Six Questions to Ask a Stuart Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation

Many personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation to prospective clients who have been injured. The consultation gives them a chance to get to know the client, introduce themselves, and determine if there are viable grounds for a personal injury claim. Being prepared for this consultation with a list of questions for the lawyer can help you make the best use of your time. 

A free consultation from a personal injury lawyer is an opportunity for someone who has been injured in an accident to talk to a lawyer in a confidential setting. You can learn if you have a right to seek compensation against the party who is responsible for your injuries. At the end of the consultation, the client might decide to hire the lawyer, or they might not. There is no obligation for the prospective client to hire the lawyer or to even proceed with the case. 

While you can ask the lawyer any questions you have, some that should make it on your short list include the following six questions:

1. What Is Your Experience With My Particular Type of Case?

1. What Is Your Experience With My Particular Type of Case?

No doubt you will look for a lawyer with experience. There is simply no substitute for good experience. However, it is also important to look for a lawyer with experience handling your particular type of case. After all, handling a product liability case is much different than a car accident case. 

You want to ensure that your lawyer has the knowledge and skill to capably handle your claim, and this question can help you make that determination. 

2. What Has Been the Outcome of Your Other Cases Like Mine?

You don’t just want your lawyer to have experience handling cases like yours. You want them to have won. 

Ask the lawyer about the outcome of the cases they handled similar to yours. Did they win them? Did the cases settle? Did they go to trial? What was the outcome of the trial? 

Insurance companies usually know lawyers who promise to sue if they don’t offer a fair settlement versus those who actually back up these claims. Even though most personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement, you will want a lawyer who can take your case all the way to trial if necessary. This experience also gives the insurance company the incentive to settle your case for a fair amount. 

3. Can I Talk to a Former Client? 

Someone’s personal experience with a lawyer can be a great way to learn what it would be like to work with that lawyer. Former clients can explain how often the lawyer stayed in contact with them, the type of support they provided throughout the process, and their overall demeanor. 

Remember, you’ll be working with this person for quite some time, so it’s important that you generally enjoy this process. You will be dealing with injuries and other challenges, so you will want someone who is compassionate and understands your struggle.

4. What Damages Can I Recover In My Case?

In Florida, personal injury victims have the right to seek compensation for the economic damages they experienced because of someone else’s negligence. Florida law defines economic damages as those economic losses “that would not have occurred for the injury giving rise to the cause of action.” 

Economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Past and future lost income 
  • Lost support and services
  • Costs to repair or replace damaged personal property
  • Construction repairs, including labor, overhead, and profit

Additionally, accident victims can seek compensation for their non-economic damages, which are the other losses they incur because of the accident that cannot be tied to a specific economic loss. 

Non-economic damages include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental trauma and distress
  • Permanent disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring

While an experienced attorney can’t tell you exactly how much your case is worth, they can discuss the types of damages for which you can seek compensation. Asking this question can also alert you to the types of documents you should be keeping along the way to prove your damage claim.

5. What Do You Charge for Your Services?

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay for their services unless they successfully recover compensation for you. This saves you from having to pay any fees upfront. You pay them out of any award you receive when you can afford to do so.

While many personal injury lawyers use this system, not all do. Some could charge by the hour. And the ones who use a contingency-fee agreement might charge different percentages. The percentage should be outlined in the legal services agreement you sign when hiring a lawyer.

When inquiring about fees, you should also ask about costs. Costs are the expenses related to handling your case. 

Common legal costs include:

  • Copy costs
  • Court filing fees
  • Medical record retrieval fees
  • Accident report fees
  • Investigator fees
  • Deposition costs
  • Expert witness fees

Different attorneys handle these costs differently, so you will want to ask about what you should expect in your case and whether you will be responsible for paying them if your attorney does not win your case. 

6. Typically, How Long Does a Case Like Mine Take to Resolve?

While every personal injury case is different, your lawyer may be able to give you a rough estimate based on their experience handling similar cases. 

Be weary of any lawyer who promises a fast turnaround for your case. Litigation is a complex and time-consuming process. Settling your case quickly may be a sign of a firm that takes cases in bulk and settles them quickly to maximize its own profits. Doing so could leave money on the table for their clients. 

You Can Interview More Than One Lawyer

You don’t have to go into a free consultation with your mind made up to hire the lawyer. It’s common for accident victims to shop around until they find a lawyer they like. Take some time after each interview to process the conversation. Pay attention to how you feel. 

Contact KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers for Your Free Case Consultation 

At KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers, we talk to accident victims every week during free consultations. Some of them become our clients, and some of them don’t. But we’re always happy to visit with accident victims and explain their legal rights and options to them. 

If you have questions to ask a personal injury lawyer about your case, contact our lawyers at KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers for help. The call at (772) 444-7000 is free, and there is no obligation to take any particular action.