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Questions to Ask When Interviewing Ohio Truck Crash Attorneys

If you've never before hired an attorney, you may not know what questions to ask or how to judge whether a lawyer is qualified to handle your case. This article suggests many questions that are appropriate to ask Ohio truck crash attorneys during your initial consultation, or preliminary meeting prior to making a hiring decision. Don't feel as if you have to ask every question. Simply focus on the questions that will best help you decide which lawyer to hire for your case.

Meeting with Ohio Truck Accidents Attorneys

Before agreeing to hire an Ohio truck crash attorney, schedule a preliminary meeting with the lawyer. This is your opportunity to tell the lawyer more about your case, interview the attorney, and decide whether he or she is right for your case. Most lawyers offer these consultations for free, but double check beforehand so you're not surprised.

Bring to the meeting a written list of questions and copies of any accident-related paperwork (such as the police report, medical bills and/or letters from the insurance companies). You should also bring writing material, so you can take notes during or immediately following the meeting.

Background & Experience

Ask about each Ohio trucking accident attorney's legal education and professional experience handling truck accident cases. Suggested questions would include:

  • How long have you practiced law?
  • Which college and law school did you attend?
  • About how many truck accident cases do you handle annually?
  • Do you do other types of personal injury work?
  • Do you frequently handle cases similar to mine?
  • Are you a member of any bar associations or professional organizations? If so, which ones?

Legal Philosophy & Style

Try to learn more about the attorney's approach to practicing law. Suggested questions to consider include:

  • What is your approach to handling truck accident cases?
  • What is your style when working with clients? Will expect me to make decisions, or are you more likely to tell me what to do?
  • How would you describe your personality or style as an attorney?

Case Assessment

Describe your accident and associated injuries to the lawyer, and share copies of any accident-related documents that you brought to the meeting. After you've had a chance to answer any questions the lawyer might have about the accident, ask for the lawyer's assessment of your case. Questions to ask include:

  • What is your opinion and assessment of my case?
  • What kind of award can I expect to receive?
  • Are there potential problems that could affect the outcome of my case? What are they, and how could they negatively impact my case?
  • How likely is it that we'll be able to settle the case without going to trial?
  • What percentage of truck accident lawsuits do you settle each year? What percentage do you take to trial each year?
  • How long do you expect it would take to complete my case?
  • Is mediation or arbitration an option?

Case Management

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

  • Will you manage my case, or will another attorney at your firm be responsible for managing it?
  • Will other personal injury attorneys or experts work on my case? What are their roles and responsibilities?
  • Will you provide progress reports? How frequently? What is included in each report?
  • Do you personally handle negotiations and court appearances, or does another lawyer handle that?
  • Who is my day-to-day contact?
  • What is the best way to reach you? How quickly can I expect you to respond?

Legal Fees

Most Ohio truck crash attorneys represent crash victims on a contingency fee, but you should 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 require a retainer payment?
  • What other fees and expenses will I have to pay?
  • Can you do the math and show me some examples of how much money I would take home after legal fees and expenses?

Selecting an Ohio Truck Crash Attorney

You may not feel as if you know the first thing about how to determine if an attorney is right for your case. But once you start interviewing attorneys, you'll discover that a little common sense goes a long way. This article suggested questions in six major categories:

  • Background & experience: You're looking for an attorney who clearly understands personal injury and truck accident law and who has experience representing Ohio truck crash victims.
  • Legal philosophy & style: Every attorney has his or her own style in handling cases, and there's no "right" approach. You need to decide whether you'd be comfortable entrusting the attorney with your case.
  • Case assessment: This is another category where there's no single correct answer. Instead, ask yourself whether you agree with the lawyer's proposed a case strategy and whether you think the award estimate is realistic.
  • Case management: There are many ways to manage a case. What's important is that you feel comfortable with how the attorney plans to manage your case.
  • Legal fees: Most personal injury attorneys-including Ohio truck crash attorneys-will charge a contingency fee that is calculated based on how large an award you win. When discussing fees, you need to decide whether the legal fees are fair and if the expense estimate is realistic.

Once you've found a lawyer who satisfies these requirements, you're ready to move forward with your Ohio truck accident case.