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Questions to Ask When Meeting South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers

If you've been involved in a truck accident in South Carolina, you need to know that truck-accident litigation is complicated. You'll want an attorney well versed in truck accident lawsuits. Consider interviewing several South Carolina truck accident lawyers to find the right one for you.

You'll want to be sure your attorney has the necessary skills and experience to handle your case, as well as finding one with whom you are most comfortable. Many South Carolina personal injury attorneys who handle trucking accidents are willing to meet with you for free for an initial consultation. Interview several, and use this time wisely to discern whether this attorney is right for you.If you've never hired an attorney, this article suggests a number of questions appropriate to ask a South Carolina truck accident attorney.

Evaluating South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers' Background & Experience

You probably want to kick off your initial consultation with some questions about the lawyer's education, experience, and professional background. Some questions to ask are:

  • Which law school did you attend and when did you graduate? Where did you do your undergraduate work?
  • How long have you practiced in South Carolina? How long have you handled truck accident injury lawsuits?
  • Do you belong to any bar associations or professional organizations? If so, which ones?
  • Does your practice consist of primarily representing trucking accident victims, or do you do other types of personal injury legal work as well?
  • How many truck accident victims do you represent on average each year?
  • How many trucking accident lawsuits do you settle each year? How many 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 life-long medical problems?
  • Do you have experience in both state and federal courthouses, since trucking litigation sometimes ends up in federal court?

Legal Philosophy & Style

You should discuss each attorney's philosophy, approach, and style when it comes to practicing law, especially when it concerns South Carolina truck injury lawsuits. You might ask:

  • What is your philosophy or approach to practicing truck accident law?
  • What is your style when working with clients? Will you involve me in decision-making, or will you tell me what I should do?
  • Do you prefer to settle truck accident lawsuits or take them to trial?

Assessment of Your Case

Not only is your initial consultation a time for you to get to know your potential attorney, it's also a time to get feedback about the circumstances surrounding your truck accident injury. You'll want to know each attorney's opinion about your case. Questions to ask include:

  • What is your assessment of my case?
  • What kind of financial award can I realistically expect?
  • What factors work in favor of my case? What obstacles might get in the way of a satisfactory award?
  • How likely is it that my case will go all the way to trial?
  • Is arbitration or medication an option?
  • How long will my case take to wrap up if we settle? If we go to court?

Case Management

If you are comfortable with the answers you've received thus far in your interviews with potential South Carolina truck accident lawyers, you'll next want to know about how your case will be managed. You may want to ask:

  • Will other attorneys in your firm work on my case? What specifically will they do?
  • Will you personally manage my case, or will another attorney manage it?
  • Will you personally handle negotiations and court appearances?
  • Will you by my day-to-day contact? If not you, then who will be?
  • Will you provide regular progress reports? If so, how often? What information can I expect in these progress reports?
  • What is your preferred mode of communication? How quickly do you typically respond to phone messages or emails?

Legal Fees

Many South Carolina trucking accident attorneys work oncontingency. This means they do not collect an up-front fee but take a percentage of any settlement or jury award you receive. Still, you'll want to know for sure how the attorneys you interview will bill you, along with other possible costs you may incur. Ask:

  • Do you charge a contingency fee or hourly rate?
  • Do you charge a retainer fee?
  • If we do not get a settlement offer or if we lose the case, will I owe you any money?
  • What other expenses will I have to pay? Can you provide an estimate of them?
  • Can you show me some examples of how much money I would take home after deducting your legal fees and expenses if we settle the case? If we go to trial?

How to Know Whom to Hire

After questioning several South Carolina truck accident injury lawyers, it's now time to ask yourself a few questions. Based on your answers, you'll know which attorney to hire. Ask yourself:

  • Which attorney has the best education, legal skills, and professional experience in the areas I need?
  • With which lawyer's style and legal philosophy am I most in agreement?
  • Which attorney best assessed my case, and whose strategy seems best for handling my case?
  • Which lawyer's legal fees and expenses seem reasonable given the service I expect to receive?
  • Whose estimation of my potential award amount seems most reasonable?

In the end, you should choose the attorney with whom you are most comfortable. These questions should help you see which one is the attorney for you. You're now ready to move forward with your trucking accident case.