Most people expect the lawyer to interview them before agreeing to take their case. While this is true, it is important for the potential client (i.e. you) to also interview the potential lawyer to be sure that he or she is right for the job.
A lot of people have “first time jitters” when it comes to the civil legal process and just don’t know what to expect (minus of course what they have seen on television). As a result, these same folks tend to short-change themselves by not asking the lawyer that may represent them enough of the right questions on the front end. This may cause trouble. Fortunately, asking the right questions and listening for the right answers can help avoid this pitfall.
The following is a list of questions the personal injury lawyers at Sigmon Law, PLLC believe every person should ask before making the decision to become a lawyer’s client.
Question No. 1: How much experience does your firm have handling cases like mine?
Most law firms these days have multiple “practice areas” of the law. While this is fine and good, the real issue is making sure the firm has the experience to handle your particular kind of case.
Make sure the law firm you hire has successfully handled many cases similar to yours. Ask for examples.
Question No. 2: How do you determine whether a case goes to trial or is settled out of court?
Every lawsuit is different, and not all cases go to trial. Remember: serious matters require serious effort from serious lawyers who put their money where their mouth is and try the cases that need to be tried. Remember, often times it’s an insurance company on the other side making low ball offers to lawyers that they know will never go to trial. Don’t hire one of those lawyers (unless you just really want to).
Question No. 3: How does your firm manage client communications?
We keep our clients informed during every phase of their case. It’s important. We want our clients to feel valued and respected and to know that we can be reached when they have a question. Simple. Unfortunately, not all firms operate this way.
Question No. 4: What happens if we lose? Does your firm handle appeals?
Many clients do not want to change law firms if they have to appeal the trial court’s decision. This is something that you should discuss during your initial consultation so that there are no surprises if the need for an appeal arises.
Question No. 5: Has any lawyer in this firm been cited for an ethical violation or cited for professional malpractice?
This is probably one of the least asked questions that lawyers hear, but it’s also one of the most important questions that you can ask. If the lawyer has nothing to hide this should be a breeze. If not, well…
If you need help with a personal injury matter, Sigmon Law, PLLC would be glad to help. You can contact us here.