Questions to Ask When Hiring a Chicago Auto Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car crash in Chicago and the other driver is at fault, you may need to hire a Chicago auto accident attorney to increase your chances of receiving the money you deserve. Whether the accident took place in the city itself or in Evanston, Naperville, Schaumburg, or any other surrounding suburb, you’ll be able to choose from among many Chicago personal injury lawyers who can represent you.
You’ll be looking for a Chicago personal injury lawyer because those are the attorneys who handle cases where a person has been hurt due to someone else’s actions. Your mission is to find the best Chicago personal injury lawyer to guide you through your case, and this requires some real work on your part.
Interviewing a Chicago Auto Accident Attorney
If you were a business manager hiring someone to perform an important job at your company, you’d likely interview several candidates to find the best person for the position. Representing you in a lawsuit is a vitally important job, and you’ll want to treat it as such. That means you’ll need to interview at least one, and most likely more than one, Chicago car crash attorney to find the one you feel is right to hire.
The more technical term for that interview is an initial consultation. The purpose of the initial consultation is to give you an opportunity to meet the lawyer, bring him up to speed on your situation, and ask the lawyer questions relating to your case and about how he practices. The ultimate goal is for you to leave the initial consultation with a feeling, one way or the other, about whether you’d like to work with this person and would be comfortable and confident having him represent you.
Go into this meeting prepared to ask questions and to take notes on everything the lawyer says. The answers to your questions will play an important role as you make your final decision.
Questions to Ask in the Initial Consultation
A complete list of questions to ask during an initial consultation could fill a book. Following is a short list that will give you broad ideas about questions you’ll want to ask when interviewing each Chicago car crash attorney. You can add or subtract from the list to meet your specific needs. Just be sure to cover any topic you think will help you make your hiring decision.
- Background and experience: Ask about education, years in practice, types of matters handled and professional organization memberships. You also want to learn whether the lawyer primarily handles personal injury cases, or represents other types of clients as well. This will help you determine if the lawyer has the right knowledge and skills to handle your situation.
- Legal fees: Find out what the fee arrangement is and what’s included and what’s additional. Be sure to get an estimate, and find out about how often payments are expected. When you know this information up front, you won’t be surprised when the bills arrive.
- Case management: A discussion in this area will help you understand who will be working on your case and how communication will occur between you and the lawyer. Ask questions such as who will be making court appearances and whom you should contact when you have questions.
- Legal strategy: You want to get the lawyer's assessment of your case, learn how the lawyer proposes handling it and what he thinks your case is worth. Ultimately, you need to agree with the lawyer's strategy. You should also ask yourself whether you think the lawyer's valuation of your case is reasonable and realistic.
- Special requirements: If you have any special needs, such as communication in another language, evening appointments or a handicapped-accessible office, you should raise these during the initial consultation.
Each Chicago auto accident attorney you interview will ask you questions as well to understand exactly what your case involves. After explaining all the details, you should ask how the lawyer would handle your case and what the potential outcomes are.
Choosing Your Preferred Chicago Auto Accident Attorney
Before making your decision, go over the notes from all of your interviews. You may want to make a list of each attorney’s pros and cons. Ask yourself which person you were most comfortable with, and which one’s fees, strategy and experience are the best fit for you. If you’re having trouble making a decision, ask the lawyers for references.
Careful attention to the hiring process will help ensure the best possible outcome for you when your matter comes to a close.