Have you been hurt in an accident? Are you trying to decide what your next step should be? If you've been seriously injured, consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you figure out what to do now. But before you hire any attorney, here are some questions you should consider asking:

What do you charge? One personal injury lawyer will charge different rates and fees than another. You may find an attorney that charges per-hour, or your potential lawyer may not charge you until he or she successfully wins your case. If it's the latter, the lawyer will receive a percentage of the settlement that you are awarded. If you want to start making plans for the money, such as paying off bills that are accumulating, knowing approximately how much your lawyer will charge can help you make a more accurate budget.

Do I even have a case? In some instances, it may seem to you that you have a very winnable case. However, it's possible that few similar cases have succeeded. A good personal injury lawyer will be honest and forthright about whether or not he or she thinks that your case can be pursued successfully. If he or she says that you don't have a case, make sure to ask him or her to explain clearly why not. It's possible that he or she is simply too busy to take on a case like yours, in which you should get the opinion of a different attorney.

How long will this case take? Courtroom television shows have given the impression that a case is over and done with in a matter of hours or perhaps days. In actuality, a case could take months before even reaching the courtroom. Your lawyer and the opposing side's lawyer will first both file various forms and paperwork in an attempt to sway the case in their favor. Depending on how busy the court is and the exact type of case you have, it could take two years or more before you get a settlement. Your attorney will be able explain the whole process and let you know how long similar cases in your area usually take.

What do you need from me? In order to successfully pursue litigation, your personal injury lawyer (like Dallas Laird) may need a variety of documentation from you. For example, he or she may need your medical files and medical bills, pictures you took at the time of the incident, or police reports. While he or she can request some of this information from other sources, filing of your case may be quicker if you already have documents available.