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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Whether you live in Cabbagetown, Five Corners or out in Peachtree City, if you are injured in an auto accident, you will want to hire an Atlanta car accident lawyer to represent you in your case.
In Atlanta, personal injury cases are very common. In fact, there are more than 50,000 auto accidents in the city alone each year. An Atlanta car crash attorney can help you understand your case and represent you in court to help you recover money to cover costs that arose because of your accident, including such things as medical bills and lost wages.
Before hiring an Atlanta car accident lawyer, you should schedule an interview with the prospective attorney to make sure he or she is a good fit. To do this, you will want to ask the lawyer a number of questions.
Consulting with an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Your first meeting with a lawyer is known as an initial consultation. The purpose of this consultation is to:
- Become acquainted with the lawyer
- Tell the lawyer about your case
- Ask the lawyer any questions you may have
- Decide whether to hire the lawyer
Because this consultation will heavily influence which Atlanta car accident lawyer you will hire to represent you, you will want to prepare for your consultation ahead of time.
To prepare, make a list of questions to ask the attorney. You don't need to ask all your questions, but you should ask those that are key to helping you pick a good accident attorney. Make note of any special requirements you may have, such as disabled accessibility, to ensure the lawyer can accommodate you. And, finally, bring along a writing utensil and paper so you can take notes of the conversation you have with the attorney.
Discussing the Atlanta Car Accident Attorney's Background
One of the most important sets of questions you should ask the Atlanta car accident lawyer is the set that pertains to his or her experience and background. You need to make sure the lawyer's skills meet the needs of your case. The following are some background-related questions you should consider asking:
- Where did you get your law degree?
- How long have you been a lawyer?
- How long have you been handling auto accident lawsuits?
- What type of cases do you typically handle?
- How much of your practice would you say is devoted to auto accident cases?
- Are you a member of any professional organizations?
Assessing Your Case
In addition to discussing the Atlanta accident lawyer's background, you will want to find out what the lawyer thinks about your case. You need to feel certain he or she understands your case before you make a hiring decision. The following are some topics you should bring up to get an assessment of your case:
- What is your suggested strategy?
- What are the potential outcomes of this case?
- What are some factors about the case that work in my favor? What are some factors that work against me?
- What happens at each stage of the case, from the beginning to the end?
Managing Your Case
In addition to discussing the facts of your case, you will want to discuss with the Atlanta car accident lawyer how he or she will manage your case. Let them know some of the information you obtained from the car accident scene if any. Additionally, some questions you should consider asking your prospective attorney include:
- Will you be representing me or will it be another lawyer in your office?
- If you will not be handling the case, can I meet with the person or people who will?
- What is the responsibility of each person who will be working on my case?
- Who will be appearing in court?
- If I have questions about my case, whom should I contact?
- What is the best way to reach you and what kind of response time should I expect?
- Will I receive status updates about my case? If so, how frequently, and what will they include?
Discussing Legal Fees
Not all Atlanta car accident attorneys use the same method to charge clients. It is important that you ask about what style of billing your prospective lawyer uses so there are no surprises. The following are some questions you should consider asking your attorney:
- What type of fee arrangement do you use? How much is this fee?
- What is and is not included in this fee?
- Can you provide me with an estimate of additional fees?
- How frequently are payments expected to be made? Do you require a retainer?
Selecting an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
When you are done meeting with attorneys, assess each one's pros and cons. If you are still having trouble making a decision, get references from each lawyer and contact them. Ask these references if they were satisfied with the lawyer's services, if there was anything they disliked about the attorney and whether they would hire him or her again.
Also, ask yourself which lawyer is the best fit for you. Which one did you feel most comfortable speaking with? Whose strategy did you agree with most? Who had the most reasonable fees and who had the best experience?
After you have given it much consideration, you will be able to make an informed hiring decision.