Hiring a personal injury lawyer can at first feel like an intimidating task.You may be unsure of what things you should consider when deciding what kind of attorney can best support your case. Many of these uncertainties can be alleviated through the process of an initial consultation. During an initial consultation, a preliminary meeting with your prospective lawyer, you should feel comfortable asking questions that help you determine if they are the lawyer most appropriate for your particular case.
While many lawyers work off a contingency based fee, others prefer an hourly billing rate. You will want to ask and reconfirm your lawyer’s estimates and demands before committing to hiring them. Particularly you will want to determine:
- Do you expect a retainer?
- Having explained my case, can you offer me a total estimate?
- If I lost/won the case, would the expected payment differ?
Understanding your attorney’s past and credentials can help you get a better idea of what they can offer you. You should also be careful to determine your attorney’s availability. While it can be tempting to hire a more popular attorney, it can also mean a less personal experience.
- Where did you attend law school?
- How long have you been practicing?
- What legal organizations are you a part of?
- How many clients do you represent in a given period?
Style of Practice
Learning a little about the more personal aspects of your attorney work philosophy can transfer into a trusting and efficient business relationship. Ask things like:
- Do you feel more comfortable when you control all aspects of the case, or will you rely on my participation?
- How would you describe your style of representation?
If you feel that the nature of your case could benefit from a lawyer who has dealt with similar cases in the past, then do not be afraid to ask your attorney about this specifically.
- Can you recount a case similar to mine, and what was the outcome?
- What type of case do you feel most confident handling?
- Do you handle other types of legal work?
You might feel the majority of the questions you want to ask are about your prospective attorney and their practice. However, do not forget that you are hiring them to serve a particular purpose/situation. Asking about the particulars of your case and hypothetically how they would go about representing you is important.
- How long before I can expect my case to be resolved?
- What is a reasonable outcome of my case?
- How do you personally see my case playing out?
While these are all important questions to ask of your prospective personal injury attorney, what’s most important is that you feel comfortable in asking what you feel curious about and what you most believe will help aid your decision.
So, now you know a few tips to chose a personal injury lawyer. You;ll be able to take these steps to pick a personal injury attorney that will be able to represent your best interests and get you the best outcome for your case.
Amanda O’Donnell writes for Alamo Injury Attorneys, a personal injury practice in San Antonio, Texas. Founder Justin McMinn has helped hundreds of Texan families choose a personal injury lawyer.
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