9 Important Questions to Ask A Construction Accident Attorney Before Hiring Them

Last updated on: July 2, 2024

If you have experienced a personal injury due to a construction accident, you may be considering hiring a construction accident attorney. This is an excellent decision as hiring a lawyer improves your ability to successfully negotiate a favorable claim for injuries caused by a construction accident. Before you hire a construction accident attorney, though, you will need to research and meet with potential candidates to see who would be a good fit for your case. Below are some important questions to ask a Queens construction accident lawyer before hiring them.

How Long Have You Been Practicing Law and What Proportion of Your Cases Deal With Construction Accidents?

This is an important question to ask and one that should be asked at the initial meeting. If you have been involved in a construction accident, it would be in your favor to find a lawyer with a great deal of experience as a practicing attorney.

However, you also need to consider their level of experience in handling cases related to construction accidents. A lawyer with decades of experience practicing law but minimal experience with construction accident cases may not be a good fit for you.

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Are Consultations Free?

If you’re contemplating legal action following a construction accident in New York, one of your first concerns might be the expense of consulting with an attorney. Fortunately, many attorneys specializing in construction accidents in New York offer free initial consultations. This allows injured workers or their families to explore their legal options with a qualified lawyer at no cost.

During this initial meeting, the attorney will evaluate the specifics of your accident to decide if you have a valid claim. This is a key step in understanding your legal possibilities. The lawyer will look into the events leading up to your accident, the injuries you suffered, and any involved negligence.

Handling a construction accident case can be complex due to the various laws and regulations. A knowledgeable attorney can be crucial, adeptly handling workers’ compensation claims, OSHA violations, and liability issues, all while safeguarding your rights.

Additionally, most of these attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning their payment comes only if they win your case, typically as a percentage of the awarded settlement. This arrangement frees you from worrying about initial costs.

Though the consultation is free, it’s important to discuss with your attorney any possible expenses that might arise if you decide to pursue a lawsuit. Costs like filing fees, document preparation, and expert witness fees may not be included in the contingency fee agreement.

What Is Your Fee Structure?

Different attorneys use different fee structures to charge for the legal services they provide. A common fee structure with construction accident attorneys is on contingency. This means that if you lose the case, no payment is required. And if you win, your lawyer is entitled to a percentage of your settlement.

Based on your own financial situation, you may favor one fee structure over another. Establish this early on so that you can determine if the payment for services aligns with all parties.

What Would Be the Expected Settlement Range for a Case Like Mine?

When asking this question, we are trying to uncover two things: confidence and competency.

You want a lawyer who believes that they can obtain the highest settlement and/or workers’ compensation for you. But you also want a lawyer who gives you the best chance of winning the case.

So pay very close attention to their answers. A range too high may be overly optimistic and could signal unrealistic expectations. And a range that is very low may signal low competency when it comes to negotiation.

Compare the settlement ranges proposed by every construction accident lawyer you meet with before settling on the lawyer you are most comfortable working with.

Are You Experienced in Both Out-of-Court Settlements and Trials?

The circumstances surrounding a construction accident can add complexities to a case and depending on negotiations can either be settled out of court or put before a judge through trial. The construction accident lawyer you hire should be experienced in both in order to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case.

What Miscellaneous Costs Can Be Expected, and Who Will Pay for Them?

It is common to incur costs outside of the agreed legal services provided by your construction accident attorney – for example, witness fees. Before hiring a lawyer to represent you in your workplace injury claim, make sure to establish all possible miscellaneous costs that may come up during the course of the case and whether these costs will be paid for by the law firm or out of your own pocket.

When Do You Expect a Case Like Mine to Be Completed?

If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may not be able to work and are relying on the settlement of your case to pay for critical medical expenses and move forward with your life. A construction accident lawyer with a wealth of experience handling cases like yours should be able to provide accurate estimates of how long you can expect your case to settle.

Hiring a Construction Accident Lawyer in Queens

Seeking the advice of a construction accident attorney and weighing your legal options is important following a workplace injury. Before retaining any counsel, you should conduct thorough interviews with multiple candidates to assess their qualifications and determine if they are right for your case.

6 Important Questions to Ask A Construction Accident Attorney Before Hiring Them Description
What experience do you have with construction accident cases? Ensure the attorney has specific experience with construction accident cases to handle the nuances effectively.
What is your fee structure? Understand whether they work on a contingency basis, meaning they get paid only if you win.
What is the likely outcome of my case? Ask for their professional opinion on the potential settlement or verdict based on your case specifics.
Who will be handling my case? Confirm whether the attorney you meet will handle your case or pass it to another attorney or paralegal.
What is your approach to handling these cases? Learn about their strategy for handling construction accident cases, including whether they aim for settlements or are prepared to go to trial.
Can you provide references from past clients? Request references or testimonials from previous clients to gauge their satisfaction and the attorney’s effectiveness.

Why Do Attorneys Turn Down Cases?

When an individual requires legal representation for a case, they may find that not all lawyers are willing to handle every case. There are several factors that influence this, such as the potential payout or likelihood of success. The first thing a lawyer considers is the issue of liability. If the victim is responsible for their injuries, the case may not be accepted, and there may be no recovery.

Attorneys who handle personal injury cases work on a contingency fee basis, receiving a portion of the settlement or verdict as payment. Consequently, attorneys might assess how long the case may take and determine whether the potential payout justifies the time and costs invested.

Attorneys may also take into account the expenses associated with the case, such as the cost of depositions, document copies, exhibit preparation, and hiring medical professionals and other experts for crucial information about the case. 

If you’re uncertain whether your case will be accepted, the best course of action is to contact a lawyer and discuss it with them. An experienced Queens accident attorney can evaluate the case and decide whether they’re willing to take it on based on the factors mentioned above.