Knowing what questions to ask a construction accident lawyer can help ensure you hire the right attorney for your case. You should ask questions about the attorney’s experience, the chances of succeeding with your case, and other aspects that can help you make a decision.
When Should You Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer?
Following a construction accident, you may want to file a workers’ compensation claim or a civil suit, depending on the nature of your case. If a case isn’t complex and involves a straightforward process, you may not need help with navigating claims, but these cases often come with a lot of hassle and require specific steps. If you’re unfamiliar with the process of filing claims or lawsuits, you may be unclear about what to do and how to secure the compensation you deserve.
An experienced Chicago construction accident attorney may be able to help you reach a favorable settlement and ensure that you file the proper paperwork at the right time. Additionally, an accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your case if you want to pursue a lawsuit beyond workers’ compensation.
A construction accident lawyer will also be able to help the loved ones of an injury victim recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit if the victim died following an accident.
If you decide to hire an accident attorney, it’s important to start your search as soon as possible after an accident. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim or lawsuit after a construction accident before you reach what’s known as the statute of limitations. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you can progress with your case and increase your chances of getting full compensation for a construction accident and subsequent damages.
What Questions Should You Ask a Construction Accident Lawyer?
When seeking a reliable construction accident lawyer to handle your case, you’ll want to make sure you find the right lawyer to work with based on the needs of your case. Not every lawyer will be the right choice, but you can narrow down your selection by interviewing two or more attorneys before deciding on which one to hire.
Also, keep in mind that while some attorneys may turn down your case, others may be willing to take it on and provide representation. Scheduling multiple free consultations with lawyers will give you a better idea of your options and help you make the right choice when hiring an attorney.
The following are some of the specific questions to ask a construction lawyer during a consultation.
How Long Have You Practiced as a Construction Lawyer?
One of the first things to ask about is the level of experience the attorney has as a construction lawyer. Your attorney should have ample experience practicing law in this practice area and display knowledge in construction law.
The right attorney will have a deep understanding of what construction accident cases entail and how to approach them. They’ll generally have a greater breadth of knowledge than attorneys who haven’t handled many cases like yours.
What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of My Case?
When speaking with an attorney, you should get a better feel for how likely you are to succeed with your case based on its strengths and weaknesses. A good attorney will want to know as much as possible about the nature of your accident and damages to determine what options are available to you.
The right attorney will also be honest with you about the potential outcome of your case. If the attorney guarantees success with your case, this is a red flag. No accident lawyer will be able to promise a successful outcome or guarantee how much you will recover if you win.
Even if victims survive accidents involving the deadliest dangers for construction workers, you may find that certain difficulties may make recovering compensation a challenge.
Have You Handled Cases Like Mine in the Past?
It’s not just important for you to find a lawyer with experience handling construction accident cases in general. You should also find one with experience handling your specific type of case.
For example, if you get injured in a forklift accident, you should look for a Chicago forklift accident lawyer who has knowledge and experience with these particular accidents. He or she will understand the nuances of these specific cases and the types of damages involved, along with the amount of compensation that victims in these cases often recover.
What Fees Do You Charge?
When hiring a lawyer, ask about the attorney’s fee structure. You should know how to pay for representation early on, and your lawyer should be open about how he or she charges.
Like other types of personal injury lawyers, most construction accident attorneys charge a contingency fee. A contingency fee is something that clients will only need to pay if their attorney reaches a successful outcome in a case. Once you receive your settlement, you will need to pay a portion of it to your attorney to cover the contingency fee. This fee will vary from lawyer to lawyer, so be sure to ask what each lawyer charges specifically.
The benefit of working on contingency is that it ensures the attorney works in the best interest of the client. Attorneys will want to take on cases that are more likely to be successful because they won’t receive a payment if they don’t succeed with the case.
While your lawyer may primarily charge a contingency fee, you should also consider the other potential costs involved in these cases. For example, in addition to a contingency fee, a lawyer may charge you for obtaining expert witnesses, gathering certain evidence, and performing other tasks that help support your case. Again, your attorney should be honest about any potential costs that may come up and how you would need to pay for them.
Also, no construction accident attorney should charge you a fee for an initial consultation. This is why you should look for attorneys who only advertise free consultations before reaching out.
Will You or Someone Else Handle My Case?
Construction accident lawyers often have many cases to handle through their firm, which is why they often have other attorneys handle clients’ cases. This is frequently the case with large firms with plenty of staff and a large number of clients. Depending on the size of the firm, your case may go through different attorneys, paralegals, associates, and partners.
During a consultation, ask about who will actually handle your case. You may want to look elsewhere if the attorney intends to hand your case over to less experienced lawyers. If the attorney you’re speaking with won’t directly handle your case, ask about the experience of those who will to better determine whether you’ll still have a shot of succeeding with your case.
In addition, you should find out who will be communicating with you throughout your case. You should always be able to speak with someone about your case and ask any questions you’re likely to have during the legal process.
Will You Be Able to Represent Me in Court?
The majority of accident cases settle out of court, either through workers’ compensation or negotiations in a personal injury claim. However, some cases may go to court if the parties involved can’t come to an agreement or a defendant refuses to pay compensation for damages.
If you believe your case may go to court, you’ll want to find a lawyer with experience representing clients in this setting. Ask about past lawsuits and the ability to provide courtroom representation.
A construction accident lawyer who displays the ability to take a case to court and win may influence the behavior of the opposing party. For instance, if an attorney shows a willingness to go to court when an insurance company is unwilling to cooperate and provide a fair settlement, this could lead the insurer to make a better offer in an attempt to avoid going to court.
Ask the Right Questions to Find the Right Lawyer
When looking for the ideal attorney to represent you in a construction accident case, it’s important to ask the right questions. Set up consultations with two or more attorneys and see which ones seem like the best match for you.
Even if a lawyer appears to have plenty of experience and knowledge and can secure a good outcome for your case, keep the attorney’s personality in mind. If your attorney seems to get along with you well and appears agreeable, this could indicate a better relationship.
Before your consultations, create a list of these and other questions to ask a construction accident lawyer.