What You Need to Know Before Hiring an Attorney
After an accident, finding the right lawyer can be challenging. Clearly, there is not just one way to do this. However, there is information you need before you can make up your mind. Here, we present seven questions you need to ask.
Where Do You Start?
No one lawyer is right for every client. You should start by reviewing legal sites that rank lawyers in your area. Two important sites are Super Lawyers and Expertise.com. You can also go to the Bar Association in your state to find out more information.
Will I Be Able to Meet With the Attorney Before Hiring Them?
This is a critical question. Most personal injury lawyers provide a free case review to prospective clients. It is vital to meet with the lawyer who will be handling your claim, not a caseworker or another representative from the firm. If you don’t feel comfortable with the attorney, thank them for their time and move on.
Do They Focus on Personal Injury Cases?
Some lawyers focus exclusively on personal injury. There are many different types of law, and they are all very complex. In many cases, the experience of an attorney is crucial to the outcome of your claim. In the event that you have been injured in a car accident, choosing an attorney who specializes in this area of law can be vital to obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled.
Will I Be Able to Communicate With My Lawyer After Hiring Them?
Many clients worry about who they will be able to talk to after the first meeting. Find out if your lawyer will take your phone calls. The fact that you can communicate with your lawyer is comforting, even if you must leave a message until he or she returns your call.
How Will My Case Be Handled?
Each phase of a personal injury case is different. In one method, questions answered under penalty of perjury are used to gather information from the defendant. The process is known as a deposition. If you are deposed, your lawyer should be by your side and handle the deposition of the defendant. Furthermore, your lawyer should appear in court on your behalf.
Most often, negotiations occur either after a formal court case is filed or before. It is expected that your lawyer will handle such negotiations on your behalf. If the lawyer does not provide a direct answer to this question, you may press them for it.
Your case depends on establishing a relationship with an attorney. Due to this, you may also wonder whether the retainer agreement specifies that the attorney you retain will handle all aspects of your case, including negotiations, depositions and court appearances.
Ask How the Lawyer Would Approach Your Case
As an example, the lawyer may suggest that settlement is a viable option. It is necessary for both sides to agree on the amount of monetary damages that is optimal in order to reach a settlement. Your attorney should have the resources and experience to take your case to trial if settlement negotiations fail. You should move on if the lack of an appropriate settlement stymies the attorney's efforts due to either a lack of trial experience or a lack of funds to handle the case throughout the court's system. The lawyer should be able to feel as comfortable at the negotiation table as they do in court.
Ask How Much Your Case Is Worth
At the outset, it is impossible to say exactly how much your case is worth. In general, however, an attorney can give you a good idea of what the outcome will be based on their experience. Always ask your lawyer what he or she believes is a just compensation amount. An experienced lawyer will not only take into account the wage loss and medical costs you have incurred but also the potential expenses you will incur in the future. A defendant may also be required to pay punitive damages if their actions were egregiously negligent. Both factors are considered when determining whether the defendant was responsible for the injured party's pain and suffering and whether their negligence resulted in a severe injury.
If you are looking for an attorney, schedule a meeting with Jeff Morris. Morris Law offers a free case review where you can ask questions and learn about his law firm. Call (843) 232-0944 or reach out to us online.