Five Questions To Ask When Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney

Getting The Most Out of Your Personal Injury Consultation

The prospect of having to contact a personal injury attorney can seem daunting for many people and leave you confused about what to discuss in a consultation. The good news is that these meetings are ultimately to provide you with more clarity about your potential case and how an attorney can help it be successful. Here are five questions you can ask that may provide you with more peace of mind.

#1 What types of personal injury cases to you handle?

One of the most important things to know at the start of any consultation is whether the attorney you’re speaking with takes on cases like yours. While this is something you should be able to tell from their website, there may be instances in which it’s a grey area.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you likely won’t want to be working with an attorney who primarily takes on criminal defense cases and vice versa. However, the attorney should be upfront with you about whether or not your case falls within the scope of their practice areas.

#2 What is your track record with personal injury cases like mine?

It’s reasonable to go into your consultation assuming that your case will be successful, and we all understand how frustrating it is to be promised a result that ultimately isn’t delivered. When discussing your case with an attorney, it’s a good idea to ask about the previous results they have gotten with cases like yours.

This information is typically easy to find on their website—look for pages titled “Recent Cases” or “Success Stories”—and if it’s not, consider looking at some of their reviews. Should this information not be available online or they are hesitant to be transparent about their success rate, consider having a conversation about why.

#3 Who will I be communicating with?

Knowing what to expect with attorney-client communication is essential for having peace of mind during your case. While some larger firms rely heavily on paralegals and case managers to keep clients in the loop, others may want to have a set meeting to ensure you are informed about any developments.

In your initial consultation, don’t hesitate to iron out the details of who you will be communicating with, how often you can expect to hear from the firm, and your preferred methods of communication.

#4 What is the possibility of going to trial?

Every case is different—some may be settled within weeks outside of the courtroom, and others may require a trial. This will largely depend on your unique circumstances and how cooperative the insurance company/at-fault party is being. While there is no definitive answer for what each individual’s timeline may look like, this is something that your attorney may be able to discuss during your initial consultation based on previous similar cases.

#5 What are your legal fees?

It’s no secret that legal disputes can be costly, especially in personal injury cases where you have to factor in medical expenses. Because of this, having a general idea of what the attorney’s fees are, court costs, and anything else cost-wise that may be associated with your case is essential.

Many personal injury attorneys, including our team at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman PLLC, work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no fees unless your case is successful.

The Lawyers That Listen

Our team prides itself on providing accessible and communicative representation for clients throughout northern Mississippi. When you’ve become injured by another individual or business, we are here to help. Schedule your free consultation today by calling (662) 222-0597 or filling out this short form.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.