe any fees, costs or medical bills?
  • Will you help me get my car fixed if damaged in an accident and do I have to pay you fees or costs for that?
  • Can you give me a general idea on how long my case might take?
  • When you evaluate my case for settlement, will you share that information with me?
  • Have you ever dealt with the specific insurance companies in my case?
  • If I decide to switch attorneys, will you cooperate with me or thwart my efforts to hire a new attorney?
  • Are you recognized as the best in your field by Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers or other professional local or national ranking systems of the best lawyers in your field?
Consumers are more savvy than ever when shopping, given the wealth of information available on the internet  and through other means; shopping for a personal injury lawyer should be no different. Don’t just hire the accident lawyer with the flashy ads on television; don’t hire the lawyer your friend recommended to you at work who handled their traffic ticket. You were seriously injured in an accident thru no fault of your own; spend some time looking at several different personal lawyers; ask the questions posed here or any other concerns you may have; hire the lawyer who cares enough to spend the time to answer all of your questions and concerns; of course, experience counts, but so does compassion, grace and willingness to invest time with you to make sure all of your questions are addressed, before signing on the dotted line!
Were you injured in a car crash in Milwaukee? Do you not know what to ask the attorney when you meet with them? We have compiled a list of questions that you should be asking your lawyer and we are more than happy to assist in answering your questions after being involved in a car accident by calling one of the attorneys at Karp & Iancu S.C.
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