It can be challenging trying to figure out which attorney is best for you. As with most services, people tend to choose business based on recommendations from friends or family. But just because someone suggests that you call their lawyer, how do you know that the attorney will be a good fit for you and the problem that you need solved?
Regardless of the recommendations you have received, there are very important questions that you should ask before signing a contract with any law firm. Here are the top five that we at Attorney McClure feel are the most important:
1. How are your fees structured?
If you are injured and facing mounting medical bills, chances are it’s going to be difficult for you to afford a retainer fee. Make sure that the lawyer works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe an attorney fee unless the lawyer is able to obtain for you a settlement that covers the cost of your medical bills, lost wages from missing work, any future healthcare costs, and compensation for pain and suffering. The attorney fee should come out of the overall settlement amount at the end of the case, eliminating the need for any out-of-pocket expenses on your end.
2. Will I still be responsible for talking to the insurance adjusters? What do I do if they keep calling me?
Make sure to ask the potential tourney what their process is for dealing with insurance company communication. A letter of representation should be sent on your behalf to the adjuster, notifying them that you are a client of the firm and that any correspondence needs to be directed to the lawyer and not to you. If the insurance company keeps calling you, the lawyer should instruct you to tell the insurance adjuster to call the farm, not your phone. You should be told by your lawyer to simply not answer the phone and that he will personally handle getting those calls to stop.
3. How long will the process take?
While answers can vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the medical treatment that you need, a good attorney should be able to outline for you general timelines and expectations. He should also be able to explain the full system for handling a case like yours, including help with figuring out the best medical treatment possible.
4. What is your communication policy?
Be wary of lawyers to tell you that they do not accept phone calls or that they only check email once a week. If something comes up in your case, you need to be able to reach your lawyer immediately. Look for firms that encourage open communication with both the staff and the attorney handling your case; it’s always positive when you are given direct access to your lawyer. If you are getting the feeling that the lawyer is impatient or annoyed during his communication with you, take that as a warning that he will probably not be the best communicator if you decide to hire him.
5. How will you know how my medical treatment is going?
Also make sure that the lawyer is not afraid to openly communicate with your medical providers. In order to prove your case, it is important that your lawyer understands exactly what medical treatment you are receiving – as well as the treatment you are facing in the future – so having that channel of communication open can make a difference in the amount of settlement at the end of the case.
Still not sure who to hire or if you are making the right choice? Call us and we can explain how we would handle your case and what kind of outcome you should expect during a free consultation.