Questions to Ask When Hiring a Missouri Injury Attorney
Automobile accidents happen, but choosing the right Missouri injury attorney to represent you after the crash is no accident. It takes a lot of time and effort to pick the right one from among all the Missouri auto accident attorneys who want your business. When you’ve been hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you’ll need to partner with someone who knows how to navigate the system. Hiring an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who’s a good fit for you will help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Interviewing Missouri Auto Accident Attorneys
Before you hire a Missouri accident attorney, you’ll need to ask a lot of questions. You’ll have the opportunity to ask these questions during the initial consultation, which is the first meeting between you and a lawyer. Basically an interview, the initial consultation will help you determine if the lawyer is a good fit for you and your case. Another benefit of an initial consultation is that it enables the attorney to ask detailed questions about your case. This helps him decide if he’d be able to represent you, given the opportunity.
To prepare for the initial consultation, make a list of questions to ask each Missouri injury lawyer you’re considering. Record the answers, because you likely won’t remember them all when you sit down to make your hiring decision.
The following are questions you can ask Missouri injury lawyers during your initial consultations. You may choose to ask all of these questions or just some. You’ll also want to ask additional questions that relate to your case. Focus on questions that help you make a hiring decision. And remember, every case is different and, therefore, requires the lawyer to have different knowledge, skills and characteristics.
Background & Experience Questions
Experience and background are important because they show you how whether an attorney is qualified to represent you in your case. Questions in this area include:
- Where did you earn your degrees?
- How many years have you been practicing personal injury law?
- Have you worked with many cases like mine? Approximately how many?
- Which professional organizations do you belong to?
Case Assessment Questions
It’s important for you to understand how the lawyer would plan to handle your case. Find out with questions like these:
- What strategy would you be likely to follow if you handle my case?
- What are the potential outcomes?
- Does anything in my case work in my favor? Work against me?
- If we were to divide my case into stages, what would they be and what would happen in each stage?
- How much do you think my case is worth?
Case Management Questions
This area focuses how you and your Missouri injury attorney will communicate, and who besides the attorney will be working on your case. Questions include:
- Will you be managing my case? If so, who else will be working on it?
- What are each person’s responsibilities?
- Who will appear in court to represent me?
- How do I contact you?
- Are there good and bad times to reach you?
- How quickly do you typically get back to clients?
- How often do you provide updates on cases and what do they include?
Legal Fee Questions
It goes without saying that cost is an important part of the decision to hire any lawyer. You’ll want to be sure that all the Missouri auto accident attorneys you’re considering have reasonable fees and an acceptable payment structure. Be sure to ask:
- What is your fee structure?
- Based on that structure, when will I have to pay?
- Can you estimate how much your fee will be? Does that fee vary depending on whether we go to trial or settle my case?
- Does that fee include expenses?
- If not, about how much will those expenses cost?
- Based on your estimate of my case's worth, how much money would I take home after fees and expenses are paid?
Deciding on a Missouri Injury Attorney
Once you’ve had the opportunity to ask all your questions of each attorney, it’s time for you to make your selection. Review the responses and see if any lawyer stands out from among the rest. If you feel comfortable with that lawyer and confident he would handle your case well, you may be ready to hire him. On the other hand, if you’re still unsure, consider making a list of pros and cons, and ask for references from the attorneys.
When you use a thorough process like this one, you won’t find yourself thinking that all Missouri injury lawyers are the same. Take your time, ask the right questions and make an informed hiring decision.