10 Questions You Should Ask Your Chicago Accident Lawyers
In the state of Illinois, about 800 car accidents occur every day. Which means, Chicago accident lawyers definitely have their work cut out for them.
If you are unfortunate enough to get caught up in one of these all too common collisions, you may be feeling a little bewildered about what to do next.
Medical bills may have started coming in the door and repairs need to be done on your vehicle. Perhaps you even had to miss work, and now the rent is due. As the pressures mount, you should seek out Chicago accident lawyers for counsel.
They will be able to negotiate the settlement that you need so that you can get the help you deserve to get back on your feet after an accident.
But choosing from the many options you have for attorneys is sometimes trying, there are just so many. And if you have never required the services of Chicago accident lawyers, it can even be hard just to know what to look for.
So that you can better understand each candidate, we have devised a series of questions meant to reveal all the most important aspects to be considered when choosing a lawyer.
1. How Long Have You Been in Practice?
You may not consider the length of time in practice to be the most paramount factor when you select from your choices of Chicago accident lawyers.
However, that number will tell you so much.
By knowing how many years someone has been in practice, you can better assess their abilities because you know that many have come before you and chosen them as well.
You will want to ask how long they have practiced this particular type of law, and what their success rate has looked like.
2. Do You Solely Represent Car Accident Victims?
Knowing what other types of cases your firm represents can help give you an idea of what kind of lawyer they are. Finding one that takes a real interest in auto injury cases is very important. The last thing you want is for your case to become an afterthought or an experiment.
Finding one who takes a real interest in auto injury cases is crucial. The last thing you want is for your case to become an afterthought or an experiment.
3. What Is Your Assessment of My Case?
Your personal injury attorney should be able to tell you realistically what kind of financial settlement you may receive. They will be able to break down the factors that are working in your favor, and those working against you.
4. Is It Likely That We Will Have to Go to Trial?
Sometimes cases can be settled without the expense of a trial. Asking Chicago accident lawyers whether they think your case will be settled outside of court can be a good way to set your expectations.
5. About How Long Will It Take for My Case to Wrap-up?
These kinds of cases all take different amounts of time based on the schedules of everyone involved, including the court system.
It can seem at times like it just keeps being dragged out.
By asking up front about similar cases time frames, you can set an expectation for your own. This can help you to know what money you will need to come up with before any settlement you might receive comes through.
6. How Would You Describe Your Approach to These Cases?
Based on personality and experience, every lawyer will approach a case differently. They have seen this all before, even though it may still be a little raw and shocking to you.
Some of them will want to get the case moving immediately, others will want to gather more background information, and still, more will instruct you that your best option is an immediate settlement.
When you are hiring someone to represent your interest, knowing how they plan to approach the problem can help you be sure that they will act in the way you want.
7. Who Will be Managing My Case?
Every law firm has attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, assistant attorneys, and secretaries. Each member of the team needs to be effective for your case to be successful.
You will want to find out exactly who will be managing your case, and how much access you will have to them, as well as the rest of the team.
8. Will I Receive Any Progress Reports?
Depending on how busy a law office is, how much support staff they have, and how active your case is, you may want to receive progress reports on some kind of regular basis.
Not all practices will provide you with them, however. It takes a lot of time for someone to prepare a progress report and many lawyers that work with a smaller team simply won’t have time.
If you’re paying a certain amount a minute for any conversation you have with your lawyer, and you’re not getting a progress report, it can be a bit disconcerting. This is why it is so important that you ask thorough questions right at the start of your case.
9. What Is Your Hourly Rate?
There are a few ways costs might be managed when you pay your lawyer, but the most common is an hourly rate.
The hour is divided into tenths, meaning many lawyers are really charging you a price for every six minutes of their time.
10. What Fees Will be Taken Out of My Settlement?
Besides simply paying for the attorney’s time, there may be other fees. Some practices ask to work on contingency, or for a retainer fee.
You should find out what these costs are, and know if you will need to pay them back should your case not be successful.
If the costs are very concerning to you, ask them for a print out of the expenses for past cases similar to yours. Although no two cases are completely the same, knowing what those that came before you paid can give you some confidence that you are making the right decision.
Finding Chicago Accident Lawyers
When you are looking for the right representation for your case, experience and knowledge of the system are the most important factors to consider.
If you are in Chicago and are looking for a personal injury attorney, contact us at the law office of Scott D. DeSalvo. We have answers to many of these imperative questions available right on our website.
"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life. Scott is a down to earth person and attorney. Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff. The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen. Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied. I was."
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