What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | February 24, 2024
What Questions Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury case is a serious matter. You might have serious injuries from an accident that prevents you from working, enjoying life, and caring for yourself. If another party caused your injuries, speak to a personal injury attorney to determine if you can receive compensation for your lost earnings, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

You shouldn’t hire the first personal injury attorney you talk to, though. It’s always smart to shop for an experienced personal injury attorney with a strong track record and other important attributes. Keep reading to learn some questions to ask a Creve Coeur personal injury attorney at the first meeting.

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What to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney Before Hiring Them

A personal injury case can involve a lot of money for your injuries and losses, and who you hire to represent you is very important. Ask an attorney several critical questions before agreeing for them to represent you.

Once you have suitable answers to these critical questions, you will have a better idea if the attorney is a fit for your needs:

How Much Do You Charge? 

Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney at Your First Meeting

Many personal injury victims who have suffered an injury in a car accident, truck accident, or other incident may have stacks of medical bills and be out of work. How to pay for an attorney is an important question.

Fortunately, most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket legal costs for your attorney’s work. Instead, your attorney will be paid a percentage of the money recovered in the settlement or lawsuit.

Be sure that you understand how much you will pay your attorney. Contingency agreements vary, and you should discuss fee expectations with your attorney. If the case settles quickly, the fee may be less. You might pay a higher fee if the case goes through to the end of a trial.

Do You Have a Free Consultation? 

Most personal injury attorneys have free consultations where they learn about your case and understand if compensation is possible or likely. But make sure you ask if they have a free consultation so you don’t get stuck with undesirable legal bills.

The personal injury legal process can be confusing and daunting. Understanding your case's legal process will help you know your legal rights and obligations. 

Your injury attorney can advise you on what to expect during every part of the case so you can manage your expectations. You will make better decisions about your options when you clearly grasp the legal process.

Also, you will feel more in control as the case moves forward, which may reduce your stress or anxiety. Having your attorney review the legal process will also help you better understand if they are right for you. Depending on the personalities involved, some attorneys might feel more right for you than others.

How Long Have You Worked In Personal Injury Law? 

One of the most critical decisions is hiring a personal injury attorney experienced in personal injury law. Specifically, they should have a record of success in a case like yours. 

For instance, suppose you were rear-ended by a distracted truck driver at a traffic light. Look for a lawyer with a strong track record of settlements and verdicts in truck accident cases.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

Think about your attorney’s experience like you would about your physician’s experience. If your knee hurts, you will probably talk to an orthopedic doctor instead of a general practitioner. Your GP might help, but an orthopedic specialist will have more skills specific to the knee joint.

When you speak to a personal injury lawyer, ask them how much experience they have with accident cases like yours. If you have serious head and neck injuries, ask if they have represented someone with those kinds of injuries before.

What Is My Role in the Personal Injury Claim? 

Before hiring an attorney, understand your role and their expectations. Some clients want to be more involved than others. For example, you might want to attend various legal meetings. Some attorneys will be okay with that, and others will not.

On the other hand, other clients may just want their attorney to handle everything. At the very least, you should be prepared to promptly provide any information your attorney asks for.

What Problems Do You See With My Case? 

In all personal injury claims, you must overcome many issues for the best-case outcome. An experienced personal injury lawyer can easily identify them. For example, if you were in a car accident, maybe the other driver ran a red light and hit you. In other cases, the other driver might try to blame you, which your lawyer must address and challenge.

Or, perhaps you waited several days to go to the doctor, which might make the insurance company doubt your injuries. Your attorney should know about any weaknesses in your case and identify how they’ll overcome them.

What Is My Case Worth? 

Every personal injury case is unique, but as your attorney learns the details, they should give you a range of your case’s value. Case values can vary widely, depending on your injuries, losses, and whether there is an insurance settlement or it goes to trial.

Take note of the attorney’s past settlements and jury awards; someone with impressive past results may do the same for you. At the same time, remember that any previous case result depended on the individual case factors, and your result can be more or less.

While there are no guarantees of outcomes, you can get an idea of what to expect from your meeting with a personal injury lawyer.

What Can I Do to Assist My Case? 

When you hire a personal injury attorney, you should know what you can do to help. Your attorney will ask you to hand over any important information related to the case. For example, if you take photos or videos after the accident, give this information to your lawyer.

Also, give your attorney any eyewitness contact information or other case evidence you obtained. You can always speed up the case by providing any requested information promptly.

Have You Handled a Claim Like Mine? 

Experience is everything when involved in a legal case. You wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix your roof, so you shouldn’t hire a real estate lawyer to deal with your auto accident case.

You want your attorney to have experience handling cases like yours. You also want a lawyer with a strong success rate in settlements and court.

Who Pays Case Costs And When? 

Other than their contingency fee, another financial issue is how legal costs are paid. Their method can mean having thousands more in your pocket when the case gets resolved.

When you file a lawsuit, there will be numerous legal costs that someone must pay: 

If the case is successful, you will probably pay those costs out of your settlement or award. However, even after paying legal fees and costs, claimants with legal representation still regularly take home more than they might on their own.

Do You Have Client Testimonials? 

Personal Injury Lawyer

One of the most sure ways to know you have a great personal injury attorney is to review other clients’ cases. Your attorney should have client reviews and testimonials on their site telling you about their skills and abilities in past cases. 

Hire an experienced attorney who has gotten other injured clients excellent case results. The attorney should be equally adept at settling a case and obtaining results in court.

You should look for a personal injury attorney with a dozen positive case results on their site. They should have excellent legal reviews on websites like Google Reviews, Avvo, and Yelp.

How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve? 

Even a relatively simple car accident case can take several months to resolve in settlement negotiations. Your attorney can have a rough idea of how long it will take, but it’s not easy to get an accurate estimate.

Each case has many time variables to consider. For example, the case can take longer if the insurance company denies liability. If the case goes to court, just getting it on the judge’s calendar can take several months.

If you have an experienced attorney, they will estimate how long it will take. If you need money faster, it’s usually best to take a settlement, but you shouldn’t accept their first offer.

What Is Your Assessment of My Claim? 

If you were in a car accident, you may assume that the other driver was at fault, and that’s that. But many claims are more complex than that, and you should know if getting a settlement or favorable verdict will be difficult or not.

Your attorney can tell you what the case is worth and the likelihood of success. They won't take the case if they think they aren’t likely to get you compensation.

What Happens if You Lose The Case? 

Most personal injury attorneys are not compensated unless they win. But you should ask what happens if you don’t get a settlement or lose at trial. Every legal case has legal expenses.

Whether you win or not, your case will incur expenses. Some attorneys may charge you the legal fees, and others may not.

Who Will Work on My Injury Case? 

If you work with a large law firm, you may know the senior attorney at the firm. Perhaps that person is in all of the local legal advertisements. But that attorney may not ever work on your claim.

You should know from the beginning who will work on your case. Unless the case is simple, you probably don’t want an inexperienced junior attorney handling settlement negotiations. It’s better to have a more experienced lawyer working on your case.

How Will You Keep Me Updated on My Case? 

Communication is a vital part of a personal injury claim or lawsuit. While you should not expect daily communication from your lawyer, regular updates should be provided.

Find out if your lawyer will update you by phone, email, or another method, and how often. You may desperately need money, and knowing how often you will receive case updates is important.

Will My Case Go to Trial? 

Most personal injury claims settle before trial. It’s usually better for the plaintiff and defendant to settle before it goes to court.

You, the plaintiff, receive a certain amount of money now rather than waiting for potentially more at trial, but you can end up with nothing. For the defendant, they have to pay a possibly smaller amount now rather than potentially much more later. 

Your attorney should know the chances it will settle or go to trial. If, for example, liability is contested, there is a higher chance that the case goes to court.

Anthony Bruning
Pedestrian Accidents Lawyer, Anthony Bruning

Do You Think The Insurance Company Will Offer a Settlement? 

Many insurance companies make initial low offers, hoping you will take the small amount and close the case. They want you to take a small settlement before you retain a lawyer and understand the full case value.

Don’t let this happen to you. Find out if the attorney thinks they can get a settlement and roughly what it might be. They can’t guarantee a specific result, but you should get insight into the process.

Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you suffered an injury in an accident recently because of someone’s negligence, you can be eligible for damages in a lawsuit. The best way to find out if you have a valid case is to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney today.

The attorney can review your case at no charge and determine if you can receive compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

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