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Questions to Ask When Interviewing Florida Truck Accident Attorneys

After being injured in a trucking accident that was someone else's fault, you've probably given thought to hiring a personal injury attorney. But if you've never before hired a lawyer, you may not know how to judge whether a lawyer is qualified to handle your case. Once you start meeting with Florida truck accident attorneys, you'll discover that if you ask the right questions, you'll easily be able to figure out if an attorney is qualified to handle your case.

Meeting with Florida Truck Accident Attorneys

Before hiring a lawyer, it's important to meet and get to know the attorney. This meeting, called an initial consultation, will help you decide whether the attorney is right for your case. You can also use the meeting to familiarize the lawyer with the details of your trucking accident.

This article suggests dozens of questions that are appropriate to ask Florida truck accident attorneys. Don't feel compelled to ask every one of the questions. Instead, focus on the questions that you think will help you decide whether an attorney is a good fit for your case.

Background & Experience

A logical place to start the meeting is by asking about the Florida truck accident lawyer's education and professional experience. Suggested questions to ask include:

  • How long have you been a lawyer?
  • What college and law school did you attend?
  • Are you a member of any bar associations or professional organizations? If so, which ones?
  • On average, how many Florida truck accident victims do you represent each year?
  • Does your practice consist solely of representing trucking accident victims, or do you do other types of legal work as well?

Legal Philosophy & Style

You also want to learn more about the lawyer's approach and style when it comes to practicing law. Among the questions to consider asking:

  • How would you describe your personality or style as an attorney?
  • What is your approach to handling trucking accident injury cases?
  • What is your style when working with clients? Do you present the options and ask me to make a decision, or will you tell me what I should do?
  • Do you prefer to take truck accident cases to court or settle before going to trial?

Assessment of Your Case

Share the details of how the trucking accident occurred and what kinds of injuries you suffered. (Know that anything you tell the lawyer will remain confidential, even if you hire a different lawyer.) Ask for the lawyer's opinion of your case. Relevant questions to ask include:

  • Have you frequently handled truck accident injury cases similar to mine?
  • What is your opinion and assessment of my case?
  • What kind of financial award can I expect to receive?
  • Are there problems with my case that could potentially affect its outcome?
  • What percentage of truck accident lawsuits do you settle each year? What percentage do you take to trial each year?
  • Are we likely to have to go to trial?
  • Is arbitration or mediation an option?
  • How long do you expect it would take to complete my case?

Case Management

Questions to ask about how your truck accident lawsuit will be managed include:

  • Are you available to represent me?
  • Will other lawyers 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?

Legal Fees

Most personal injury lawyers-including Florida truck accident attorneys-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?

Finishing Your Meeting

Before the meeting ends, ask the trucking accident lawyer if there are other questions you should have asked, or if she or she wants to tell you anything else. If you're serious about hiring the attorney, consider asking for the names of prior clients who can serve as references.

Selecting a Florida Trucking Accident Attorney

Once you've finished your initial consultations, you may already know which Florida trucking accident lawyer you want to hire. If you are unable to decide between two or three attorneys, call each attorney's references to see whether these clients were happy with the attorney's work and the outcome of their cases. Also, take some time to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there one attorney who has the most experience handling truck accident case?
  • Is there one attorney with whom you felt particularly comfortable?
  • Which attorney seemed most trustworthy?
  • Which attorney seemed to have the most realistic award estimates?
  • Which attorney's fee estimates were most reasonable?

After asking yourself those questions, one attorney should stand out from the rest. Once you've found that lawyer, you're ready to move forward with your trucking accident case.