Five Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney for any variety of issues can come with some concerns. It’s not always the same as handling a car insurance case where there’s a typically straightforward process. Personal injury can include anything from dog bites to medical malpractice and even abuse. What you need before you hire an injury attorney in Houston is to schedule a consultation.
At a consultation, you’ll have the chance to dive into the meat of your case and get a feel for the attorney. If you don’t like them, then you can move on and find one that does fit your schedule and needs. But, if you ask your personal injury attorney these five questions and are satisfied with the answers you should have a smooth case..
What is Their Experience Handling Your Specific Type of Injury?
Personal injury attorneys in Texas can take on anything from animal attacks to truck crashes. Usually, a personal injury attorney, however, will find themselves helping in similar circumstances again and again. That means that when you meet your attorney in Houston for a consultation, you should ask specifically about the type of cases they’ve handled.
You should look for someone that has experience in handling similar injuries and can clearly understand the elements at hand. For example, a dog bite injury might seem routine until you explain that you were on that person’s property, and suddenly everything more complex.
How Often Do They Settle for Less Than the Goal Compensation Amount?
Settling for less than the ideal amount is more common than victims realize. The factors that come into deciding if a settlement is good is whether it covers legal and medical fees and if it is more cost-effective than taking the case to court. Because attorneys in the personal injury realm work on contingency, what happens is that taking the case to court becomes much more expensive.
If you hire an attorney at 25% on a contingency fee but demand on taking the case to court, that fee can go up to 40%, meaning that you just lost an additional 15% or your reward. Not to mention that there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a better award in court than you would have through a settlement.
Settling is ideal, but if the attorney only settles, it may be because they refuse to move cases to court.
What is Their Contingency Fee?
Understanding a contingency fee is not as simple as most attorneys make it seem. To them, it’s a part of everyday life. You’ll be lucky to understand as much about contingency fees from your attorney as you would about your Catalytic converter from your mechanic.
A contingency fee is a percentage that you agree to pay out of your reward. However, your attorney is likely going to make money on the case in other ways, such as collecting through the defendant as well. Your contingency fee also does not include the actual costs that the law firm took on during the claim. It’s nice not to have to pay for medical records, or that private investor, except you are at the end of the case. You’ll pay your contingency fee and legal expenses.
Will They Charge You for Meetings and Phone Calls?
Usually, contingency fee-based attorneys do not charge separately for communication. However, as mentioned above, Houston attorneys may be looking for many other ways to make money on the case. They may bill your insurance company for time spent waiting on them, and they may bill you for long phone calls, or meetings.
Before committing to an attorney, discuss what is reasonable for charges when it comes to communication. You should never be afraid to call because it will cost you.
Do They Have Time in Their Schedule to be Your Houston Personal Injury Attorney?
At McDonald Worley, our goal is to be upfront and honest from the beginning. Our personal injury attorneys will let you know what their schedule looks like and how much time they believe they will need to dedicate to your case. Lawyers must become masters at predicting how much time and effort a case will demand, and if you’re meeting with a Houston, personal injury lawyer, you should ask them if they even have the time available to take on your case.
You definitely don’t want to be left on the back burner because that attorney feels that the more pressing matters to handle for the moment. Contact McDonald Worley and get in touch with a local, Houston, personal injury lawyer.