No one likes getting into disputes but whether in the workplace, with a neighbor or as the result of an accident, it can happen from time to time. When it does, you need to make sure that your side is properly represented, that justice is done and the dispute is settled – hopefully once and for all.
Choosing a lawyer has a big part to play in the success or otherwise of your case and finding someone who is both competent and inspires you with confidence is no mean feat. There are several elements that should make your lawyer stand out from the rest.
From a great track record to communication that’s better than average, find out what you should be looking for when it comes to hiring a lawyer.
Join us in this blog, as we explore the steps you should take to get representation and become the winning side.
Get a personal recommendation for a lawyer
You might have a family lawyer, someone whose firm has been representing the interests of your family for as long as you can remember.
If you’ve always been happy with their service, then you’re quite probably all set but for those who find themselves in new territory, you might need a little help.
You could, of course, hit Google and find yourself a list of lawyers in your immediate neighborhood to start working your way through. While this is a perfectly reasonable and logical approach, save yourself time by first asking around friends and family.
A personal recommendation goes a long way and allows you to ask your friend or family member all the questions you might otherwise feel too embarrassed to ask a lawyer face-to-face. You will also get an idea of cost, alongside some information on how the process works and your lawyer in particular.
After you get your recommendations, take time to visit their website and go armed with as much knowledge as you can.
Your initial consultation with your lawyer
The thing to remember here is that you don’t have to appoint the first lawyer you meet. If that initial consultation leaves you with any feelings of discomfort or that they may not be quite the right fit for your case, then you have every right to go away and think about your decision.
Have in your mind a kind of mental checklist when you meet your lawyer for the first time. Consider how they made you feel when you were discussing the ins and outs of your case.
Did they listen in a non-judgemental fashion and remain fully engaged or were they distracted? Did they ask you questions and seem interested or aloof and distant?
All these things count and a lawyer with good communication skills are essential, particularly if your case has some complicated elements to it.
Make sure you get an idea of a realistic outcome when you talk to your lawyer and steer clear of any who make guarantees about winning. You need to find someone who is realistic but who will ultimately work to the best of their ability to get you a great deal.
How legal fees fit into your budget
This can be a major sticking point for a lot of people.
Legal fees mount up very quickly, particularly when your lawyer is charging by the hour. It’s easy to see yourself sliding into debt and start overusing your credit card to get through the case.
While it’s important to see the process through, you shouldn’t have to go broke in the process. Your lawyer or their admin team is likely to present you with several options.
You might find that you are able to pay a set fee upfront and then settle the bill with any damages or awards given to you at the end of the case.
This is a great option, particularly if your lawyer judges you have a high chance of winning the case or will be offered a decent settlement outside of court.
Other options might include exploring legal aid provision to see if you are entitled to any help with your case.
Working with a lawyer ongoing
Once you’ve appointed your lawyer and you’re underway, it can feel like the whole matter goes silent.
Very often you’ll just be sent paperwork or asked to come into the office to sign documents. Any court case seems like a long way away and your lawyer will probably be working on settling the case out of court if that seems like the quickest way to get you what you deserve.
This also has the advantage of closing the case down more quickly and avoiding long, drawn-out procedures.
To make things go as smoothly as you can, be organized. Have any vital documents copied and filed in date order to make it easier for your lawyer to understand and to be found more easily. Store your documents on Cloud storage so even if they are lost you have access to them from outside your home. Stay in touch with your lawyer on a weekly basis and don’t be afraid to ask questions as and when you need to.
Starting legal proceedings, against a company or through a personal injury attorney, can be a daunting process.
For many, the experience is a new one and all the paperwork can feel overwhelming. With the right lawyer, this feeling of being out of your depth can be addressed and you’ll feel reassured that you’ve appointed someone to take care of it all for you with competence.
You want to know that they’re on your side and that they’re working to win you the best result they can. That might mean having your day in court, or it might mean finding a solution that allows you to settle out of court.
When you find a lawyer who’s on your side, they’ll work to your instructions but also advise you on the realistic outcomes of different scenarios.
Take the time to look around and find a firm that you’re comfortable with, look at their public records and see their win rate. Take a day or two to consider your options carefully, then go for it. Get that dispute behind you and the outcome you need to move on with your life.