Before you sign a contract for legal services with a
personal injury Law firm or attorney ....
It is your case, you are paying the fee, and you have the absolute right to know the following before you sign a contract, so do not be afraid to ask …
- If you are looking at a law firm with a “team” of attorneys, do not expect or assume that the most experienced attorney at that firm will handle your case. Cases at large multi-state firms are often randomly assigned to associate attorneys with little or no courtroom experience. Ask specifically which attorney will handle your case and as to that particular attorney ask …
- How many years of experience does he have with personal injury cases in Chicago area courts?
- How many jury trials has that attorney personally tried, how many as a “first” chair and in which courtrooms? Were those trials in Chicago Metropolitan Courts, or smaller “downstate”, or out of state, courtrooms?
- What is the largest verdict that attorney personally obtained at a trial?
- What is the largest settlement that attorney has personally obtained?
- How many cases has that attorney personally taken up or defended on Appeal?
- Is he a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association?
Not all firms and attorneys have the same fee structure for a personal injury case. Some charge more as a case proceeds. Before you sign a contract, you need to know …
- If the case goes to trial, is your attorney capable of handling an appeal? Will there be an additional fee for the appeal ? How many actual cases has your attorney had in the Appellate Courts ? Are there actual reported decisions in the law books that you can look at to verify his experience ? Has he ever had a case in the Supreme Court ?
- The ADVOCATE has a wealth of experience in the Illinois Appellate Courts, far more than most attorneys, with many very gratifying wins. And the fixed fee includes any necessary appeal !
If you or a family member has a claim for personal injuries, you don’t need just any lawyer, you need a veteran trial lawyer with extensive courtroom experience, a proven track record of solid results and a consistent and fair fee structure for your case from the very beginning to the very end, even to appeal.
While some cases settle before a lawsuit is filed or before a trial, not all cases do. How will you know if you are getting fair value for your claim if it is settled without a trial? What if the insurance company that is supposed to compensate you for your injuries decides to offer you only pennies on the dollar and your case must be tried before a jury and, perhaps, even appealed after a jury renders a verdict? One word should guide your decision as to which attorney to hire…. EXPERIENCE.
After all, doesn’t it make sense to hire the attorney with the most experience your money can buy, especially if you are paying the same percentage (or more!) for a fee ?