You’ve researched the field for the best personal injury lawyers in your area, narrowed your list of recommendations and websites down to a select few. Now how do you interview each lawyer to find the information you need to make a choice?
Look for a proven track record
The most important question to ask a lawyer whom you are considering hiring is whether he can show you his track record of handling cases that are similar to yours and getting good results. In most areas, jury verdicts and settlements are published in newsletters (called “jury sheets”) that are distributed to lawyers. If a lawyer has a significant track record, it will be no problem for him to show that to you while you’re sitting in his office. If he doesn’t have such a record, it will become obvious, and you should move on.
Be clear about your goals and expectations
It is important that the lawyer and client be on the same page from the beginning. Be clear about what you would like to achieve with your lawsuit and what your expectations are. If you want to be frequently updated on the progress of your case, then say so. If you prefer only to be informed when significant events occur in the case, then make that clear as well. Pay attention to how receptive the lawyer is to your individual needs and desires. Remember that this is your case, and you have every right to play an important role in how the case is handled.
That doesn’t mean that you are micro-managing the lawyer and second-guessing every little decision that is made along the way. But it does mean that you should be involved in the big decisions and in setting the agenda from the beginning.
Before you sign your agreement with the lawyer
Before signing an agreement with a lawyer, make sure that you understand the terms of the agreement. Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingent fee basis, meaning that their fees are based on a percentage of the amount of money that they collect for you. Most lawyers will also pay litigation costs on your behalf and will then have a right to get reimbursed for those cases out of any recovery. Make sure that you understand how the fees and costs are handled so that there are no surprises at the end of the case.
If you would like all of this information in one document, please download our free guide, How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer.
All posts in the series: Introduction | How do personal injury cases work? | How do you tell a good lawyer from a not-so-good one? | Where do I look for a good personal injury lawyer? | How do I interview a personal injury lawyer? | What are red flags when hiring a personal injury lawyer? | What if I hired the wrong personal injury lawyer? | More Information