A Guide to Effective Communication with Your Personal Injury Attorney
Have a good conversation before you actually hire the lawyer
Communication starts before cooperation even appears on the horizon. Before you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, take the time to sit down with them and have a detailed and honest discussion about everything. Personal injury claims can be wildly different, so you have to make sure that the lawyer has experience in handling cases that are similar to yours, or the same as yours. Check out this article for some insight into the most frequent kinds of personal injuries that tend to happen.
Aside from having the sort of experience that you need, a good lawyer (PI or otherwise) needs to be someone you can “vibe with”. pay attention to how much you clash while talking, how much your personalities overall match – or not. After all, if you are not “clicking” with this person, it is going to be hard to entrust them with your case and work closely with them over a period of time until it is resolved. So, start making a conscious effort towards quality communication before you make any contractual agreements.
Prepare all the necessary information in advance
Your chosen attorney will need you to provide them with certain information. Some of the most common requests as regards this info include things like data about your doctor (name, contact, education, experience, specialization etc.), a list of all of your doctor’s appointments with dates and times, the course of treatment that your doctor has planned for you.
The personal injury lawyer will ask what medications you are currently taking, they will ask for the accident reports, any police reports from the case, statements from witnesses, as well as a copy of any correspondence between yourself and the other party, or the other party’s representative (as a general rule, this will be their insurance company).
Understand what they are expecting to get from your interviews
When you go searching for an appropriate lawyer to work your case, it would be a good idea to ask for consultations from candidates who seem interesting. A lot of lawyers and attorney agencies will offer an initial consultation for free, or at some symbolic price that is light years lower than their usual rates.
This consultation gives you a good look at the lawyer, but that goes both ways. They will be “feeling up” your personality, the type of case that your situation presents, the form and severity of your injuries, and whether your case is legally solid enough to win you any compensation.
And, just as we mentioned above, they will be sizing you up to determine whether you will get along well. Those points we brought up about compatibility in personality and attitude is also another thing that goes both ways.
Make sure to clarify your own expectations
Now, your brain is not a blank slate. You are going to go into that office for that consultation with some ideas of your own: what kind of attorney you need, what kind of persona you work best with. To answer such questions in your mind, your best bet is to ask directly, out loud. You can find some awesome advice on asking the right questions on this web page: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/316989
Do not rely on just your intuition. “Interrogate” your attorney and get some realistic information that you can work with. Here are some points you may wish to inquire about:
The type and level of your candidate’s formal education. Whether they had some specialist training. Their statistics: what percentage of their cases did they lose, win, or settle on? Ask how they specifically intend to deal with your situation. If they have no idea and start weaseling out of that one, especially using big-sounding words, you may have come across a scammer!
Ask how long they have worked in the field and what they think your case is worth. Confirm what percentage of your claim or settlement cash they will take as their fee. Also, make sure to get their honest opinion about what parts of your case will be a challenge. Identify hopes and bottlenecks relatively early on.