Are you or a loved one the victim of a burn injury and need to hire an attorney?
There are more than 1.35 million licensed attorneys in the United States but burn injuries are a niche area of personal injury law. You need an attorney with the experience and passion to best represent your interests in a court of law. To find the best lawyer you need to know the right questions to ask before you hire them.
Read on to learn seven questions to ask before hiring a burn injury lawyer!
1. Do I Have a Case?
Before you hire an attorney, you need to have a realistic sense of whether you have a good case. One of the aspects of the law that makes it unique is that there can be a lot of uncertainty in the outcome of a lawsuit.
During the initial consultation with your prospective attorney, ask them about whether you have a viable case. Although you or your loved one may be suffering lingering injuries, it doesn’t automatically mean you have a winning case.
The attorney you hire should be able to listen to the facts and give you a candid opinion that tells you the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
2. Have You Handled Cases Like This Before?
You need to hire an attorney that has experience with burn injuries cases. While a law firm may practice in the personal injury area, burn injuries are a narrower niche where experience matters.
Speak to your prospective lawyer about whether they’ve handled cases like yours before. An experienced attorney should give you examples of other cases where they’ve represented burn victims.
Remember that an attorney can’t make any promise or guaranteed results about your case, regardless of how others may have ended in the past. Just like all cases, a burn injury matter is always unique.
3. How Will You Represent My Interests?
An attorney must be licensed to practice law in the State of Texas but each lawyer is different. While attorneys must abide by rules of professional conduct, there are many different ways to approach representing your interests.
How will this attorney begin representing you in this matter? Often, a burn injury case begins by gathering facts and medical records that support the liability of the defendant.
Will your attorney write a demand letter on your behalf before they file a lawsuit? The demand letter will often be the first opportunity for your lawyer to present a shortened version of your case to the other side before filing a lawsuit.
4. How Will You Bill Me?
Although all attorneys must be licensed to practice law, they don’t all bill the same way. In the State of Texas, common lawyer fees in a burn injury lawsuit are based on a contingency fee basis.
There’s the old saying under a contingency fee arrangement, “We aren’t paid unless you are paid.” While this is a common phrase across states around America, it’s important to speak to your attorney about how fees for expert witnesses and other costs will be handled.
A contingency fee agreement must always be in writing so that both parties are on the same page before an attorney’s representation begins.
5. How Do You Communicate With Me?
As someone representing your legal interests, an attorney has the responsibility for keeping you reasonably apprised of the status of your case.
How will the attorney you hire communicate with you on a regular basis? Some attorneys speak with their clients primarily through e-mail, while others prefer in-person or telephone correspondence.
Ask your attorney how they will keep you aware of what takes place in your case so that you have a clearer understanding of what to expect during the representation.
6. Will You Be The Attorney Handling My Case?
Depending on the size of the law firm you are hiring, the lawyer you meet with may not be the one handling your case from start to finish.
Sometimes the partners at a law firm will bring in a prospective client and after being hired, hand off the case for primary handling duties by an associate attorney in their office.
While it’s not uncommon for this practice to occur, you need a clear understanding of how you will be billed for each attorney’s time and if the attorney you meet with will be taking an active role in handling your file.
If you are concerned about someone else handling your case, make it clear that you are hiring a specific attorney at that firm.
7. What Is Your Litigation Strategy?
Each case has its own set of unique facts and circumstances so handling them can vary from attorney to attorney. While there is no one way to handle a case, be sure that you have a clear picture of how the attorney you hire will handle yours.
Does the attorney have experience in the courtroom and going to trial? In burn injury cases, it’s not uncommon for the insurance company or other side to litigate a case to trial.
Ninety-seven percent of civil cases settle before trial. If yours doesn’t reach a settlement, you need a lawyer that’s ready to fight for you in court.
Wrapping Up: Find the Best Burn Injury Lawyer
Finding the best burn injury lawyer will give you peace of mind that you are making the right decision with your case.
Before you begin looking for an attorney in your area, speak with friends or family members to learn about lawyers that they’ve hired in the past. What kind of case did they have and how did the lawyer handle it? Was the client happy with the lawyer’s performance in the case?
At Roberts Markland, we are a team of attorneys with a wide depth of experience handling personal injury and business litigation cases. We are focused on representing our client’s interests in the most effective way based on their case. We are also prepared to try your case if the parties can’t reach a settlement.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you!