If you suffer injuries in an accident that someone else caused, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit—and you need an attorney on your side. Personal injury lawyers work tenaciously to achieve maximum possible compensation for their clients, handling every aspect of a personal injury claim from negotiation to settlement.
When choosing a personal injury lawyer in Portland, it is important to bring a list of questions with you to guide your hiring decision. Asking certain questions can help you gain a stronger sense of the attorney’s qualifications, background, and working style.
Not only is it important to hire a licensed attorney with the proper credentials, but it is important to choose a lawyer who has experience practicing law in Oregon courts. Oregon state laws differ from others, and you need a lawyer who understands the intricacies of Oregon’s court systems.
When you attend your consultation, ask the attorney about his or her background. How long has he or she practiced law, and when did he or she become licensed with Oregon?
You want to hire an attorney with relevant experience in your case’s practice area. If you were looking for an attorney for your car accident case, for example, you do not want to hire a lawyer who only has experience in medical malpractice claims. Attorneys with relevant experience will bring a wealth of resources, knowledge, and case strategies to your claim.
Ask the attorney about previous cases he or she handled that looked similar to yours and ask him or her to explain the outcomes. Once you identify the lawyer’s relevant experience, ask him or her about your case.
Does the attorney foresee your case going to trial?
Are there any issues or difficulties that could arise later on?
These questions can help you gain a better understanding of the attorney’s ability to evaluate claims and provide honest feedback.
While it will be difficult for your attorney to calculate your settlement value at your consultation, it is important to ask him or her what he or she believes your claim is worth.
Your attorney should be able to provide a spectrum of compensation and explain how various factors can impact your claim value, such as pre-existing medical issues or complex liability.
He or she should not make unrealistic claims or provide an exact number at this stage; be wary of attorneys who seem to overestimate your case value.
Most personal injury firms recognize that injury victims experience significant financial hardship and cannot pay for legal representation out of pocket.
However, these firms will usually operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only pay legal fees if the attorney secures a settlement or verdict in your case. Instead of out-of-pocket payment, the attorney will take an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement as payment.
When attending your consultation, ask the attorney about his or her fee arrangement and whether your case meets the firm’s contingency criteria. You should also ask about any extra fees or case-related costs you may be responsible for.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be daunting, but an attorney provides valuable support and resources throughout the claim process. As soon as possible after your accident, research potential attorneys and schedule free consultations to find the best lawyer for your case.