When people seek out lawyers, it is often the worst time of their lives. Sometimes a loved one has been killed in a tragic wreck or their home has been destroyed by a polluter. Whatever the reason, it’s important to find a lawyer you can trust if the need ever arises.
Finding a lawyer who will help guide you
Lawyers are counselors for their clients. From the first meeting, a lawyer must listen, guide, and advise their client. Litigation is often a long and tough road and is not recommended in all situations depending on the facts and law. It’s important for a lawyer to explain the potential paths forward to clients rather than simply telling them what to do.
Setting Realistic Expectations
From the initial meeting with a lawyer, a client should feel confident that the lawyer has their best interests in mind. This does not mean that the lawyer is just telling the potential client what they want to hear. You should be skeptical if a lawyer is promising you a great result or not fully explaining the risks of all litigation. No lawyer can ethically or actually guarantee any result. The old adage is true “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Asking the right questions
If you feel comfortable with a lawyer during an initial call or meeting, make sure you ask them questions to determine if they can handle your case:
- Have you ever worked on this type of case before?
- Do you have the staff and resources necessary to handle this type of case?
- How do you plan to keep me updated as my case progresses?
- Do you have any conflicts that would prevent you from working on my case?
These questions can help start a conversation with your prospective lawyer about why they would be a good fit for your case.
Understanding the Fee Arrangement
Another important question is: “How much will your services cost me?” A trustworthy lawyer will always make sure that potential clients are aware from the outset of the type of fee arrangement for the case. Attorneys can be paid for their services on an hourly rate, flat fee, or contingency fee. The most common type of arrangement for personal injury is contingency fee. A contingency fee arrangement is where the client does not pay any attorney fees upfront and the lawyer receives a portion of the recovery if the case is successful. Whatever the nature of the fee arrangement, it should be clear and understood between the lawyer and the potential client.
Making the Decision to hire an attorney
Making the decision to hire a specific attorney is important one. An attorney not suited to handle your case could impact how things progress and whether you get a positive result. Finding a lawyer you trust is the first step to righting the wrongs committed against you and your loved ones.