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Questions to Ask When Meeting Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys

Before hiring an attorney, it's important to meet and interview the lawyer during an initial consultation. This will help you determine whether the attorney has the necessary skills and experience to handle your case and whether you feel comfortable with the lawyer's advice and judgment. If you've never before hired an attorney, you may not know what questions to ask. This article suggests a number of questions that are appropriate to ask Georgia truck accident attorneys.

Evaluating Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys

As you start meeting with Georgia truck accident lawyers, you'll discover that it's not difficult to tell who is a good fit for your truck accident case. You're looking for an attorney who answers your questions open and honestly, who's patient when explaining things to you, who has experience representing Georgia trucking accident victims, and who inspires your trust and confidence.

This article suggests dozens of questions you could ask of Georgia truck accident attorneys. Don't feel compelled to ask every last question. Instead, focus on those questions you think would best help you decide whether to hire a lawyer. You should also feel free to add questions of your own. For example, if you need an attorney who's available to meet at nights or on weekends, you should ask about that during the initial consultation.

Background & Experience

A logical place to begin the meeting is by asking about the lawyer's education, experience, and professional background. Suggested questions to ask include:

  • Which law school did you attend, and when did you graduate?
  • How long have you practiced trucking accident law in Georgia?
  • Do you belong to any bar associations or professional organizations? If so, which ones?
  • Have you frequently handled cases similar to mine?
  • Does your practice consist solely of representing trucking accident victims, or do you do other types of personal injury legal work as well?
  • On average, how many truck accident victims do you represent each year?
  • How many trucking accident lawsuits do you settle each year? How many cases do you take to trial each year?
  • Do you have any special experience representing victims of truck accidents who have back injuries, neck injuries, or other injuries that may cause ongoing medical problems?

Legal Philosophy & Style

Discuss the attorney's philosophy, approach and style when it comes to practicing law. Questions to consider asking include:

  • How would you describe your philosophy when practicing truck accident law?
  • What is your approach to handling trucking accident injury cases?
  • What is your style when working with clients? Will you ask me to make decisions, or will you to tell me what I should do?
  • Do you prefer to settle truck accident lawsuits or to take them to trial?

Assessment of Your Case

Describe your accident and associated injuries to the Georgia trucking accident attorney, then ask for his or her opinion of your case. Appropriate questions to ask include:

  • What is your assessment of my case?
  • What kind of financial award can I realistically expect to receive? Would I receive less if we settled the case before trial?
  • What factors work in our favor in my case? What factors could work against us?
  • Is it likely that we'll have to go to trial?
  • Is arbitration or mediation an option?
  • How long do you expect it would take to complete my case if we go to trial? If we settle the case?

Case Management

If you're comfortable with what you've learned about the Georgia truck accidents lawyer up until this point, move on to asking questions about how your trucking accident lawsuit will be managed. Typical questions to ask would include:

  • Will other attorneys in your firm or experts work on my case? What work will they do?
  • Will you personally manage my case, or will another attorney manage it?
  • Will you handle negotiations and court appearances?
  • Will you be my day-to-day contact?
  • Will you provide progress reports? How frequently? What will be included in progress reports?
  • What is the best way to reach you? How quickly do you typically respond to messages or emails?

Legal Fees

Most Georgia truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee, which means they take a percentage of any settlement or judgment you receive. Questions to ask about the estimated cost of your case include:

  • Do you charge a contingency fee or hourly rate?
  • 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 expenses will I have to pay? Can you estimate their total?
  • Can you show me some examples of how much money I would take home after legal fees and expenses if we settle the case? If we go to trial?

Finishing the Meeting

As you wrap up the meeting with each Georgia truck accident lawyer, ask the attorney if there is anything else he or she would like to tell you before the meeting ends. This gives the lawyer the opportunity to touch on any points you didn't have the time to cover or make one last pitch for your business.

If you already know that the attorney is one you'd consider hiring, you can also ask for the names of former clients who would be willing to serve as references. You may want to contact these clients if you're having a hard time selecting between two or more attorneys.

If you didn't take notes during the meeting, spend some time immediately after you leave the attorney's office recording your impressions while they're fresh in your mind. These notes may also come in handy if you're undecided between two lawyers.

Selecting a Georgia Truck Accident Attorney to Hire

Once you've met with each Georgia truck accident attorney you're considering for your case, it's time to decide which one to hire. One may clearly stand out as the best attorney for your case, which will make your decision an easy one. Otherwise, take some time to consider each attorney, and make an assessment based on the following criteria:

  • Education, legal skills, and professional experience
  • Legal philosophy and style
  • Case assessment and proposed strategy for handling your case
  • Legal fees and expenses
  • Estimated award amount

You should also ask yourself how comfortable you felt with the attorney and whether you'd be happy trusting his or her advice and judgment.

Once you've found an attorney who satisfies all of these criteria, you're ready to hire that lawyer and move forward with your Georgia truck accident case.