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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer

Finding the right lawyer for your personal injury case is an important step

If you've suffered an injury of some sort as the result of an accident caused by someone else's negligence, a Tennessee personal injury lawyer can protect your legal rights and fight for justice on your behalf.

But in order to find the best lawyer for your case, first you should ask the right questions. This will help ensure that you hire a trustworthy and knowledgeable attorney who will fight for your rights.

Here are 6 questions to ask a potential personal injury attorney:

  • What is you background in personal injury law?
  • How will fees be charged in my case?
  • What is your current caseload like?
  • Who else will be working on my case?
  • Can you provide references?
  • How long do you think my case will take?

What is your background in personal injury law?

A key question that you should ask a lawyer you are contemplating hiring is about their background in this particular area of the law. Bear in mind that you need to seek specific information.

The reality is that personal injury law is a broad area of legal practice. For example, the skills needs to represent an injured person in a car accident case differ from those required in a medical malpractice claim. Thus, you need to make certain that an attorney has a solid background representing clients with the same type of accident and injuries as you.

How will fees be charged in my case?

You should fully understand how much fees are to engage the lawyer’s services and how they will be charged. Most personal injury lawyers use what is known as a contingency fee agreement. Through this type of fee arrangement, the client pays a percentage of any insurance claim settlement or court judgment or settlement to legal counsel.

The basic fee structure is only part of the financial obligation a client has to a lawyer when a contingency fee arrangement is utilized. There is also an issue regarding the costs and expenses associated with pursuing the case. You need to make certain that you understand how costs and expenses will be assessed, and when they must be paid.

Many attorneys pay costs and expenses associated with pursuing a case upfront, and then seek reimbursement from a client only if the case proves successful. A client pays these costs at the same time attorney’s fees are deducted from a settlement or judgment.

There are some attorneys who will assess costs and expenses against a client, whether or not a case is successful. There are also situations in which a law firm or lawyer might require a client to pay certain costs as a case progresses.

Be sure you fully understand what is expected of you when it comes to attorney fees and costs before you sign the dotted line.

What is your current caseload like?

You will also want to obtain some general information about an attorney's existing caseload. Make sure that the lawyer you’re considering hiring has the time to effectively take on your case.

There are a number of factors that play into a manageable caseload. For example, attorneys in certain law firms may have ample resources and support staff available that permits handing a larger caseload.

Who else will be working on my case?

Speaking of the staff of a law firm, you will want to ask the lawyer who else might be assisting on your case. Many lawyers and law firms take advantage of other trained professionals to assist in pursuing cases for clients. These include investigators, paralegals and legal assistants and other staff members.

Some case activities must be undertaken directly by the attorney. However, there are elements of a personal injury case that can be more efficiently addressed by other professionals on a law firm's team. You may want to meet with these individuals who will be helping in your case before you agree to hire the law firm.

Can you provide references?

Ask an attorney if they can provide the names of a few references. Of course, there are privacy issues associated with the relationship between attorneys and their former clients. However, odds are an attorney will be able to provide you the names of some former clients who will be able to share their experiences with the lawyer.

In addition, you can glean important information about a lawyer by visiting with a colleague. Be sure to make contact with references provided. Some people collect the names of references and do nothing further.

How long do you think my case will take?

In reality, an attorney cannot give you a specific time from regarding when your case will be concluded. There are many variables that impact how a personal injury case progresses.

With that said, a lawyer can provide you helpful information about how your case is likely to progress. In this regard, legal counsel can explain what to expect in the insurance claims settlement and litigation processes associated with your case.

These and other questions should be presented during an initial consultation with a Tennessee personal injury lawyer. Contact Gilreath & Associates today for your free consultation.

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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover financially from an injury stemming from someone else's negligence.