If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Eagan, Minnesota, it means you’re already dealing with a lot of new challenges. Maybe you’re adjusting to life post-injury and trying to find your new normal. You may have been unable to work or handle other responsibilities that have left you with stress and fried nerves. At Sieben Edmunds Miller, we believe that one major goal of a personal injury case is to make things a little easier on you and reduce your financial burden, so it’s important to hire an attorney who can successfully obtain a favorable outcome in your case. Here are the six questions you should ask any potential personal injury lawyer in Eagan before deciding with which firm you want to work.
1. Have you handled personal injury cases similar to mine before?
The worst mistake you can make is assuming a personal injury attorney has handled cases similar to yours before. Many lawyers focus on a specific type of personal injury case, which means yours may not fit with their particular experience. In addition, just because someone specializes in personal injury doesn’t mean they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate your particular case.
When you’re considering several personal injury lawyers in Eagan, make sure to ask each one about his or her experience and the results they’ve achieved. If the lawyer can’t give you a few examples of cases they’re especially proud of, it may be a red flag. While positive performance in the past can’t guarantee a favorable outcome in your case, it would be careless to assume it’s not a contributing factor. You can also ask about the law firm as a whole– its history, values, and any awards it may have received.
2. How long do you anticipate it will take to resolve my case?
Of course, you’re willing to pursue compensation for as long as it takes, but wouldn’t you prefer to have your case resolved quickly? Your attorney should feel the same way. You should never feel like an attorney is pushing you to take a settlement just so he or she can get paid quickly, but you also shouldn’t feel like your case is dragging on without progress. In the beginning, there will be many different appointments you will have with doctors and other health care professionals. These appointments are important because you will need their expert opinions to determine your path to full recovery. In addition, if your injuries require plastic surgery to, for example, repair a scar, you will likely need to wait at least a year from when the accident occurred to have any type of “scar revision” surgery. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your case could easily take a couple of years to get fully resolved.
You can get a feel for what your attorney thinks by asking him or her how long it will take to resolve your case. Things can always come up down the line that will affect this estimate, so don’t take your lawyer’s answer as a guarantee. Look at it more as an opportunity to determine whether your attorney is aiming for that “sweet spot” of timing when it comes to your case.
3. What is your success rate at trial, and will my case go to trial?
You should be cautious about hiring a personal injury attorney in Eagan who claims they are sure your case will settle. Every lawyer should be prepared to go to trial and argue your case before a jury. That way, you won’t feel pressured into taking a lackluster settlement early on.
It seems common sense that a prolific and highly recommended attorney would have a high success rate at trial, but that’s not always the case. Many attorneys are able to keep their clients happy by convincing them that a settlement is in their best interest, even if successfully arguing their case at trial would result in a higher sum of money being awarded to them. You want to work with an attorney who has integrity and who will always keep your best interests in mind, not one who just wants to settle so he or she makes a quick buck.
4. What is the value of my case?
Any experienced personal injury attorney that is worth hiring will not tell you that your case is worth a specific dollar amount at the onset of representation. If a lawyer is giving you the value of your case upfront, they are likely lying to you. That is not a good way to start out your relationship with your attorney.
There are far too many variables to make an accurate prediction of the value of your injuries immediately after an injury occurs. Ultimately, any resolution of your claims will be based upon the nature and extent of your injuries. A thorough review of your medical records and the opinions of your treating doctors must be considered before determining the value of your case. A good lawyer will leverage these opinions to your advantage when dealing with the insurance companies involved in your case.
5. Will I be working with you exclusively, or will other attorneys be working on my case?
After spending so much time getting to know your potential Eagan personal injury attorney, you would probably be disappointed if you learned that you would actually be working with a totally different lawyer. Unfortunately, some firms are guilty of shuffling clients around between several lawyers once the case starts, which can make it difficult for the client to feel supported and heard.
Make sure to ask potential personal injury attorneys who at the firm will handle the different aspects of your case. It is important to know whether less experienced attorneys will be involved – not because they don’t deserve a shot at helping you win your case, but because you need to know they’ll have the support of senior attorneys if they come across something unexpected.
6. How much will I end up paying you to represent me?
Most personal injury lawyers charge clients contingent upon them winning the case. This means that you will not owe the attorney any legal fees if your personal injury case in Eagan doesn’t result in a settlement or in you receiving payment from the other party.
If you do recover money damages, you will need to pay your attorney a percentage of the total award. This is something you should ask about before hiring your Eagan personal injury lawyer.
Choosing the Right Personal Injury Attorney in Eagan for Your Case
As you can see, there are many questions you should ask potential personal injury attorneys before you decide which one to hire. This list is just a starting point; you can add any questions that are specific to your case.
I’m sure you don’t want to remain stressed and uncertain throughout the duration of your personal injury case, so make sure you feel confident with your choice of attorney from the get-go. The right attorney will always treat you with respect, will show you all your options without pushing you into an early settlement, and will guide you through the process with ease.
If you’re pursuing a personal injury case in Eagan or anywhere in the Twin Cities, the attorneys of Sieben Edmunds Miller can help. We understand that when you suffer personal injury, the stakes are high. We assist clients in their car accident, wrongful death, medical malpractice, premises liability, and products liability cases. You can reach us at (651) 994-6744 or via our website.