First, do not hire a lawyer who actively seeks your business. If, without your consent, a lawyer or someone acting on his behalf communicates with you in person or by telephone and asks you to hire him in connection with your accident, this is known as “ambulance chasing” and contrary to the Legal Rules of Professional Conduct. If a lawyer will break those rules to obtain your business, this lawyer is likely not the kind of lawyer you wish representing you. Check the site.
Ensure you are aware of what you’re paying for. All fee systems are different. Explore if your lawyer will request fees “off the top” or only after all of the expenses are calculated. Insist on obtaining this information in writing and in clear, concise language that you are comfortable with. Expenses will include: court costs, court reporter and copies of transcripts, expert witness fees, private investigator, postage, telephone, courier, and photocopying, legal research, out of town air or car transportation, and hotel and meal expenses.
Learn how you can fire a lawyer. Some contracts specify that even if you fire a lawyer, the lawyer still obtains a substantial percentage of any future settlement you may receive. Ensure that you know how to fire your lawyer prior to your hiring him.
Inspect your lawyer’s records. Inquire through your state bar association if your lawyer has ever been the subject of an ethical complaint. Realizing your lawyer has a pattern of questionable conduct could alert you to potential problems, saving you money and time.
Know your options and ensure your lawyer is protecting them.Lawyers do not merely sue. Suing may be one of the more expensive paths for you to obtain compensation. Ensure that your lawyer has an open mind with alternative means to resolve your problem, such as mediation. Be certain you are obtaining a fair, ethically driven lawyer.
These are 7 essentials to enquire of before concurring to hire any lawyer:
- Is the lawyer a generalist or a specialist in one category of law?
- Has this lawyer handled cases like yours before?
- What alternatives to a lawsuit might be contemplated?
- Should mediation or arbitration be taken into account?
- How long should you expect to retain the lawyer’s assistance?
- How often will you be billed, and what’s the lawyer’s assessment for fees and services?
- Is the lawyer safeguarded by malpractice insurance?