When you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you understand that compensation can make the difference in restoring your quality of life. Finding the best personal injury attorney for your case ensures that you’ll receive the representation you deserve, but how do you know which lawyer is the right fit?
In this article, we’ll take a look at some key considerations to make when looking for a personal injury lawyer, from questions you should ask them to identifying red flags to stay away from. By the end, you’ll know exactly what to look for in a personal injury attorney and be confident in your decision.
Questions to Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer
When you meet with an attorney for the first time, it’s important that you ask questions and treat the first few conversations like you’re interviewing them. Here are some things you should ask when meeting with a personal injury attorney:
What Is Your Track Record With Cases Like Mine?
It’s important that your attorney has experience working with similar cases to yours and that they’ve seen success in those cases. Don’t let yourself be completely sold by flashy numbers such as total settlements for the firm or the number of cases they’ve taken on. These statistics can be misleading and might not represent how much you can expect to recover.
Instead, ask them specific questions about how they’ve managed cases like yours, how they found success, and whether they think they have the ability to repeat that with you.
How Much Will It Cost?
Before you sign an attorney-client agreement, make sure you’re clear on all fees associated with the case so there are no surprises at the end of your case. Ask what their fee will be if the case settles or goes to trial. Also, be wary if they have a graduated fee scale depending on whether the case goes to trial. This is a sign of a settlement mill—a law office that wants you to settle quickly, which can result in you receiving less than you’re entitled to.
Are There Any Other Lawyers Who Work At Your Firm?
Lots of lawyers in Milwaukee advertise their firms under a single name and face. However, that doesn’t mean that that lawyer will actually be representing you. If there are multiple lawyers working at the firm, it’s important to know who will be handling your case and what their experience level is like before hiring them for representation.
Ask about each person’s background and experience level so that you can make informed decisions about who will represent you in court if necessary.
Assess How Well You Work Together
The period following an injury can be a very stressful time in your life due to the pain and trauma of the injury, and the financial burden of being unable to work for some time. Being injured can add an emotional burden if you don’t know what to expect from the legal process or how long it will take.
Having a good working relationship with your attorney is vital for your case’s success. A good attorney will be able to help you understand what’s going on and give you peace of mind that everything is being handled properly. This means that they will be honest with you, they will keep you informed and they will be available when you need them.
Learn the Red Flags of a Bad Lawyer
Good lawyers are responsive, respectful, honest, and thorough. So what are some signs of a bad lawyer or law firm? Here are three common red flags:
- Your attorney doesn’t return phone calls or emails promptly: You can’t always expect an immediate response, but if your calls or messages are going without acknowledgement for days or weeks, it signals that your lawyer isn’t prioritizing your case and what it means for your life.
- They promise results: If a lawyer is ‘guaranteeing’ that they can win your case, it’s a good sign you need to keep looking. No lawyer can guarantee results, and if they do, the results often aren’t the ones you deserve.
- Your attorney seems distracted or uninterested in your case: If your attorney can’t give your case the attention it deserves, they don’t deserve your case. Your personal injury case has serious implications for your quality of life, and your lawyer should act accordingly.
Additionally, the scale of a law firm might be a cause for concern.
Should You Use a Big Law Firm or a Smaller Law Firm?
Smaller firms tend to be more flexible and offer more personalized service than larger firms do. In addition, smaller law firms generally have lower overhead costs than large ones do. They don’t have to pay salaries or provide benefits to an entire office staff, so they may be able to offer you a lower hourly rate than what would be charged by a larger firm with higher overhead expenses.
Finally, because smaller law firms tend to have fewer attorneys working at their office, there is also less chance that there will be scheduling conflicts when you need legal advice.
On the other hand, there are benefits that come with using a big law firm over using a small one. Big firms may be able to hire more staff members who specialize in different areas of the law because they have more money coming in from their clients than smaller firms do.
However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Many big firms that advertise with billboards and bus wraps in the Milwaukee areas are known as ‘settlement mills.’ These firms take on a lot of cases and settle them quickly to create a steady stream of revenue for their business.
This benefits the law firms because it makes them a lot of money, and it benefits insurance companies because they don’t have to pay as much as they would if the case had diligent representation or went to trial. However, it doesn’t benefit you as the client. Although you receive money through the settlement, it may be nowhere close to what you could have gotten with a devoted lawyer.
For Lawyers You Can Trust, Talk to Pasternak and Zirgibel
If you or a loved one have been injured, your case deserves the personal attention you would give it yourself. Don’t settle for one of Wisconsin’s big-name settlement mills; instead, turn to Pasternak and Zirgibel.
Frank Pasternak and Jeff Zirgibel have a boutique practice dedicated solely to personal injury and insurance litigation. We focus on getting our clients as much compensation as we can, even if it means taking your case all the way to trial. What matters most to you is what matters most to us.
To learn more about what working with us looks like, schedule a free case evaluation today. Doing so takes less than three minutes—and could change your life.