Unless you’re rich or spend lots of time suing people, it’s likely you’re new to the business of finding a good lawyer. How can you be sure you’re choosing the right one? Here are the questions you should ask before making your decision.
1. What Type of Law Does the Attorney Specialize in?
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Just as you wouldn’t ask your mechanic to do your taxes, you wouldn’t want to hire a real estate attorney to handle your divorce. Lawyers, like doctors, specialize. Always find out how much experience the attorney has in your particular situation, even when using Dallas injury lawyers. Examples of legal specialties include:
- Personal injury attorneys
- Real estate attorneys
- Workman’s compensation attorneys
- Discrimination attorneys
- Social security disability attorneys
There are many other areas of legal specialty, but you’ll want to be sure your lawyer has experience in the type of case you’re involved in.
2. What Do Other Clients Say About the Attorney?
Optimally, you’ll know someone who has used the attorney before and had a good experience. However, you can see what other clients have to say about their experience on Google Reviews and other review websites. Or, check the Better Business Bureau for the attorney’s certification.
3. Does the Attorney Offer a Free Consultation?
Free consultations are the norm, but you can learn a lot about the attorney at this first meeting. Of course, you’ll have lots of questions about your case, but you also need to be interviewing the lawyer. Here are some things to pay attention to:
- Does the attorney speak to you in a way you understand?
- Is he responsive to your questions?
- Is he willing to look into the possibility of settling the case, or is he determined to go to trial?
- Does he take the time to hear you out, or is he rushing to get to someone else?
Make a list before your consultation so you don’t forget anything you want to ask the attorney. Include notes to yourself about what you’re looking for from the lawyer.
4. How Long Does the Attorney Expect the Case to Take?
A good lawyer goes the distance. Civil cases end in one of two ways: a settlement is reached or the case goes to trial. It’s likely you can get just as good a settlement out of court as you could at trial, perhaps better. Find out if the attorney can resolve the case in a reasonable time.
5. What Fees Does the Attorney Charge?
Fees don’t just include what your attorney charges. Extra expenses for researching the case and payments owed to the insurance company after settlement also factor into your eventual award. Look for an attorney who’s up front about these costs.
6. How Will the Attorney Bill You?
Will you pay only after your case is settled, or will you have to pay a retainer fee up front and make regular payments thereafter? This all comes out of what you are eventually awarded, so be sure you know how it’s handled before you delve in.
7. Do You and the Attorney Click?
There are lots of attorneys, so you don’t have to work with one if you’ve got an obvious personality clash. Ask yourself if you like him, trust him, and want to work with him. If not, find one more suitable to your personality.
With the abundance of attorneys available, it’s always possible to find the right one for you and your legal situation.