Questions to Ask When Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney

questions to ask personal injury attorney

If you’ve been injured and need to make a claim against an insurance company for your injuries, you probably need a lawyer to help you.  If you are like most people, you’ve never made an injury claim against an insurance company and probably are unsure how to go about choosing the best lawyer for your claim.  You have probably seen ads on television, on billboards, in the yellow pages or on the Internet.  There are many ads by lawyers for personal injury claims.  Doing some research and asking key questions when you meet with an attorney can make all the difference in helping you find the best Yakima personal injury lawyer.

1. Do you work exclusively on personal injury cases?

You should understand that just because a lawyer advertises that he or she handles personal injury claims, this doesn’t mean that the lawyer is particularly experienced in handling these claims. 

The legal profession does not have recognized specialties, where the lawyer goes through special training to handle certain kinds of legal matters, like personal injury claims.  In short, virtually any lawyer can advertise for personal injury claims, but that does not mean the lawyer is qualified to expertly represent you.

So how do you decide which lawyer to call for your claim?  First, it’s probably best to retain a lawyer who works exclusively on personal injury and insurance claims.  Lawyers who handle many different types of legal matters are usually less qualified than lawyers who work exclusively on personal injury and insurance claims.

2. How many years of experience do you or your firm have in handling personal injury cases?

A lawyer who has a number of years of experience in handling personal injury claims, or who works for a firm which has had many years of experience, is more likely to do a good job handling your claim.  More experience usually means more expertise, which translates into a better result for you.

3. What is your attorney rating?  

You should always check the rating of your attorney.  A service called Martindale Hubbell has rated lawyers for decades.  An AV rating is given to only the best lawyers.  An AV rating means that your lawyer is one of the more experienced lawyers in his or her field. It also means that the lawyer has a high ethical rating.  Another rating service called Avvo rates attorneys on a scale of 1 to 10.  The higher the number assigned to a lawyer indicates a higher level of expertise and client satisfaction.  Avvo, Google, and other online platforms make it easy for clients to leave reviews.  Reading the reviews written by real clients will give you an idea of whether or not the lawyer would be a good fit for you.

4. What is your experience handling claims like mine, and how many cases have you litigated?

It never hurts to simply ask the lawyer what his or her experience is with claims like yours.  Specifically, how many years has the lawyer worked on claims like yours?  How many claims like yours has the lawyer successfully handled?  If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer on your claim, you need a lawyer who is willing and capable of taking your case to court. It’s fair game to ask your potential attorney how many cases he or she has litigated.

If he or she does not litigate very many cases, that lawyer may be accepting low settlements from the insurance companies. Insurance companies keep a book on lawyers and know which ones are unwilling to litigate claims. Those lawyers never get the best offers. Even though most claims settle without going to court, if you have a lawyer who never goes to court, you will probably not get the best settlement.           

5. Do you have a professional, friendly and experienced staff?

Just like a doctor or surgeon depends on nurses and surgical assistants, lawyers depend on their staff to do much of the day-to-day work on your claim. You should find out how many legal assistants your attorney has and how much experience they have.

Abeyta Nelson employs some of the best Yakima personal injury lawyers with more than 95 years of experience handling insurance and personal injury claims. Abeyta Nelson handles only personal injury and insurance claims.  Abeyta Nelson has obtained settlements for thousands of clients over many decades. The lawyers at Abeyta Nelson regularly litigate claims when insurance companies fail to make fair offers. The firm has an AV rating with Martindale Hubbell and the highest ratings with Avvo. The firm also has a large, professional, and friendly staff.  Many of the legal assistants have been working in their field for decades.  Reach us at Abeyta Nelson if you have a personal injury claim, and are in need of legal representation.

Hire Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Yakima

Contact us or give us a call at 509-792-3476 to get started.

-blog written by Rod Nelson, Attorney, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law

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