During a recent interview, attorney Matt Boulton was asked, “What’s a common question you’re often asked before someone hires you to represent them?”
After Matt gave his answer (see #1), and the interview wrapped up, he gave more thought to the attorney selection process and decided it would be helpful to give Indiana accident victims a list of the Top 10 questions to ask before hiring a personal injury attorney.
10 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
1) Do you think I have a case?
While this is the question Matt most often receives from Indiana accident victims, it is important to keep in mind that it cannot always be answered right away.
For example, if the police report for your car accident has not yet been made public, Matt will need to rely on an unofficial version of the events to make a preliminary determination as to whether or not you may have a case.
However, once the police report is available, Matt will review the document to make sure it supports your claim. Favorable liability and applicable insurance coverage(s) will need to be confirmed before he can officially say whether or not he believes you have a case.
2) Do you limit your practice to personal injury?
If this is your first time retaining an attorney, it may surprise you to learn that there is no rule to prevent a lawyer or firm from practicing in multiple areas of the law.
For example, an attorney or firm may advertise their car accident services, however, they also represent clients who need help with family law, DUI’s, and various other legal needs.
By contrast, Matt maintains an exclusive focus on personal injury law and limits his experience to cases such as:
- Car accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Wrongful death lawsuits
- Negligent security cases
- Nursing home abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
Because Matt limits Boulton Law Group’s practice to personal injury, it helps to ensure he is well versed in Indiana’s negligence laws and has ample experience with case types similar to your own.
3) Have you taken my case type to trial before?
In truth, the vast majority of Indiana personal injury claims do not go to trial. In fact, Matt is able to settle 95% of his clients’ cases without the need for a courtroom.
However, it is important to know whether or not your attorney has a track record of winning trial experience with your case type, as a properly filed lawsuit can serve as an important asset to persuade the insurance company to meet your compensation demands.
If an insurance company sees that the attorney does not have successful courtroom experience, they may be more likely to take their chances with a jury trial, which can be unpredictable and also increase the amount of time it takes to resolve your case.
4) What types of client and peer reviews do you have?
Be sure to look for reviews by former clients that discuss their experience with the attorney and/or firm.
Likewise, see if the attorney has been recognized by third-party sources as a trusted resource. For example, certain organizations may use peer feedback to help assign ratings based on the attorney’s legal abilities and ethical standards.
5) How long will my case take to settle or win?
It is ok to ask how long it might take until your case will be resolved, however, it should also be understood that no attorney can predict an exact timeline, especially with regard to trials.
There are a number of factors that can affect the amount of time it will take to resolve your personal injury case, such as the insurance company’s willingness to agree to the terms of Matt’s settlement requests.
So while a timeline can be challenging to predict, an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer should at least be able to give you an approximate schedule based on the facts of your case and whether they foresee are any potential challenges.
6) Will you personally handle my case?
It is not unheard of for accident victims to meet with a senior attorney, only to then have their case handed off to a paralegal or associate attorney. For this reason, ask the attorney you initially speak with if they will be the one handling your entire case.
Matt’s decision to limit his practice to Indiana personal injury victims is so that he can personally handle every facet of his client’s case. This means your case strategy will not be an off-site legal assistant.
7) What will you need from me while the case is ongoing?
It is important to understand what your attorney’s expectations of you will be throughout the duration of your case.
Boulton Law Group’s clients have one main requirement: be open and honest with your communication. Matt places an emphasis on trust so that his clients neither feel intimidated or concerned about the legal process while their case is ongoing.
In fact, once you hire Matt to represent you, he will manage and oversee every aspect of your case so that you are not bothered by the insurance company.
8) How much is my case worth?
While no attorney can place a price tag on a personal injury case, nor guarantee results, they should at least be able to give you a general idea of what your case might be worth based on similar claims they have settled or won in the past.
Matt’s goal is to maximize the results for every client. As such, not only will he explain how case value is typically derived, he will also advise you as to whether or not his involvement will be beneficial to your overall compensation. In some cases, he may believe it is best that the person attempt to settle the claim on their own.
9) Do you have expert witness contacts?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there can be a number of factors that may benefit from the involvement or testimony of various experts, such as:
- Accident reconstructionists
- Economic forecasters
- Medical professionals, e.g., plastic surgeon
- Cognitive/Behavioral therapists
An experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney will want to surround themselves with experts who can support various aspects of your personal injury claim, including liability and case value.
10) How much does it cost to hire you and what are your fees?
You may be familiar with the phrase “No Win No Fee,” especially as seen in attorney advertising. It is often used to let accident victims know that they will owe that particular law firm nothing unless a recovery is made on their behalf.
In Boulton Law Group’s case, Matt has created a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise means that you will never be asked for any money up front; you will never be charged for legal advice; you owe the firm nothing unless Boulton Law Group wins your case, and we will never receive more money than you, even if we have to reduce our fees.
As far as actual fees, personal injury firms often have a specific amount/percentage that they recoup from the overall compensation to pay for their legal services. This can vary from firm to firm and may include what is known as a “sliding fee scale.” This simply means that their fees are subject to a specified increase if your case requires a trial.
About Boulton Law Group
Founded by attorney Matt Boulton, Boulton Law Group is an award-winning, Indiana personal injury law firm focused on helping Hoosiers recover compensation for their accident and injuries.
In addition to a successful history of results for its clients, the firm places a focus on personal service and custom solutions tailored to the individual.
To speak with us about your potential case, call direct at 317-350-2680, or write to us using our confidential contact form.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.