Legal Guide

3 Questions to ask before you hire a personal injury lawyer

When you are suffering from a personal injury, you may not feel like taking the time to find the right lawyer for your case. You will find it worth your time though, to find the right lawyer, and finding the right one can make a huge difference in what you will get as compensation for your injury. Being injured, especially when it is someone else's fault, is traumatic. It is important to find an attorney soon after your injury if you are seeking compensation, but it is still a good idea to take your time and find the best one for your case.

The initial consultation is normally free, and you should take that time to see how you feel about the attorney and the firm you are dealing with. There are some criteria that should be met, but being comfortable with who you are working with is important as well. It is also a good idea to ask whether this person will be the one actually handling your case, and if not if you can meet them before proceeding.  You may have many questions and they should be asked, but there are three main questions that will help you determine the best way to go.

Three questions to ask a personal injury lawyer

What kinds of cases do you work on?

You may be tempted to go with your family attorney who handles a wide variety of cases. Attorney Steven Heisler handles only injury cases so he is able to immerse himself in this area. Just like you might need a specialist for a medical condition, there are also times when you need a specialist like attorney Steven Heisler to handle your case. Maryland injury law can be very complex, just like other areas can. While a general attorney may do an excellent job, a person who specializes in one area is better able to work with the finer details of your case. Insurance companies have their own specialized lawyers, and you should have at least the same level of service for your case. Steven Heisler has worked solely on personal injury cases since 1996 when he decided to specialize after having started law practice in Maryland in 1988. His specialty is advocating for the rights of people who have been injured due to the negligence of others.

How many cases have you taken to court?

It is true that the majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. The company, or person, who caused you to be injured is willing to pay a reasonable settlement to avoid taking a chance on a huge award in the courts. The big corporations, insurance companies, and their attorneys know this and often seek to settle for as little money as possible.  They need to know the attorney representing you has been to court before and is not afraid to go to court again to get a settlement. It is fine to ask for information about cases they have worked on, such as some examples of settlements, and some examples of court cases. If they rarely, or never, go to court, you may not get the compensation you could have gotten with a tougher lawyer on your case. Going to court can result in a very big settlement. It is a risk on both parties' part because if it is hard to predict how a judge will rule or how a jury will vote. 

How will the financial structure work?

Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning we get paid from the settlement money that is paid. We will not get paid if we do not win a settlement.  This is common knowledge, but you need to go deeper and ask about the structure. The lawyers will get a certain percentage of the settlement, which you will know before the case starts. There are also expenses involved in preparing a case. A good attorney will pay those expenses and those expenses upfront as the case develops. Those expenses will also be deducted from your settlement in addition to the percentage. Asking these questions will tell you how transparent the attorney is about finances, which could affect how much money you end up getting after the settlement is won. There should be no surprises after your case is settled and you get your compensation for your injury. The answers to this question can also help you decide whether it is worth the effort.

Finding the right attorney

There are probably more questions you will want to ask, but these will get you started and can help you choose the best attorney for your case. Attorney Steven Heisler will take the time to explain your options, and help you decide if you should go ahead with your case. He will fight for you just as he has done for many other people who have been injured due to the negligence of other people. Heisler is an attorney that will fight for your rights and will try to get you as much money as possible for your injuries. He will also be transparent so there will be no surprises when the case is over.

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