If attempts to reason with the insurance company are going nowhere, and you’ve decided you need to hire a personal injury attorney to help you win your compensation claim, you’ve made a great first step, but now comes the hard part: choosing which firm to hire.
There are many law firms operating out of the upstate New York area, and you’ve likely seen or heard ads for more than one on the radio, television, or billboards along your commute. However, not all firms are created equal, and you can’t expect to receive the same quality of service or level of experience at every firm.
That’s why we’ve created this helpful list of questions you should ask any lawyer before hiring them. Don’t worry – if it takes visiting more than one firm before finding one you feel confident about, that’s perfectly normally. At Catalano Law, we offer free initial consultations without requiring you to hire us before speaking to one of our lawyers, and any truly reputable firm will offer the same.
Questions to Ask a Lawyer Before Hiring Them
There are several questions you should consider asking an attorney when before you make the decision to hire them.
“What is your background?”
Specifically, you should find out how long they have been practicing law, whether they’ve received any awards or recognitions, whether they received referrals, and whether they’ve ever been disbarred or disciplined by the state bar association. Ask for a list of past clients you can contact about their experiences with the firm.
“What is your experience with cases like mine?”
The U.S. legal code is extremely complex, which is why specialties matter in the legal field. The lawyer who helped you with a traffic citation in the past may not be as helpful trying to get your medical bills paid after a traffic accident that wasn’t your fault. However, this also applies to different types of cases even within the personal injury field. A lawyer who’s a rock star at defective drug claims may not be the right fit for your workers’ compensation claim, and even auto accidents and truck accidents may require being handled radically differently.
“What is your case load right now?”
If this attorney is handling several cases at once, they may not be able to devote the time necessary to truly handle your case properly, or may hand the majority of the work off to a paralegal or junior associate. While it is normal to employ paralegals or junior associates, it is also important for you to know everyone who will be working on your case.
“How much experience do you have in jury trials?”
Most of our clients prefer to try to settle out of court to ensure they receive the money they need sooner, as going to trial can stretch out the wait. Unfortunately, when negotiations stall or fail, going to court may become necessary.
The more experience your lawyer has trying cases in front of a judge and jury, the more likely they will be able to resolve matters in your favor. And it’s often true that the mere possibility that an attorney is willing to go to court will convince the opposing side to settle.
Ask what their intended strategy is, if your case does need to go to trial, and what resources, such as medical experts or investigators, they have available.
Lastly, your attorney is there to serve you, but also provide advice. Ask how they would proceed if you and they disagreed on whether to accept a settlement.
“How will you communicate with me throughout the case?”
A good lawyer should provide regular updates on your claim without your needing to request them first. You should also find out when, how, and for what reasons your lawyer may reach out to you throughout the case, and the best way for you to reach out to them with your own questions.
You Deserve a Lawyer You Can Trust
Hiring a lawyer is a big decision. You need to feel comfortable sharing explicit details about your case with this person, and trust them enough to be completely open and honest about your accident.
When it comes to choosing a law firm to represent you after a serious injury, don’t be afraid to take your time and ask as many questions as you need. At Catalano Law, our Syracuse personal injury lawyers understand how stressful and frustrating it can be just trying to get the compensation you deserve after an accident that wasn’t your fault. Our goal is to take the stress off your shoulders so you can focus on your recovery. Interested in talking to a member of our team about your case? Contact us today for your free consultation.