Finding the right attorney in Philly, PA is an important undertaking no matter what type of case you have. You will undoubtedly receive advice and even referrals from family and friends. While that may be helpful, there are some questions that you should know the answers to before you make your decision. Below are some important questions you should ask before you hire a lawyer.
Have you handled this type of case before?
When you hire an attorney, you want to know that they have experience with your type of case, whatever it is. Follow up with questions about how long they have been practicing law, and how many cases like yours they have handled.
How successful have you been with cases like mine?
This may be the most important question to ask. When you are looking to hire an attorney, their track record matters. Find out how successful they have been fighting cases for clients in your shoes. What were the outcomes? Were their clients satisfied?
Have you ever been accused of attorney misconduct?
It is your right to know whether your lawyer has ever been accused or found guilty of misconduct. If you feel uncomfortable asking this question, you can find the information online, but keep in mind that the attorney may have an explanation for the accusation, and a face-to-face discussion will allow them to address it.
What are the likely outcomes of my case?
While a lawyer will not be able to tell you what the outcome of your case will be with certainty, he or she should be able to tell you what the possible outcomes are, and which is likely for you.
What is your strategy for my case?
Your attorney should outline for you which approaches are appropriate for your case, which one they plan to use, and why. Don’t be shy about asking further questions about case strategy. How your attorney proceeds can definitely affect the outcome of your case.
How will you keep in touch with me?
Attorneys and other legal staff are busy, and they are working on other cases besides yours. So, it is important to know what to expect regarding communication, who will contact you, and how often. It is also important that you find out who you can contact with questions or concerns that may come up during the course of your lawsuit. Setting expectations on what your attorney-client relationship is going to look like ahead of time will ensure that you have consistent and regular communication with your attorney.
What fees will I be charged?
You need to know exactly how your lawyer calculates fees for their representation. Depending on your case, you could be charged a set amount or an hourly rate. If your lawsuit is for a monetary recovery, your lawyer may charge you a contingency fee, which means that your attorney gets paid a percentage of the money you receive after successful litigation or a settlement. Additionally, you need to discuss how expenses are handled, and what you are responsible for paying. Of course, your attorney won’t be able to tell you the exact amount your case will cost, but he or she should be able to provide you with a potential amount.
What do I have to do to help you with my case?
Finding out what your exact role in the case will be is important. Your role will usually include providing information and documents to your attorney, and you will be advised not to discuss the case with potential witnesses. Asking, specifically, what you can do to assist your lawyer will clarify what you should and should not do.
These are just some of the preliminary questions you should consider when looking to hire an attorney. You may find that you have many more based on the details of your case. If you have suffered a personal injury, contact us for help with your case.