How can you determine whether a personal injury attorney is going to protect your best interests and maximize the amount you recover? These five questions are a good start.
1. How long have you practiced personal injury law?
Some attorneys will take personal injury cases when they come along, but do not focus on personal injury as a key practice area. Attorney Jack L. Stillman has worked on personal injury cases since 1987. He knows the tactics that insurance companies use to deny or undervalue claims, and he understands how to build strong cases that effectively combat those tactics.
2. Do you have trial experience?
While it is true that the large majority of personal injury disputes are resolved without litigating, it is also essential that you work with a lawyer who is prepared to go to court when a fair agreement cannot be reached through negotiation. If your lawyer cannot show you cases that he or she has won at trial, it may be a red flag that this attorney is quick to settle for less than his or her clients deserve.
3. Have you handled cases like mine before?
A premises liability accident in which a plaintiff slipped and fell in a grocery store is significantly different than a construction accident or 18-wheeler accident that has left an injured party paralyzed. We have the resources to build strong cases that are supported by reports from highly regarded medical professionals, life care planners and other specialists.
4. What attorney fees and other costs can I expect?
We take all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay any upfront costs and we only collect a fee if we obtain a recovery for you, either through a negotiated settlement or a court judgment. Our fee ranges between 25 and 40 percent of the amount recovered, depending upon the complexity of the case. In addition, any costs incurred to build your case are deducted from any recovery we obtain for a client.
5. Do you have past clients we can speak with?
A reputable personal injury attorney will have plenty of past clients who will speak on his or her behalf. We have shared some of their comments on the testimonials page, but we will be happy to provide more contacts if you enlist our services.