Most people are interviewed at some point in their life, usually when looking for a job. However, relatively few of us are ever in a position where we are the ones conducting the interview – but this is just what happens when you start looking for a personal injury attorney. Asking the right questions is the key to finding out whether the person you’re speaking to is right for the job. If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident in Oregon and are considering hiring a car accident injury lawyer in Portland, the questions you ask should go beyond, “Have I got a case?”
3 Steps to Finding a Good Car Accident Injury Lawyer in Portland
If you’ve never needed the services of a car accident injury lawyer in Portland before, start your search by completing three basic steps.
- Collect the names of area auto accident lawyers from sources you trust.
- Make a shortlist of attorneys you would consider using. Phone each of them and schedule an initial consultation. These meetings are almost always free of charge, but be sure to ask. Use the meeting to learn more about the attorney’s experience, skills and how he or she proposes to handle your lawsuit, as well as their schedule of fees.
- Once you’ve conducted your interviews, select the attorney who you feel is most deserving of your trust.
Preparing for the free initial consultation
Go into your interview well prepared. You will be asked questions by the attorney, as well as asking your own. Have a clear outline of your case ready to present to the lawyer and describe your situation, injuries and the effects of those injuries on your day to day life as thoroughly as possible. Once that’s done, you can move onto your own list of questions to ask. Some things you’ll want to touch on include:
- Experience and expertise. How long has the attorney been practicing, and do they specialize in personal injury cases, or is it a sideline of their family law practice?
- Find out the number of car accident cases they handle in an average year and if they’ve worked on other cases similar to your own.
- Find out how they generally approach a case. Would they present you with a list of options as the case progresses and let you make a decision, or would they want you to leave all important decisions up to them?
- Ask for an honest assessment of your case. Find out what the lawyer thinks is the likely outcome and what level of compensation he thinks you might receive. If you’re nervous about going to trial (many personal injury claims are settled out of court), ask what percentage of the attorney’s cases go to trial as opposed to the percentage settled outside of court.
- Ask if they see any difficulties with your case and what those concerns are.
- Is the attorney hands on or not? Will the Portland car accident injury lawyer you’re sitting in front of be the actual person handling your case, and will they be your day to day contact, or will other people in the firm be in charge?
- Enquire as to the frequency of progress reports and how difficult it will be to reach your lawyer if you want to talk to them. Don’t be shy! Ask how the attorney can be reached and how long you should expect a response to take.
- What’s all this going to cost? Some Portland car accident injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. In other words, if they don’t win your case, you pay them absolutely nothing. Their fee is a pre-agreed percentage of whatever compensation you’re awarded, but if things go badly and you receive nothing, neither does the lawyer. Other attorneys work on the more traditional methods of billing by the hour, court appearances, etc. Again, it’s important not to be shy about asking these questions.
- Anything else? It can often be the case that one set of questions leads to another. Once you’ve gone through your list of queries, ask the lawyer if they have any further questions they’d like to put to you? Would they be happy to take your case? Would they be confident of a successful outcome?
- Is there anything else you should know before making your decision on whether or not to hire them?
Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic and potentially very costly experience, and many people don’t know where to start looking for answers to the myriad of questions that arise. Click on this link for a guide to what you should do if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Ask the right questions, then trust your instincts. If you’ve been injured in an Oregon accident, finding an expert, experienced Portland car accident injury lawyer will put you on the right track to receiving the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.