Questions That Will Help You Find the Right One
Colorado car accident victims have many important decisions to make, such as who will provide their medical treatment, whether or not they will accept the insurance company’s offer to settle their case, and how to handle post-medical life, such as recovery or car repairs. One of the most critical decisions victims must make, however, involves which lawyer will represent them if they decide to file a Colorado personal injury lawsuit.
Consumers should choose an attorney in much the same way they make any important purchase: by conducting thorough research and then using that research to make an informed decision. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation with potential clients, and this is the perfect time for the two of you to get to know each other.
Your potential lawyer will ask you a series of questions about the circumstances of your accident; take the time to interview the lawyer before you make a final decision regarding representation.
Questions You Should Ask the Lawyer
Here are a few important questions that you should ask your potential lawyer:
- How long have you been in practice?
- What is your track record regarding success?
- How much experience do you have representing personal injury clients?
- What percentage of your total caseload is dedicated to handling personal injury cases?
- What is your fee structure?
- Would you be working on my case exclusively, or would other lawyers or staff members be assisting with it?
- Do you outsource any legal tasks or functions?
- Besides your fee, what other costs should I expect to pay?
- What are your billing practices?
- Do you have references from other clients that you are willing to share with me?
- If I decide to move forward with representation, will you be providing me with a written retainer agreement?
- How will I be informed regarding developments in my case?
- If my case cannot be settled out of court, will you represent me at trial?
A few other things to consider: a higher fee does not necessarily mean you are getting a better attorney, but fees that seem too cheap could be a red flag signaling previous problems, a lack of experience, or even incompetence. Also keep in mind that just because a lawyer has decades of experience doesn’t mean they’re the one for you, especially if their expertise isn’t in personal injury law.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Now that you’ve met with your potential attorney and hopefully gotten your questions answered, there are a few more questions you should ask yourself before you sign the retainer agreement, such as:
- Does this lawyer’s experience align with my legal needs?
- Were they polite and prompt in answering my questions, or did they become impatient after a while?
- Would I be comfortable working with this attorney?
- Do they seem to have the skills and experience needed to successfully handle my case?
- Am I comfortable with their fee structure?
- Do I understand their fee agreement and what it entails?
- If they won’t take my case to trial, did they explain what would happen should my case fail to settle, and am I comfortable with their explanation?
Reach Out to Other Lawyers
Other attorneys can provide valuable insight about someone you are considering hiring. Lawyers know the skill and reputation of other lawyers, even those who don’t practice in the same area of law as they do. They can often provide information about a colleague’s ethics, competence, personality, work habits, and character, information that won’t be available online or in a book.