What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?

April 19, 2024 | Ed Bernstein
What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?

The aftermath of a traumatic event in which you get injured can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. In these trying times, you need all the support you can get from your loved ones and friends. It is equally important to get the guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with your case.

However, many people do not know what questions to ask a Summerlin personal injury lawyer during their first consultation or meeting. Always take time before your first interaction to consider and list some of the most important questions to ask a personal injury attorney.


Things to Do Before Your First Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer

What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

You must be prepared to make the most of your initial consultation. Here is a checklist of things to do before your first meeting or phone consultation:

List Out Your Needs

Before the consultation, be clear about what you are looking to achieve when hiring a lawyer. Create a concise list of your expectations, objectives, and concerns regarding your case. It will help the lawyer understand your situation and assess how they can help you.

Write Down a List of Key Questions in Advance

Prepare a list of questions to ask during the consultation. It can include queries about the lawyer’s experience handling similar cases, their approach to your case, the likely timeline, and any costs involved.

Examine the Lawyer’s Website

Take the time to review the lawyer’s website. Look for information about their experience, specialization areas, and notable successes. Also, read through client testimonials to get a feel for the satisfaction level of their past clients.

Be Prepared to Be Honest with Your Lawyer

Transparency is key for a lawyer to represent you effectively. Have the case’s facts ready, and be prepared to share all relevant details, even those that may paint you in a bad light. All your information will be confidential and crucial for building a strong case.

Ask Someone You Trust to Listen to Your Consultation

If possible, bring a trusted friend or family member to listen to the consultation or attend the meeting with a lawyer with you. They can support you, help you remember the discussion, and give you their impressions of the lawyer and their suitability for your case.

10 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

Your initial consultation with a lawyer aims to gather enough information to decide whether this lawyer is the right fit for you and your case. Use the consultation as your opportunity to “interview” a lawyer for the job. Some of the questions you should consider asking include:

1. How much do you charge for your services?

One of the key considerations is the cost of legal services. Ask the lawyer to explain their fee structure. Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay them only if you receive a settlement or win at trial. Clarify all terms, including what percentage they will take and if there are any additional costs to anticipate.

2. How many years of experience practicing personal injury law do you have?

A lawyer’s experience can greatly influence the outcome of your case. Inquire about the number of years the lawyer has been practicing personal injury law and their experience with the local court system and judges, which might affect your case’s strategy.

3. Have you handled cases like mine in the past? How did it go?

Every personal injury case is unique, but knowing if the lawyer has success with similar cases can be reassuring. Ask about the outcomes of these cases, recognizing that past success does not guarantee future results but can indicate the lawyer’s proficiency in this area of law.

4. What issues or obstacles do you anticipate when handling my case?

An experienced lawyer can identify potential challenges in your case. Their ability to foresee difficulties and discuss how they will tackle them showcases their strategic thinking and preparedness.

5. How much do you think my case is worth? 

While no lawyer – not even the most experienced – can predict your case’s exact value, they can provide a reasonable estimate based on factors such as the extent of your injuries, medical costs, lost income, and other damages and losses. This question also allows you to assess whether the lawyer sets realistic expectations.

6. How much time will you devote to my case?

Understanding the level of attention your case will receive is crucial. Knowing that your lawyer has enough time to focus on your situation will give you confidence in their ability to handle your specific needs effectively.

7. How long will it take to resolve my case?

While every case is unique, an experienced lawyer can provide a ballpark estimate of the timeline based on their knowledge of similar cases and the legal framework involved. Knowing how long it will take to resolve your case is vital for understanding the effort involved in pursuing justice.

8. Do I have to pay any advanced costs if we lose?

This question helps you understand the financial implications of pursuing the case. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing if a lawyer does not win. However, clarifying if there are any upfront costs, regardless of the outcome, is critical for your financial planning.

9. Do you think my case will go to court?

An estimated 97 percent of personal injury cases are settled out of court, and others may require a trial. Your lawyer’s insight into how your case might proceed can prepare you for possible scenarios and the associated processes and timelines.

10. How often can I expect updates on my case?

Regular communication is key to the attorney-client relationship in a personal injury case. It is essential to establish the frequency and methods of updates on your case’s progress so that you are always well-informed.

Red Flags to Watch Out for When Looking for a Personal Injury Attorney

Not all personal injury lawyers are created equal, which is why you should be aware of potential warning signs to avoid hiring someone who may not have your best interests at heart. Here are red flags to consider during your search:

  • They have too many bad reviews. While every lawyer may have a few less-than-stellar reviews, a persistent pattern of negative feedback can be a telling sign. Research their reputation online and consider what past clients have said about their experiences.
  • They do not have experience with cases similar to yours. Specialization matters. You want a lawyer who understands the specifics of personal injury law and has experience handling cases with similar circumstances to yours. Do not hesitate to ask about their experience and success rate with cases like yours.
  • They are not upfront about their fees. Transparency in legal costs is crucial when it comes to hiring a lawyer. If a lawyer is unclear about their fee structure or dodges questions about costs, this can indicate future financial disputes and frustration.
  • They seem to over-promise results. Beware of lawyers who make grandiose guarantees about case outcomes. The legal process is complex, and while a lawyer can give you an assessment based on their experience, overpromising is not realistic or professional.
  • They are unable to provide proof of past successes. A credible lawyer can showcase their track record of success. If they are unwilling or unable to provide this information, it can suggest a lack of effective experience.
  • They are not responsive. Your lawyer should be accessible and willing to keep you informed about your case. Consider this a major red flag if they are consistently slow to respond or you find it challenging to get updates.
  • They seem to lack empathy. Your personal injury attorney should understand the emotional and physical toll an injury can take. If they appear indifferent or dismissive of your situation, they may not represent you with the compassion and dedication you need and deserve.

Stay vigilant and trust your instincts when choosing a personal injury lawyer. If you spot any warning signs, it might be time to continue your search elsewhere.

The Qualities to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer

The Qualities to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer

Choosing a lawyer for your personal injury case may feel like an uphill battle, especially considering that there are more than 50,000 personal injury attorneys in the U.S. to choose from. If you want the best of the best to represent you, you need to look for a lawyer with the following traits:

  • Transparency. A reliable personal injury lawyer always operates with transparency. They should provide clear information about their legal fees, case processes, and realistic outcomes. A transparent lawyer ensures you understand every aspect of your case and the legal steps involved.
  • Communication skills. Communication skills are paramount in the legal world. Your lawyer can explain complex legal terms and processes in a way that you can easily understand. Furthermore, they can actively listen to your concerns and tailor their approach to your needs.
  • Easy communication. You need a lawyer who is readily available to answer questions, provide updates on your case’s progress, and return your calls or emails on time. A lawyer’s accessibility can greatly reduce the stress and uncertainty of the legal process.
  • Dedication. Dedication to your case reflects a lawyer’s commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for you and their willingness to put in the work and time needed. A dedicated lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case, gather all relevant evidence, and advocate zealously for your rights.
  • Empathy. The impact of personal injuries is not just physical. It’s also emotional and financial. A lawyer with empathy will understand the full scope of how the injury has affected your life and show genuine concern for your well-being. They will fight for your rights while providing the support you need during a challenging time. 
  • Negotiation skills. Most personal injury claims are settled out of court, so having a lawyer with strong negotiation skills is invaluable. They can effectively negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel to secure fair compensation without the need for a trial, if possible.
  • Attention to detail. A lawyer who meticulously reviews every detail can maximize your claims’ potential by identifying all areas of compensation and anticipating opposing arguments. Every document, piece of evidence, and statutory deadline must be handled precisely.

When you have a lawyer who embodies these qualities, you can feel confident knowing your case is in good hands.

What to Expect Once You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Understanding what comes next after you hire a personal injury lawyer can help ease your concerns and prepare you for the process ahead. Below are some of the things you can expect to happen once you start working with a lawyer:

Guidance on Next Steps

After experiencing an injury, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what to do. A personal injury lawyer will guide you through the initial steps and legal options. They will advise you on handling communications with insurance companies and caution you on what information should and should not be disclosed.

Detailed Investigation of Your Case

Your lawyer will work tirelessly to build a robust case to support your claim. It involves gathering and analyzing all relevant evidence, including medical records, accident reports, and witness testimonies. They will work to piece together the circumstances of your accident to establish liability and the extent of your damages.

Negotiation with Insurance Companies

Personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators who will interact with insurance companies on your behalf. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court, so your lawyer will strive to reach a fair settlement with the insurer. They understand insurance companies’ tactics to minimize payouts or deny valid claims and will push for the best possible outcome.

Regular Updates About Your Case

Communication between the client and attorney is critical to the personal injury claims process. Your lawyer should keep you informed about the progress of your case, including any settlement offers or significant developments. They are also there to answer any questions you might have and explain the legal jargon so you can understand where you stand and where your case is going.

Representation in Court

If it is impossible to reach a fair settlement through negotiations, your case may go to trial, where your personal injury lawyer will represent you in court. They will prepare the necessary legal arguments, handle the discovery process, and plan the strategy to present your case most effectively before a judge or jury.

Seek your initial consultation and prepare to ask a personal injury attorney questions for free today.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.