If you are looking to hire a South Carolina personal injury attorney, it’s important to retain the right one for you. You shouldn’t retain an attorney on a whim. If you are pursuing compensation for a personal injury claim, you need an attorney with enough experience to handle your claim, but also someone you feel comfortable with.
When you are meeting with your attorney for an initial consultation, it’s important to be prepared and ask the right questions to determine whether this is the attorney for you. Here are some key questions you should ask a personal injury attorney so there are no surprises.
What Is Your Contingency Fee?
One of the first questions you should ask is what the attorney’s contingency fee is. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means there are no legal fees unless you get a settlement. However, you may find several attorneys who want to work on an hourly fee basis, which could be expensive if you are not prepared to pay legal expenses up front.
Am I Responsible for Advanced Costs If My Case Is Unsuccessful?
Depending on the complexity of your case, your attorney may be advancing a lot of costs. These are typically deducted from your settlement amount, in addition to the contingency fee. You want to know whether your attorney plans to charge you those costs even if you lose your case. If the attorney says you are not responsible, it’s best to get that guarantee in writing.
What Do You Feel My Case Is Worth?
While an attorney can’t tell you what you can expect in a settlement or award with absolute certainty, he or she can provide you with an estimate on the range they feel your case will be resolved. If you meet with an attorney who doesn’t seem to think your case is worth much, or their estimation seems unrealistically high, it may be worth a second opinion before making any decision.
Who Will Be Working on My Case?
You may meet with an attorney, but he or she won’t necessarily be the only one working on your case. There may be other attorneys, legal secretaries, paralegals, etc. You have a right to know who your primary communication will be with. If you don’t feel comfortable with the situation, it’s best to meet with another firm and find one you are comfortable with.
How Long Do You Take to Return Calls?
You have a right to ask how long the attorney typically takes to return a phone call or answer a question. If he or she says 24 to 48 hours, then you should not be repeatedly calling every two hours. However, if you leave a message and it’s been a week, then you should be calling to follow up until you get the answers you need.
Retaining a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
If you need a South Carolina personal injury attorney, contact the experienced team at Elrod Pope Law Firm at 803-599-3080 to schedule an initial consultation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.