Questions to Ask When Interviewing Truck Accident Attorneys
If you were recently injured in a trucking accident, you may be considering hiring a truck accident attorney. If you haven't before used an attorney, you may not know how to select a lawyer. The process can be boiled down to three steps:
- Get the names of truck accident attorneys from sources like Attorneys.com, as well as friends and family who may be able to offer personal recommendations
- Meet each attorney you're considering and learn more about his or her skills and experience
- Hire the lawyer who has the best skills and in whom you have the most confidence
Meeting with Truck Accident Attorneys
You will want to schedule a meeting with each attorney you'd consider hiring. This meeting, called an initial consultation, is your opportunity to learn more about the lawyer's background, practice, and experience handling trucking accident injuries.
You should come to the meeting prepared with a list of questions, as well as some paper with which to take notes.
Background & Experience
Questions to ask about an attorney's legal education and professional experience include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Where did you attend college and law school?
- On average, how many trucking accidents do you handle annually?
- Do you frequently handle cases similar to mine?
- 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 truck 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
Get 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 truck accident 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?
Questions to ask about how your truck accident injury case will be managed include:
- Are you available to handle my case?
- Will you personally manage my case, or will another attorney have that responsibility?
- Will other attorneys or experts be working on my case? What will they be doing?
- How frequently will you provide progress reports and what will be included in those reports?
- Will you personally handle my case negotiations and court appearances?
- Will you be my day-to-day contact?
- What is the best way to reach you? How quickly can I expect you to respond?
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 owe you any money?
- Do you require a retainer payment?
- What other fees and expenses will I have to pay?
- Can you give me some examples of how much money I would get in a typical settlement and how much you would be compensated?
Wrapping Up Your Meeting
Before ending the meeting, ask the lawyer if there are other questions you should have asked or anything else the attorney wants to tell you. Is there anything you should know before deciding whether to hire him or her?
Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney
Once you've had the opportunity to meet one or more trucking accident attorneys, you'll need to review the results of those meetings and decide which attorney you want to hire. Among the factors to consider:
- Does the attorney have the experience necessary to handle your trucking accident case?
- Is the attorney's style and approach to handling trucking accident cases in line with how you'd like your case handled?
- Did you feel as if you could trust the attorney's recommendations and feel confident following their advice?
- Are the legal fees reasonable?