When interviewing a personal injury attorney to handle your case it is very important that you come prepared with a list of questions that you want answers to. At the Joye Law Firm we offer prospective clients a free initial consultation in order to answer their questions and to show them what our unique law firm is all about. Be sure to get the most out of your first meeting by asking the important questions listed below.
- What experience do you have handling cases similar to mine?
Just as the skills required to teach an accounting class are different from the skills required to teach a history class, the skills that an attorney needs to successfully represent a personal injury client differ from the skills that a lawyer needs to represent a criminal client. In other words, it is important to make sure that your attorney has experienced handling cases that are similar to yours.
- What percentage of your cases have had a successful outcome?
It is a good idea to ask prospective attorneys what percentage of their cases have had a successful outcome, and if possible to provide you with a list of outcomes that the lawyer has achieved for people with cases similar to yours. Additionally, if you are interested in hearing what past clients have to say about their experiences you can ask for client testimonials.
- Has your license to practice law ever been suspended or revoked?
Most lawyers have never been disciplined by their state bar for any legal or ethical violations, but if the lawyer that you are interviewing has been this should be a red flag for you. If their license was suspended or revoked in the past simply ask about the situation and determine whether or not this is a deal breaker for you.
- How will I be charged for your legal services?
There are a variety of different fee structures that personal injury lawyers in South Carolina utilize. The three most common are flat fees, hourly rates, and contingency fees. Under a flat fee arrangement the firm charges a fixed amount for the representation. However, be aware that under some circumstances the client may be charged an additional fee if their case ends up going to trial. Under an hourly rate arrangement the client is required to pay the attorney’s hourly rate, as well as the hourly rates of other support staff who also work on their case, and is billed based on the total amount of time the firm spends working for them. Lastly, some lawyers will work on contingency. This means that they will take a case with the understanding that they will be paid a percentage of the client’s recovery when the case is closed. Under a contingency fee arrangement the client is not required to pay their attorney if they do not win their case.
- If my case goes to trial will you be representing me in court?
The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court, but it is still important to ask this question at the outset in order to avoid surprises later on down the road. There is nothing wrong with having more than one lawyer on your case, but if the lawyer you are sitting across from will not be the lawyer representing you in court then you may want to consider interviewing the other attorney(s) as well.
- What is my case worth?
An experienced attorney will be able to give you a rough idea of what your case is likely worth, however, even the best attorney can not, and should not, guarantee a particular result. Ideally the attorney will explain the various factors that will likely influence recovery in your case and will be able to provide you with a rough estimate of what your case may be worth.
- Why should I hire you?
Give your attorney a chance to sell themselves to you. It is important to hire a lawyer that you have confidence in and simply asking why you should hire them is often a great way to determine whether or not this attorney is a good fit for you and your legal needs.
Need Legal Advice?
At the Joye Law Firm we understand how important it is for you to find an attorney with whom you connect and can trust. Therefore, we offer a free no obligation initial consultation so that you can meet with our team and see what we’re all about. If you place your trust in our experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyers you will quickly learn that we are not like other law firms. Contact us today via our online contact form or by calling us at (888) 324-3100.