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Questions to Ask When Hiring a Cleveland Car Accident Attorney

So you need to hire a Cleveland car accident attorney because you were involved in an automobile accident that was someone else’s fault. The following article will provide you with questions to ask potential lawyers before deciding on which one to retain.

Planning Your Initial Consultation

Taking the time to interview a Cleveland car accident attorney before hiring him will ensure you select a lawyer who best fits your needs. The best time to interview a lawyer is during an initial consultation. An initial consultation is a meeting to familiarize the lawyer with your case.

It’s also the time to question an attorney about his background and experience, strategy for your case, management style and billing rates. Prepare for the meeting by compiling a list of questions you would like to ask. This article suggests many such questions. Focus on topics that you think will help you decide whether to hire the lawyer.

It’s also helpful if you write down the details of the car accident and collect any documents that pertain to your case. Note how the accident happened and include the names and contact information of police officers, witnesses and insurance company representatives. In addition, bring documents such as the accident report, medical records and bills from your injury. The more information you provide a lawyer, the better-equipped he will be to answer your questions.

Finally bring writing materials to the meeting and take notes.

A Clevel Car Accident Attorney’s Experience

Ask the Cleveland car accident lawyer about his experience and legal background. Assessing a lawyer’s qualifications will help you pinpoint the right attorney. Questions include:

  • Where did you attend law school?
  • What percentage of your work deals with car accident lawsuits?
  • How long have you handled car accident claims?
  • What is your track record with car accident cases?
  • What percentage of your cases were settled out of court?
  • What percentage of your cases went to trial?
  • Have you ever handled a car accident case like mine?
  • Are you a member of any bar or professional organizations?
  • Do you have a list of references that I could call?

A Cleveland Car Accident Lawyer’s Case Assessment

Cleveland car accident attorneys should be able to analyze your case during the initial consultation. Describe your circumstances to the potential lawyer. Ask him questions to verify he can properly handle your case. Questions include:

  • Could you explain the process for handling a car accident case?
  • What’s your proposed strategy for handling my case?
  • What are my legal options?
  • What are the potential outcomes for my case?
  • Will I have to go to court, or are there any other ways to resolve my case?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
  • How long will the lawsuit take?
  • Can you estimate what my claim is worth?

An Attorney’s Case Management Style

Most car accident attorneys develop a system to manage their workload. Case management questions will help you understand the logistics of handling your case. Questions include:

  • Who will be working on my case?
  • Who handles the research, case preparation and court work for my case?
  • If other people are working on my case, what are their qualifications?
  • Can I meet the other people who will work on my case?
  • Who will be making court appearances?
  • What’s the best way to contact you if I have questions?
  • How long will it take you to get back to me if I Ieave you a message?
  • When are you available for meetings?
  • How often will I be updated about my case?
  • Will I receive copies of all correspondence related to my case?

A Lawyer’s Legal Fees

Ask a lawyer how he charges for services before hiring him. You don’t want to be surprised by the cost of your car accident case. Questions include:

  • How do you bill for a personal injury lawsuit?
  • What type of fee arrangements do you have?
  • Can you estimate how much I will have to pay you?
  • What’s included in the attorney’s fee?
  • Will I have to pay any additional expenses?
  • How often will I be billed?
  • Do I have to pay a retainer?
  • If you work on retainer, do you also charge an hourly rate?
  • Will you put our fee arrangement in writing?

After Your Meeting with a Cleveland Car Accident Attorney

Once you’ve had at least one initial consultation with a Cleveland car accident lawyer, assess the pros and cons of working with the lawyer and his law firm. Review his experience, billing rates, case management protocol and his assessment of your case. Ask yourself:

  • Is the attorney available, or will another associate handle the case?
  • Does the lawyer have enough experience to help you win your case?
  • Did you understand what the lawyer was talking about?
  • Did the lawyer answer questions openly and directly?
  • What did you like or dislike about the attorney?
  • Do you agree with his strategy?
  • Are you OK with his billing rates?
  • Are you comfortable with the attorney?
  • Do you think the car accident attorney is your best option?

If you’re having difficulty selecting an attorney, call the references provided. Their opinion could help you decide which lawyer to hire. Ask if they were happy with the lawyer’s legal strategy for handling their case. What did they like best about the attorney? Would they hire the attorney again?

Taking time to check references and review each attorney’s qualifications will help you choose the attorney best suited for your Cleveland car accident case.