Questions to Ask when Interviewing Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
You should take some time to interview at least a couple of motorcycle accident attorneys before selecting one to handle your motorcycle injury case. These interviews give you a chance to learn more about the lawyers, their experience, and their proposed strategy for your case. If you've never before hired an attorney, you may not know the first interview question to ask. This article suggests a number of questions suitable to ask attorneys who handle motorcycle accidents.
Prepare a List of Questions
You'll want to schedule a meeting (often called an initial consultation) with each motorcycle injury lawyer you're thinking about hiring. This meeting is designed to help you get to know the attorney.
Do not go into this meeting unprepared. Prior to the meeting, you should write down a list of questions that you want answered. Ideally, you should focus on questions that will help you determine whether you want to hire a particular motorcycle accident lawyer.
Background & Experience
When meeting lawyers, a good place to start is by asking questions about their legal education and professional background. These can include:
- Where and when did you attend college and law school?
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Do you only represent victims injured in motorcycle crashes, or do you also handle other types of lawsuits?
- Approximately how many motorcycle crash injury clients do you represent annually?
- What bar associations and professional organizations do you belong to?
Legal Philosophy & Style
Also, try to learn more about the motorcycle accident attorney's approach to practicing law. Typical questions to ask would include:
- What is your approach or philosophy when representing motorcycle accident injury victims?
- How would you describe your style of practicing law?
- How much will you involve me in making decisions regarding my case? For example, will you list all of my options and then ask me to make a decision, or will you only recommend the best course of action?
Assessment of Your Case
Take the time to describe the basic facts of your case to the lawyer, and answer any questions he or she might have. Then try to get the attorney's opinion about your potential case. Questions to consider asking include:
- How would you assess my case?
- How large a settlement or judgment can I reasonably expect to receive?
- Could anything potentially damage my case?
- How likely is it that we'll have to go to trial?
- As a lawyer, would you rather get a settlement for my motorcycle accident case or go to trial? Why?
- How quickly will my case be resolved?
- Is mediation or arbitration an option?
Most attorneys who represent victims of motorcycle accidents charge a contingency fee, but you'll want to get specific details about fee arrangements. Questions to ask about the estimated cost of your motorcycle accident lawsuit include:
- Do you charge a contingency fee or an hourly rate?
- If you charge a contingency fee, do you take a fixed percentage of any award? How much is that percentage?
- Do you calculate your fee based on the amount of the award before or after expenses are deducted?
- How much are the estimated expenses if we settle the case? If we go to trial?
- If we do not settle or win the case, will I still owe you any money? If so, approximately how much?
- Do you require a retainer payment?
- Can you give me some examples of how much money I would take home after your fees and expenses are deducted?
If you're happy with what you've heard thus far, you should ask more about how your case will be handled. Questions to ask include:
- Are you available to handle my case?
- What other lawyers or experts will work on my case? What are their roles?
- Who will be my day-to-day contact if I have questions about my case?
- Will you or another attorney manage my case?
- Will you personally handle any settlement negotiations and court appearances, or will another lawyer have that responsibility?
- How frequently will you provide progress reports, and what is included in those reports?
- What is the best way to reach you? How quickly can I expect you to respond?
Tips for Meeting with Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Once you've prepared your list of questions, bring it to the meeting along with some writing materials. You'll want to take notes during the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, ask the lawyer if there was else anything you should have talked about. What else should you know before deciding whether to hire the lawyer?
Hiring Motorcycle Accidents Lawyers
After you've had the opportunity to meet with a couple of attorneys who handle motorcycle accidents, you need decide which one to hire. If one stood out as far better than the rest, then your decision will be an easier one. Otherwise, think back to how each one answered your questions. Did they come across as open and honest? Did you have faith in their legal skills and experience? Were their fees and award estimates reasonable? Once you've found a motorcycle accident attorney who meets your needs, you're ready to pursue your lawsuit.