Truck and Trucking Accidents
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Questions to Ask when Hiring a Truck Injury Attorney
If you were recently injured in a trucking accident, you may be interested in hiring a truck injury attorney. Many people seldom need to hire a lawyer and don't know where to start. The process involves three steps:
- Gather the names of lawyers who handle truck accidents
- Meet with each attorney and learn more about his or her background, experience, proposed strategy, and estimated legal expenses
- Hire the truck injury attorney with whom you feel most comfortable and have the most confidence in
Meeting with Truck Injury Attorneys
Before hiring a truck injury attorney, you'll want to schedule a meeting-called an initial consultation-with each lawyer you're considering. Before the meeting, take the time to develop a list of questions you'd like to ask that will help you get to know the lawyer. Bring writing materials to the meeting, so you can take notes on the lawyer's answers.
This article provides a list of suggested topics and appropriate questions to ask a truck injury attorney. This list isn't comprehensive, but you also shouldn't feel compelled to ask every question. Focus on those questions that will help you decide whether to hire a particular truck injury attorney.
Background & Experience
Ask about the truck accident lawyer's legal education and professional experience. Suggested questions would include:
- How long have you been a lawyer?
- What law school did you attend?
- On average, how many truck accident cases do you handle each year?
- Have you frequently handled 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 lawyer's approach to practicing law. Among the questions to consider asking are:
- What is your approach to handling trucking accident injury cases?
- What is your style when working with clients? Will you present options and expect me to make a decision, or are you more likely to tell me what to do?
- How would you describe your personality or style as a lawyer?
Assessment of Your Case
Ask for the attorney's assessment of your case. Relevant 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?
- How likely is it that we'll have to go to trial?
- What percentage of truck accident injury 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?
Questions to ask about how your truck accident injury lawsuit will be managed include:
- Will you personally manage my case, or will another attorney be responsible for managing it?
- Will other semi-truck accident attorneys or experts work on my case? What are their roles and responsibilities?
- Will you provide progress reports? How frequently? What will be included in those reports?
- Will you personally handle negotiations and court appearances?
- Would 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 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?
Finishing Your Meeting
Before the meeting ends, ask the truck injury lawyer if there are other questions you should have asked or if there is 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 Injury Attorney
Once you've had the opportunity to meet at least one truck injury attorney, you'll need to review the results of those meetings and decide whether or which attorney you want to hire. Consider the following when making your choice:
- Does the attorney have the experience necessary to handle your trucking injury case?
- Is the attorney's style and approach to handling trucking accident lawsuits in line with how you'd like your case handled?
- Did you feel as if you could trust the attorney and feel confident following their advice?
- Are the legal fees reasonable?