Many personal injury attorneys will attempt to impress you with ornate offices, plaques, photographs, and picturesque views. Unfortunately, these items do not tell the whole story. When selecting a healthcare provider, patients do not hesitate to investigate whether these professionals are competent and have the experience and success needed to take care of them yet they typically fail to do so when selecting an attorney. Therefore, it is essential that you obtain this important information when interviewing a personal injury attorney.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN INTERVIEWING AN ATTORNEY
- Background –
- What school did the lawyer obtain their law degree from?
- What state bar associations have they been admitted to?
- Are they currently in good standing with the state bar? (i.e., not disbarred, no criminal history, has not been subject to discipline)
- In which jurisdictions are they permitted to appear in court?
- What is their record of cases won/lost in court?
- How long have they been practicing in the field of personal injury?
- Do they have any areas of expertise or special knowledge that might be relevant to your case?
- Lawyer’s role in their firm-
- Will they be working alone or with a partner or team?
- Will they be assigning portions of the work to other lawyers?
- Will this be a case that they refer to another law firm?
- What type of caseload does the lawyer currently have?
- What is the scope of the lawyer’s existing commitments?
- Will the lawyer have sufficient time to devote to your case?
- Success in related cases-
- Has the lawyer ever handled a case like yours?
- What is the rate of success for clients in similar cases?
- How many have been won and how many have been settled?
- What is the lawyer’s assessment of your case
- Could the case settle or go to trial? Is mediation or arbitration an option in this type of case?
- What percentage of personal injury lawsuits does the lawyer settle each year? What percentage are taken to trial?
- What potential problems could affect the outcome of your case?
- How long would it reasonably take to resolve your case?
- Do I have any financial exposure in bringing this case?
- Can they give you a ballpark figure of how much the entire case will cost including fees?
- Will they be working on a contingency fee basis or an hourly rate?
- Will they accept payment in increments?
- What forms of payment will they accept?
- Will they be sharing the fee with another attorney?
- Projected outcome of your case-
- Do they know all the various arguments and defenses available for your case?
- Are they able to anticipate the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing side’s arguments?
If you hire a lawyer after the initial interview, you need to make sure you communicate with your lawyer consistently. Make sure that your attorney will stay in communication with you in order to update you with the progress of your case and inform you of any changes. You also need to stay in contact with your attorney and provide updates to any care and treatment you are receiving related to your case. All in all, you should be assured that your attorney will represent you to the fullest extent possible. Find out more about our attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. and Contact us for your free initial consultation.