7 Questions to Ask a Contingency-based Lawyer


If you’ve been in a recent car accident, you might want to get as much information about your odds of winning a lawsuit against an insurance company before you decide to proceed or if you can settle out of court. One good way of doing that is by conducting a free case consultation at your lawyer’s office. Seattle Injury Law offers free case consultations to help people understand the complex legal processes involved.

A short consultation gives you the opportunity to learn lots of valuable information when dealing with a personal injury case. It can take place in your lawyer’s office or over the phone. Contact your lawyer’s office to see what the options are and what they recommend or prefer. With either option, this is a good opportunity to consult with your lawyer, learn about the qualifications, and see how much experience they have in the specific areas of law involved in your case. Their specialized experience will help you win in court or with an insurance settlement.

Benefits of a Free Consultation

Working with a contingency-based lawyer offers some significant benefits. First and foremost, they only get paid if you win. This means they’re highly invested in winning your case and will be honest with you as they discuss the odds and strengths of your case. When you meet for your free case consultation, you’ll find a lot of other significant benefits.

Check their expertise

You want to know exactly what your lawyer will do for you and whether they have the expertise to take on your case. Find out if they specialize in the type of injury you’ve experienced, whether it’s the result of a motorcycle or car accident, a slip and fall accident at work, a dog bite injury, or another serious injury. Lawyers who specialize in these areas will have experience helping clients in cases like yours to succeed.

Learn the scope

When you consult with a lawyer, they’ll have additional insight into your case and the scale of it. A motor vehicle accident will likely take a different amount of time than a brain injury case would. Meeting with them will give you a better sense of how complex and intimidating the legal process for your case will be. Most lawyers will spell out detailed expectations for their clients before the lawsuit or settlement process begins.

Understand the complexity

You want to know how much time and energy this case will take, and a lawyer will be able to provide their expert opinion on how it will play out in the legal system. This will help you know the best way to keep tabs on the progress of the lawsuit and establish expectations.

A free consultation can be an invaluable experience when you come prepared, so make sure you spend time researching your lawyer and putting in the effort to prepare yourself and bring everything you need to have a successful meeting.

What to Bring to the Initial Consultation

You don’t need to bring handfuls of material, but putting in some preparation is going to help you get so much more out of your short consultation.

Bring a small notebook or legal pad to your initial consultation with your personal injury lawyer. This is a great place to write down notes as you go through your meeting, and record any specific answers to questions that the lawyer provides. Don’t forget to also bring along a pencil so you aren’t scrambling when you realize you forgot something to write with.

Prepare a folder of documents related to the lawsuit. These documents might include relevant medical records like test results or hospital bills, a list of witnesses to a car accident, and invoices for any medical procedures. You could also bring along materials from your initial research that will help you understand the case and the court system. This may include court transcripts or other similar documents, which would be helpful to read before going into your meeting.

The most important thing to bring to your case consultation is a list of questions. Sometimes asking questions to an expert lawyer might seem intimidating, but it’s crucial for you to gather this information. Write down your questions ahead of time and be prepared to bring them to the table. Knowing which questions to ask can be challenging, but will pay off in the long run.

Questions to Ask During a Free Case Consultation

1.What are my odds of winning?

One of the first questions any potential client should ask in a free case consultation is what the odds are. A lawyer won’t be able to give you an exact number, but they will know specifics depending on the type of lawsuit and the state the lawsuit is taking place in. They know how to weigh different factors and can give you an estimate after examining the facts surrounding your case.

Contingency-based lawyers are going to be honest with you about the odds because they’re invested in taking on cases with good odds of winning. That means the more information they have, the more accurate their estimate will be.

2. What is the strategy for my case?

Good lawyers are good strategists. Ask them what their approach to your lawsuit would be. They’ll need to take a deep dive into your case to develop a fully fleshed-out strategy. But after hearing the basic details, they should have a basic plan formulating in their minds. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper, too, by asking what their strategy has been for previous cases.

3. Have they handled similar cases?

Your lawyer has probably dealt with similar cases, especially if they specialize in personal injury law, so they have a better understanding of what you’re facing. Ask how the firm has analyzed cases in the past and compare them with your own. This will help you figure out how they will handle your case. Don’t forget that just because of previous experience, that doesn’t guarantee a win in every case.

4. How involved will I be?

Your lawyer will tell you what to do during each phase of the case. Following their advice will increase your chance of winning. Since it’s your case, make sure you stay invested by asking upfront about the involvement they need from you. Find out how often to follow up, and if there is anything you should avoid while the case is going on.

5. How often will we communicate?

Ask how often your lawyer will keep you informed and provide updates. Determine the best lines of communication and establish expectations for how frequently these updates will take place. Lawyers who initiate regular updates show their dedication to your case with their reliability and open communication. If they hesitate or stall when you ask, that could be a red flag.

6. What will a contingency-based payment look like?

Contingency-based lawyers don’t take a paycheck unless you win your case. When you’re making the decision about hiring a lawyer, it’s critical to find out what that looks like. Each law firm will have different procedures and policies, so find out what percentages they take and any other fees they charge so you can make an informed decision.

7. What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you figure out where your current standing is and how to protect yourself as the case progresses. This could also give you insight into the opposing case’s strengths and weaknesses. Seek out clarification on things you don’t understand so you can be informed moving forward.

Remember, these questions serve as a great basis for your meeting, but you’ll likely think of other questions to ask as you’re conducting research, or even in the meeting itself. Make yourself notes before the meeting, and keep referencing the notes you take after the meeting ends. The answers you get to your questions will be so important later on as you research your options moving forward and start making decisions about how to proceed.

Case consultations are an important first step in any legal proceeding. Each case will be different, but asking these 7 questions to your lawyer will help you know where to start as you pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

If you’re seriously thinking about litigation, consider contacting a trustworthy lawyer for a free case consultation today. Excellent lawyers provide this service for free because they are invested in helping you achieve the best outcome.

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