If you are involved in a car accident, do you know what questions to ask an auto accident attorney before hiring him or her? The questions you ask your attorney could be very important in determining if you are hiring the right person for the job of recovering compensation for your injuries. Here are seven questions you should ask any attorney before signing a retainer agreement:
How do you charge for your services?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney is paid a percentage of the final settlement amount of your case rather than an hourly rate. However, even with a contingency fee agreement, some attorneys expect payment of fees and expenses up front, so read your agreement carefully and ask questions about how expenses will be handled.
Have you handled cases like mine before? If so, how many and what were the outcomes?
It is very important that you hire an attorney who has experience in handling auto accident personal injury cases. While many attorneys will take a personal injury case, few have the years of experience necessary to understand the complexities of this type of litigation or have developed the network of resources necessary to expedite a settlement.
What happens if my case doesn’t settle? Are you experienced with taking these types of cases to trial?
Personal injury cases are usually settled outside of court however, in some cases it may be necessary to present your case in court. In these situations, selecting an auto accident attorney with extensive trial experience could make the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve or loosing your case altogether. Be sure that your attorney has a proven track record of successfully litigating personal injury cases in trial.
How often will we be communicating about my case? Who in your office will I be dealing with?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask about your attorney. A good lawyer communicates directly with his or her clients instead of farming work out to paralegals or secretaries. Your attorney should be available to you continually throughout your case to answer questions and discuss your concerns. He or she should also keep you informed of any significant developments, particularly any settlement offers you receive.
What will your expectations be from me in this lawsuit? What information will I need to provide?
It is important that your attorney have complete information in order to pursue your settlement effectively. You should be very clear on what information your attorney needs and submit it to him or her in a timely manner. You should also clarify the procedure for submitting information to your attorney and how the two of you will communicate.
Have you ever been suspended from practicing law? If so, why?
If an attorney has been suspended or disciplined, the Bar Association of the state will have information on the case. Any suspension should be considered a matter for serious concern.
Can I have references of past clients with my type of case?
You should always ask for references from any attorney you are considering hiring. You can also look for reviews online to determine if clients have good or bad things to say about the lawyer.
Doing your homework before hiring an auto accident attorney is an important step to finding the right attorney to help you recover the compensation you deserve. The car accident attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. have been helping auto accident victims in Florida for over 20 years. Contact us for a free consultation. We will make sure that all of your questions are answered completely and to your satisfaction.