Whether you’re working to build your personal injury case or just getting your feet wet with a free consultation, there are certain questions about your case you should make sure to address with your attorney. Here is a quick look at the questions you should ask your lawyer before jumping into a personal injury claim:
Do I have a valid personal injury claim?
First of all, it’s crucial to determine whether or not your case meets the standards of a personal injury claim. Under normal circumstances, this means proving that (1) you were injured, (2) someone else acted in a negligent way, and (3) this negligent action was the immediate cause of your injury. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to talk through your case with you during your initial consultation, and he or she should have a good idea of whether you have a legitimate claim after you explain the details of your accident. However, it might require some outside investigation and review of your case before your attorney can say with 100 percent certainty that you have a case.
Am I within the time limitations for this type of case?
There is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims in New Jersey. Therefore, you can only file a personal injury claim within two years of the date of the accident (or within two years of the date the injury was discovered). However, there are shorter timelines when it comes to claims against the government. It is important to make sure that you are within the appropriate timeline before pursuing your case further; if you try to file a claim after the two-year statute of limitations has expired, a New Jersey judge will refuse to hear your case.
How much is my claim worth?
While this is the question on every client’s mind, keep in mind that it is a very difficult one to answer—especially early on in the investigation process. However, it can be valuable to talk dollar amounts because it will help you decide whether or not a personal injury case will be worth the time and money required. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can get a ballpark estimate of how much your case could be worth, then compare it to the cost of attorney’s fees, the investigation itself, and other factors.
How much should I expect to pay?
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi works in a contingency fee system, meaning we do not collect any attorney’s fees unless you win your case. During your initial consultation, it can be helpful to get an idea of how attorney’s fees and expenses work into your final damage award.
Have you handled this type of injury case before?
The importance of experience simply can’t be overstated. It is crucial to make sure your attorney has a proven track record of success, especially when it comes to your type of case. When your lawyer is skilled in a particular area of personal injury law, it gives your claim a major boost both in court and at the negotiating table.