There are several questions to ask a personal injury lawyer after an accident. If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, such as an auto accident, trucking accident or workplace accident, or if you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you are likely hurt, angry and confused. Victims of personal injury accidents may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit if another party was negligent. Employees injured in workplace accidents may be entitled to workers’ compensation, even if another party was not negligent in causing the accident.
Because personal injury lawsuits fall under a complex area of law called “tort law,” it is highly recommended that you consult with a skilled Chicago personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and remedies. Specifically, you should ask the following 10 questions:
1. What types of cases have you handled?
It is important to hire an attorney that has experience with your type of personal injury lawsuit. Because personal injury, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation involve complex legal issues, it is essential to hire an attorney that focuses on these areas.
At Ankin Law, our Chicago personal injury attorneys focus on all types of personal injury accidents. For more than 20 years, Howard Ankin has dedicated his career to helping the victims of personal injury accidents and workplace accidents, including auto accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and class actions.
2. Do you have trial experience?
Although parties are often able to reach a settlement, sometimes a personal injury lawsuit will require a trial and it is important to hire a personal injury attorney that is well-versed in courtroom procedures and can vigorously advocate on your behalf in from of a judge or jury.
3. What is your success rate?
Although an attorney will not be able to predict the outcome of your specific case, he or she should be able to provide you with general information regarding their success rate for your type of case. Ask the potential personal injury lawyer to provide you with information about other successful cases and legal experience. At Ankin Law, we are proud of our proven track record of success and can provide additional information during the initial consultation. While an attorney will likely not guarantee success or provide you with a specific dollar amount that you are likely to receive, he or she should provide you with a fair assessment of your case, identifying strengths and weakness.
4. Can I still file a lawsuit?
Personal injury lawsuits are subject to statutes of limitations, or time restrictions, on when a lawsuit may be filed. It is important to determine at the outset whether or not any statutes of limitations have passed, thus barring a possible lawsuit.
5. What type of documentation do you need?
Personal injury lawsuits require a considerable amount of documentation in order to substantiate a claim. A personal injury lawyer will need certain information from you in order to adequately assess your claim and file the appropriate legal documents. Victims should determine which documents and evidence should be retained, such as medical bills, medical records, and police reports. For instance, you should find out whether your lawyer needs a police report, medical records, or employment information.
6. What is the average time to resolution of a case?
An attorney will not be able to give you a precise timetable for the resolution of your claim, but he or she should be able to provide you with general information regarding the time it takes to resolve a case similar to yours. Each legal claim has a statute of limitations, or time limit, on when the claim can be filed. In most Illinois personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is two years, but you should discuss this with any potential personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
7. What will happen if I don’t win my case?
Unfortunately, not all cases are successful and you should determine up front what happens in the event that your case does not result in a favorable resolution. You will want to ask a potential attorney about whether they can handle an appeal on your behalf and how they will collect fees if there is no compensation.
8. What are the goals in this case?
It is important that both attorney and client be on the same page so you should ask a potential attorney what his or her goals are with respect to your case. If your goals differ considerably, you may want to consider other legal counsel.
9. What is a contingency fee?
Most personal injury lawyers, including the accident and injury lawyers at Ankin Law Office, charge clients a contingency fee, which means that they will collect a portion of your financial recovery in legal fees. If you do not recover, you do not pay. It is important to confirm that a lawyer does, in fact, use a contingency fee structure and to find out what the contingency fee is. You should also ask whether you will be charged for expenses such as court filing fees and copies.
10. What is the settlement value and trial range of a case like mine?
It can be helpful to know what other cases similar to yours have received through settlement or at trial in order to evaluate whether you want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law focus on handling personal injury lawsuits and make sure to keep their clients informed and to provide clients with realistic and practice expectations.
In addition to the above questions, victims should pay attention to the responsiveness of the attorney. It is important to hire a lawyer who is responsive and communicates effectively so that you can make informed decisions about your case.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are thinking of contacting a personal injury lawyer, it is likely because you or a loved one was injured in an accident. You are probably feeling scared, confused, and angry, among a number of other emotions. Making the decision to contact a personal injury lawyer is the first step in securing your financial recovery and protecting your legal rights.
For more than 20 years, Howard Ankin has dedicated his career to helping the victims of personal injury accidents and workplace accidents, including auto accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and class actions. If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled Chicago personal injury lawyers so that we can answer any questions that you might have.