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3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Attorney

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Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Case

Becoming injured because of another person is not ideal, but working with the right attorney can ensure that your rights are protected. Even before scheduling your initial consultation, there are several questions that you can consider to determine whether someone is the best person to take on your case. Here are the top three questions we always recommend you ask the attorney.

1. What is Your Experience with Cases Like Mine?

For any personal injury case, you'll want to ensure that you are working with an attorney experienced in your specific case type. As an example, if you need legal assistance with a car accident injury or workplace accident, you likely will not want to enlist the help of a lawyer who focuses mainly on medical malpractice claims.

Don't forget to take a look at the firm's website before scheduling a consultation with one of its attorneys—you'll want to check out the practice areas or testimonials pages for insight into how common your case type is. Here you can also learn what strategies may be used if your case needs to go to trial. Likewise, basic information like what damages may be sought or frequently asked questions may provide crucial insight into the discussions that need to be had in your consultation.

Furthermore, while an attorney may have handled 100 car accident cases in their career, their success rate is also critical. Look for website pages titled 'Case Results,' as these provide tangible evidence of how they've been able to help others.

2. What Communication Expectations Should I Have?

Knowing what to expect when working with a specific attorney may offer some much-needed peace of mind when going through the process. By asking this question, you may learn that any concerns or additional questions regarding your case need to be directed through a paralegal or legal assistant. This is extremely common in most larger firms, so go to a smaller or boutique firm instead if you prefer to have more hands-on experience with your chosen attorney.

Along with this, your attorney may live by the phrase "no news is good news," so make sure you have a mutual understanding of each other's communication preferences. If your preference is to receive monthly communications regarding the progression of your case, make this known but understand if they are unable to provide information within that time frame.

Depending on external factors in your region, courts may be closed or judges unavailable, and your attorney has no control over that, so be conscious of how these things could affect your preferred timeline.

3. Will My Case Go to Trial?

Another aspect of managing your expectations is understanding how lengthy the process may be. Some personal injury cases can take months, if not years, to settle or receive a verdict. However, this does not mean that each case will end through a trial. In fact, the majority of personal injury cases will settle before you would need to file a lawsuit.

There are several reasons why this may be the case. More often than not, the insurance company or corporation (if the defendant) is looking to avoid a public showdown. By settling outside of the courtroom, the confidentiality between parties remains intact where it might otherwise not.

Asking this question to your attorney during the initial consultation may provide you with insight into how long they expect your case to take. Although they may not be able to give an immediate answer without diving deeper into the specifics of your situation, the estimated timeline may be helpful to know.

Northern California Personal Injury Attorney

Choosing the right attorney is so much more than finding one with experience in your specific field, and scheduling a consultation is one of the easiest ways to learn whether you mesh well with one.

Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley has been providing legal services in Northern California since 1999 and is prepared to take on your case. To schedule a free consultation, call (530) 413-0245 or fill out this short form.