What To Ask an Attorney During Your Free Consultation
Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2016.
Most personal injury billboards, articles, and websites offer clients the same opportunity – to speak with an attorney for a free case evaluation. A free consultation should give you an idea about the attorney’s practice philosophy and a better understanding of your legal situation.
Questions for Personal Injury Attorneys
After an injury or the death of a loved one, you may want to speak with a few different attorneys before selecting one. Many attorneys offer the same services, but they offer different levels of support and fee structures. Before the initial conversation, read through the law firm’s website. Write down any questions that come to mind as you explore the digital information. When you speak with the attorney in person, these questions may provide insight about the attorney, the practice, and the law firm:
- Law firms set up their practices differently. Some attorneys handle the entirety of their clients’ matters while others use teams to work through cases. Neither approach is better than the other, but it may affect communication throughout the case. Always determine your primary contact and speak to the attorney before hiring a law firm.
- How many cases have you handled in this area of practice? Discover if the attorney has much experience with personal injury claims pertinent to your case. For example, if your personal injury involves a car accident, has the attorney handled car accident cases in the past? Ask for specifics.
- How many cases have you handled similar to mine? Look for the details in case histories. Someone with experience handling car accident cases involving rear end collisions and severe whiplash injuries, for instance, may help you more than someone who primarily deals with trucking industry cases.
- How many cases do you accept at one time? A large case load may affect the overall quality of case handling. Look for firms and attorneys that manage fewer cases and put more personalized care into each case.
- What is the outlook for my case in your professional opinion? Explain your situation in detail, paying attention to financial losses, physical injury, and daily living experience after the accident. Look for an attorney who cites similar cases and explains the process/timeline in detail, including the pros and cons of the claim. Ask the attorney to give you a ballpark estimate for the amount of compensation available for your case.
- How does your firm structure case management? Find out about your role in the case, the negotiations process, and communication management. Responsiveness, case updates, and personal contact with attorneys working on the case often set personal injury firms apart from the competition.
- What is the firm’s fee structure? Look for transparency during any conversation about fees. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. In these cases, clients do not pay attorney fees until they receive a settlement or judgment. However, contingency fee cases do not necessarily eliminate every up-front expense.
In some cases, you may face immediate financial responsibility for witness fees, depositions, police reports, and other case expenses. Weigh how much an attorney charges, the potential expenses of the case, the potential settlement amount, and the amount of time the case will take to make your hiring decision.
In any initial conversation with an attorney, transparency, honesty, and patience may indicate a good fit. You want an attorney who is willing to break down the process, keep you informed, and work diligently on your case. When you find the right fit, you can more confidently pursue legal action. To speak with one of our Birmingham attorneys, contact us today.