I’ve written about how to choose a lawyer, but when you’re meeting with an injury attorney, what questions should you ask? If you’ve never been through the process before, how do you know what you need know – or ask? The fact that you’re thinking about this shows that you’re already on the right path! As we have heard, we need to know both the knowns and the unknowns.
“What do you need from me?”
You and your lawyer are a team, and like any successful team, you need to work together to be successful. A good trial lawyer will let you know early and often what he or she needs from you. We often hire an investigator or request records and reports, but you probably have information that we don’t (what doctors or hospitals you have been to, names of people who can help). If the lawyer doesn’t ask, be sure you ask the lawyer what you can provide.
“Who pays my medical bills?”
This is one of the most frequent – and most important – questions I get asked. You or a loved one has been hurt and you probably have a bunch of medical bills stacking up on the kitchen table, with more coming. This question has many answers depending on your situation, but an experienced attorney can walk you through each scenario, and may also be able to help you navigate getting them paid. Be sure to ask this question early – before the bills go into collections!
“How long will this take?”
This is a hard (but fair) one because I’m giving a question that doesn’t have an answer. Each case is different, and each case takes different twists and turns that we won’t see until we’ve started the journey. However, it’s important that your lawyer keeps in touch with you throughout the case – letting you know what’s happening, what to expect, and how things are going.
These are just a few of the questions you’ll want to ask a lawyer – there will be more. The most important thing to remember, though, is to maintain a dialogue throughout your case.