What Questions Should I Ask a Car Accident Lawyer During a Consultation?

5-7 minute read | Published: March 28, 2024 | Updated: April 17, 2024

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lawyer interview questions

If you’re convinced that hiring a car accident lawyer is the best recourse for your particular situation, here are some important questions you need to ask during your first meeting. By asking these questions, you know your rights and you will be able to decide if they’re the best person to handle your case or if you should look elsewhere.

1. What area of law do you specialize in?

There are 29 areas of law so don’t simply go to a general lawyer. You have to pick someone who specializes in personal injury, particularly in car accidents. An experienced lawyer in this field and sub-specialty will know how to build a strong case and negotiate settlements in your behalf.

2. Will you be the one who will actually work on my case?

A lot of people are dismayed to find that their case is largely handled by a junior partner. Some firms even assign cases to their paralegals. While there is nothing wrong with this, it’s important to know right from the beginning so that the lawyer fee can be ironed out as well. You don’t want to pay the lawyer’s rate if they will only assign your case to a paralegal, right?

3. How much do you charge?

Many attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you will only pay the lawyer if they win your case. Most will charge anywhere between 30-40% of the settlement or judgement but there may be other costs on top of the legal fee. Some lawyers don’t charge for these things while others do. You can also switch your lawyer in the middle of the case. Ask about these additional costs so you won’t have to deal with unwanted surprises later on.

4.  What information do you need from me?

Car accident lawyers want to document all aspects of the accident. They will need evidence, photos, and information such as the contact details of the other driver, any witnesses, etc. They will also need police reports and medical reports. If you called a lawyer right after the incident, they would handle all these data-gathering tasks. However, if you contact them weeks or months after the accident, they would probably expect you to have these documents on-hand already.

5. How often will you update me about my case?

Don’t overlook this crucial question when consulting with a lawyer. If you’ve never worked with one before, you might not know what to expect as far as communication is concerned. Will they provide regular check-ins via phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings? Also, clarify whether they will personally give updates or if you’ll communicate with a paralegal or an assistant.

paralegal answering a call

6. What types of compensation can I expect?

Typical damages for car accident lawsuits include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage, but your attorney should specify the exact damages you’re entitled to.

7. Will you assist me in recovering future medical costs?

Injuries from car accidents can have long-term or even permanent effects. Find out if the lawyer can assess whether you’ll need ongoing medical treatment like physical therapy or surgery, and if they can help you get compensation for these as well.

8. How many cases similar to mine have you handled before?

It’s necessary to find out just how experienced the lawyer is in handling cases like yours. You wouldn’t want your case to be the first of its kind for them.

9. How many successful verdicts have you achieved in court?

You need to hire an attorney who has a high success rate, obviously.

10. How will you keep me informed about my case’s progress?

While you may not require constant updates, you need to stay informed about your case’s progress so be sure to establish clear communication expectations with your attorney.

11. How many cases are you currently handling?

This helps you determine just how busy they are at the moment and if they will be able to allot enough time and resources to your case.

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

Given the financial implications of ongoing medical bills and inability to work, it’s crucial to have an estimate of how long it will take to resolve your case. Having a general idea helps manage expectations.

13. Do you believe my case is strong?

While you don’t need a detailed legal analysis, you should have a good understanding of the merits of your case.

Insurance agent writing on clipboard and examining car after accident

14. How can I contribute to the success of my case?

Ask the lawyer how you can help boost your case such as attending appointments, communicating with investigators, or gathering evidence.

15. Will the fee change if my case goes to trial?

While most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, some may adjust their percentage if the case goes to trial. For example, if the original agreement was 30%, it may increase to 40% if your case is taken to court. Clarify this from the get-go to avoid surprises later on.

16. What’s the potential compensation estimate I can expect?

Lawyers may not be able to provide exact figures, but they should give you an idea of the potential compensation amounts by taking into consideration factors like your physical injuries, property damage, and emotional distress.

17. What happens if we don’t win? Will I be responsible for any costs?

Ask the lawyer about any case-related costs that may arise, such as court fees or expert witness expenses, and clarify who will be responsible for covering these costs if your claim is denied or you do not get awarded compensation.

lawyer consultation

Don’t be afraid to ask all these questions during your consultation. A good lawyer will be happy to provide questions and clarify any confusion you may have.

Category: Car Accident FAQs