Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa
This post was written by Andrea Girones:
If you have been seriously injured in an accident in the Ottawa area, you could benefit from the advice and representation of an experienced personal injury lawyer. How do you find the right lawyer for you? Ask questions. Many personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation, which will give you the opportunity, not only to gain some insight into your legal rights, but also to determine whether the lawyer with whom you are meeting will be a good fit for you.
There are a few important questions to ask a potential personal injury lawyer.
1. How long have they practiced personal injury law? Do they practice exclusively in this area?
Keep in mind that a lawyer who has practiced exclusively personal injury law for 5 years may have more relevant experience than a lawyer who has taken on one personal injury case per year for the past 20 years.
2. Do they practice in the Ottawa area?
Try to find a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the Ottawa area. This lawyer will know the other local lawyers, judges and courthouse procedures better than a lawyer outside the area.
3. How and when do they expect to be paid?
Many personal injury lawyers in Ottawa expect to be paid on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t pay your lawyer until your case has been settled or your trial is over, and the legal fees that you pay will be a percentage of the financial compensation that you receive rather than an hourly rate. Make sure that you understand exactly what fees and expenses you will be responsible for and when you will be expected to pay.
4. What do they expect to achieve for you? What is the goal?
Before you hire a lawyer, make sure that you understand precisely what they plan to accomplish for you. Does your lawyer intend to negotiate with your insurance company to maximize the accident benefits that you receive? Does she intend to start an action against an at-fault party and represent you throughout the litigation process if necessary?
5. How do they prefer to communicate with clients? If you have a question, how soon can you expect a response?
It is unlikely that your lawyer will be available to take your calls several times per day. While most lawyers will go out of their way to ensure that their clients understand and are comfortable with the legal process, they only have so much time to dedicate to your case. You will likely be much more satisfied with your relationship with your lawyer if you know from the beginning how you and your lawyer will communicate and how quickly you should expect a response to any messages that you leave.