Do you know the top questions to ask before hiring an accident lawyer? There are a million questions that you could ask, but we’ve compiled a list of questions that will give you the most important information.
What Cases Have You Represented That Were Similar to Mine?
You want an attorney who has traveled this road many times. You don’t want someone who has never handled a case like your own. For example, an attorney who specializes in family law may not have the resources to handle a lawsuit against a huge corporation.
Similarly, an attorney who has limited experience in personal injury cases springing from a car accident may be out of his depth. For the best outcome, hire an attorney who has a proven track record of successfully settling and winning cases similar to yours.
How Often Do You Take Cases to Court?
It’s easier to settle out of court than to go to court. Naturally, many attorneys look to settle immediately. The faster they settle cases, the more cases they can take on, and therefore, the more money they make for themselves.
However, an attorney who begins a case by preparing as if it will have to go to court will be far more prepared than the lawyer who doesn’t do any in-depth research because he assumes that the case will be settled.
Shy away from attorneys who seem only to settle cases. Why? You may have to go to court to get the defendant to compensate you for the injuries you’ve suffered. If your attorney avoids going to court at all costs, he’s likely to pressure you into settling your case for far less money than you deserve. The attorney will be pleased because he’ll get paid for a minimum of effort, but you’ll be left trying to put your life back together without the financial support you require and deserve.
That’s not to say settling out of court is a bad thing. A great attorney can often reach a fair settlement agreement without having to enter a courtroom. The point is, you want someone who is adequately prepared to go to court if it becomes necessary.
Will You Be My Attorney or Will One of Your Associates?
When you go to the law firm’s office for an interview, the firm may try to impress you by letting you discuss your case with its most well-known attorney. Maybe she’s the one with her name on the building, or she’s the one you’ve seen in all the TV commercials. But this may be only an attempt to get you to sign with the firm. Once you’ve signed, the firm might hand your case to a junior associate.
If you’re expecting to work with a particular attorney, ask who will be assigned to handle your case. While a partner or junior associate may be more than qualified to take your case you deserve to know upfront who you’ll actually be working with.
What Is Your Assessment of My Case?
- During your consultation, an attorney should be able to give you a preliminary assessment of your case. Do they think there is a good chance of a successful outcome?
- What factors do they foresee having an impact on your case?
- How much do they think your case settlement or judgment might be?
- Is there anything you can do to help improve the chances of success?
- How long do they think your case might take?
Obviously, every case is different, but an experienced attorney will be able to give you estimates and best/worst-case scenarios.
What Will You Charge?
It’s a standard practice that a personal injury attorney will work on a contingency basis, getting paid only after your case is settled. However, ask a potential attorney about his fee structure to make sure you know of any charges you’d be expected to pay above and beyond the normal fee.
Be certain you have a clear idea of the amount or percentage that the attorney will receive from your settlement, and whether there are any special fees that will apply if he doesn’t win your case.
Hire an Experienced Accident Attorney Who Can Answer All of These Questions and More!
If you have questions, Herman & Herman has the answers. Contact us today to arrange your free consultation with one of our experienced accident lawyers. Call 361-882-4357.