Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Before hiring a Texas motorcycle accident lawyer, it's important to interview an attorney, learn more about how he or she would handle your case, and decide whether you'd feel comfortable having the attorney work for you.
Interviewing Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Schedule a preliminary meeting, also called an initial consultation, with each Texas motorcycle accident lawyer you'd consider hiring. The goal of this meeting is to tell each lawyer about your case and ensure that they're qualified to represent you.
Spend some time preparing for your meetings with Texas motorcycle accident lawyers. You'll want to make a list of questions to ask the attorney. Focus on topics that will help you decide if the lawyer is the one you want to hire. The best way to do this is to ask each lawyer about his or her experience, professional background, assessment of your case, suggested strategy for handling your case, and estimated legal fees.
This article contains a number of questions you can ask personal injury lawyers during your initial consultations. Don't feel obligated to ask all of these questions, and think of other questions that you'd also like to ask. The goal of the meeting is to determine whether you'd like to hire the lawyer, so focus on questions that will help you reach a decision.
Bring a written list of questions to your meeting, and also bring some paper, so you can make notes during the meeting or immediately after it's finished.
Background & Experience
Start the meeting by asking each Texas motorcycle accident lawyer about his or her background, professional experience, and legal skills. Questions to consider include:
- Where did you attend college and law school? When did you graduate?
- How long have you been practicing law?
- On average, how many motorcycle accident injury victims do you represent each year?
- Are you a member of any bar associations and professional organizations? If so, which ones?
Legal Philosophy & Style of Offering Legal Advice
You'll want to learn more about the attorney's style and approach to practicing law. Among the questions to consider asking are:
- What is your approach or philosophy in handling motorcycle accident cases?
- How do you generally work with clients? Will you present options and expect me to make a decision about how to proceed? Or are you more likely to tell me what to do?
- How would you describe your personality or style as an attorney?
Assessment of Your Case
Describe your motorcycle accident to the lawyer. What happened? Where did it occur? Who else was involved? What injuries did you suffer? What does the police accident report say? Then ask for the lawyer's assessment of your case. Relevant questions to ask include:
- What is your opinion and assessment of my case?
- What kind of settlement or judgment can I expect to receive?
- What potential problems could cause delays or affect the outcome of my case?
- Is it likely that we will have to go to trial?
- What percentage of motorcycle accident injury cases do you settle each year? Take to trial each year?
- How long would it reasonably take to complete my case?
- Is mediation or arbitration an option?
If you feel comfortable with the answers you've received up until this point, ask each of the Texas motorcycle accident lawyers more about how your case would be managed. Questions include:
- Are you available to represent me?
- Will other attorneys or experts work on my case? What are their roles and responsibilities?
- Will you personally manage my case, or will another attorney manage it?
- Will you personally handle negotiations and court appearances?
- Would you be my day-to-day contact?
- Will you provide progress reports? How frequently? What will be included in those reports?
- What is the best way to reach you? How quickly can I expect you to respond?
Most Texas motorcycle accident lawyers represent their clients on a contingency fee, but you'll want to confirm this with each attorney you meet. Questions to ask about the estimated cost of your case include:
- How are you compensated for your time?
- If we do not get a settlement or win the case, will I have to pay you any money?
- Do you charge a retainer fee?
- What other fees and expenses will I have to pay? Can you estimate their total?
- Can you do the math and show me some examples of how much money I would take home after legal fees and expenses if we settle the case? If the case goes to trial?
Hiring a Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After meeting with each attorney, it's time to hire one to handle your Texas motorcycle accident case. If you immediately know which attorney you want to hire, then your decision will be an easy one. If you're torn between a couple of attorneys, ask each one to put you in touch with former clients who can serve as references. You can ask these clients what they liked and disliked about the lawyer and if they were happy, overall, with the lawyer's work.
When deciding which lawyer to hire, ask yourself the following:
- Does the lawyer have the skills and experience to handle my case?
- Do I agree with the attorney's proposed strategy?
- Do I feel comfortable working with the lawyer, and can I trust his or her advice?
- Is the lawyer's award estimate realistic?
- Are the estimated legal fees and expenses reasonable?
Once you've found an attorney who fits these criteria, you're ready to move forward with your motorcycle accident case.