By: Karen Piso Nadeau, Esquire

June 10, 2024

When you or a family member is injured in an accident, the most immediate concerns are making sure to get the medical care needed to treat your injuries suffered and securing the medical team needed to address the physical harm caused in the accident. There may be surgeries involved, diagnostic testing, and a long road to recovery. Another pressing issue that requires your attention may be an inability to work due to the injuries and not being able to perform your job requirements. This means dealing with your employer, human resources, and your doctor to make sure the necessary documentation is in place to approve your leave from work. There is a lot of uncertainty and stress during those first few weeks following an accident whether it be a car accident, pedestrian or bike accident, trip and fall or other incident caused by someone else’s careless behavior. Often, the medical bills and phone calls from the insurance companies begin to trickle in creating feelings of anxiety and not knowing what to do. This is often when an injured person or their loved one decides to contact a personal injury lawyer.

The initial contact with a law firm is often associated with uncertainty and worry. This blog will guide you on some of the most important questions to ask a lawyer during your first consult with a personal injury firm. Based on our decades of experience handling accident cases, these questions come up time after time during the initial calls with clients.

  1. How much experience does the law firm have handling personal injury cases and specifically, your type of case?

You want to feel confident that the law firm you hire has years if not decades of experience handling personal injury cases in MA. Do not be afraid to ask about the firm’s personal injury experience and what experience they have specifically handling the type of accident you or your family member has encountered.  For example, if your son or daughter was struck by a car while riding their bike, ask the lawyer about their experience with these cases and get some details.  If the accident involves a child, or teenager, or college student, ask about their experience with this. You want a law firm and a lawyer in their firm that is handling your case with decades of experience. You do not want a firm that handles all different types of law and that does not specialize in personal injury cases.

  1. Who in the law firm will be working on your case and communicating with you? 

Before establishing my own law firm, I have a lengthy history of practicing law as an associate attorney in law firms with many lawyers, law clerks, paralegals, legal secretaries, and staff. I have experience first-hand of the many hands that touch a client’s file and what works best. The lawyer you see on TV or a billboard or who shakes your hand in the initial meeting may never actually work on your case.

You want to know who is reading your medical records, who is communicating with the insurance companies and other law firms and who is making decisions on your case. When you call the firm, send an email or text, you want to know who at the firm is replying to you. One of the biggest complaints about lawyers is not being able to get them on the phone or to reply to a message when you need them. You want to know who the lawyers are at the firm working on your case and that they will respond when you need them. You don’t want a law firm that will hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or legal assistant.

  1. How will the personal injury lawyer handle your case and what can you expect as the plan moving forward?

During your initial consult, how will your case be handled?  What is the plan?   What investigation will the firm undertake? Who will they contact? How do they anticipate your case progressing from start to finish?  What are some of the obstacles they anticipate? You want to gain some understanding of a timetable and an overview of what legal work the law firm will perform. An experienced reputable personal injury attorney will be direct, accountable and transparent. You don’t want to hire an attorney who is vague with no answers. You want some substance. You should conclude that the attorney knows their way around a personal injury case based on your conversation with them.

  1. Based on their experience, do you have a strong case and what do they rely upon?

Some cases have strong evidence to support them with a high likelihood of success. However, not every case is a strong case and may need to be developed. For example, a driver may attempt to blame the injured pedestrian for the car accident claiming they were not in a cross walk or not paying attention. In these cases, you want to know what the attorney thinks about your case and their initial impressions. You want to know what will be done to strengthen your case. Again, you want some substance and answers on your specific accident events. 

  1. How does the law firm get paid their legal fee and handle the expenses on your case?

Clients calling us worry about how they will pay the lawyer. However, with most personal injury firms, there is no up-front money or retainer to be paid. There are a few exceptions on some unusual cases. You want the attorney to explain in the consult how they get paid. It is typically a contingency fee agreement whereby the law firm is paid 1/3 of the settlement prior to a lawsuit as a legal fee. You pay nothing out of your own pocket. The legal fee comes out of the settlement check.

As to your case costs, typically the law firm pays in advance these expenses. This means the firm pays the costs during the life cycle of your case to put your case together. Once the case settles, the client reimburses the attorney for these costs incurred from the settlement money. Typical costs on a personal injury case are the expenses to obtain your medical records and bills from your medical providers. You want to ask about these costs and make sure you are informed before any unusually high cost is incurred. For example, in some cases, an expert may need to be retained to help support certain parts of a case and give their opinion. For example, on a trip and fall, an architect may be needed to explain any building code violations or non-compliance with safety standards at a business premises. Or a medical expert may be needed to give an opinion on your diagnosis, prognosis and future medical care needs. These experts are not cheap.  They are not always needed on cases. You want to make sure that the law firm you hire will have direct communication with you about any costs that are high or not typical such as retaining an expert.

How We Handle Your Case

At Nadeau Harkavy LLC, we have over 60 years combined experience handling personal injury cases. We exclusively represent victims injured in accidents through no fault of their own. When a client retains our firm, they deal with a partner directly, usually both my law partner Leslie Harkavy and me. We are the lawyers reading your medical records, communicating with you, and strategizing on your case. In our initial call, we give you a roadmap on how we see your case and how we anticipate handling it. We let you know our initial impressions on how strong we think your case is and what we anticipate doing to strengthen it. As to the legal fee and costs, we fully explain this. We have open and direct communication with our clients.

At Nadeau Harkavy LLC, we have over 60 years combined experience representing injured people and their families when they have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, trip and fall or other type of accident. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients over the years to help them get on with their lives after suffering the consequences of a serious accident.  We make sure everything is done to protect your interests while you and your family concentrate on getting better. We handle all types of car accident cases including wrongful death and brain injury. We represent drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, as well as other types of car accident cases such as scooter, motorcycle, and skateboard cases. We also handle other types of injury cases such as trip and fall, slip and fall, dog bite, construction site, and catastrophic injury accidents. If you or a loved one has been harmed through no fault of your own, call us today for a free consultation about your legal rights at 617-674-7640.

Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Massachusetts? Call Nadeau Harkavy LLC to speak to a lawyer today

Meet The Lawyers

With 60 years of combined experience serving injured victims in Massachusetts, our team has collaborated for nearly two decades, delivering a proven track record of outstanding results for clients. Guided by a philosophy of treating clients as we would our own family, we strive to ease our clients' journey from the initial phone call to case resolution. Committed to competing and fighting vigorously, we aim to hold insurance companies accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our belief in close communication ensures the best possible outcomes, and our approachability makes us readily available to you. Entrust us with your case, allowing you to focus on your physical, emotional, and financial recovery.

Karen Piso Nadeau

Founding Partner

Karen Piso Nadeau

Leslie Harkavy

Founding Partner

Leslie Harkavy

Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers

Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers with over 60 Years Combined Experience Representing Those Injured in Accidents.