If you are looking for lawyers because of a bodily injury or car accident or various other reasons, there are a few things that you need to keep an eye out for. You can count these things as red flags if you notice them. It doesn’t matter why you are looking into lawyers, if you encounter any of the following list, don’t talk yourself into staying; move on to your next choice. There is no shortage of lawyers so there is no reason you should find yourself stuck with someone that you do not like or trust.
Doesn’t meet you in person. If you are looking into a particular law firm, you can usually set up a free, initial consultation which is also an interview. You’ll briefly explain the situation that you are facing and then allow the lawyer to convince you why they would be a good fit for you to hire. Now, if the law firm sends you a legal aid, paralegal or assistant to talk to you instead of one of the lawyers, you can pretty much cross them off your list before you even start the interview. This shows that they are not that interested in your case and that you are not that important to them.
Doesn’t let you finish explaining your situation. Say the firm does send a lawyer and you get to the point where you are telling them about the possible case that you are facing. A good lawyer is going to sit and listen and possibly take notes in order to give you some sound legal advice and in essence, a reason to hire them. So, if the lawyer you are interviewing keeps cutting you off or tries to give you the advice before you have finished explaining yourself, take this as a warning sign. A lawyer that doesn’t listen will be surprised in court when the opposing party uncovers evidence that they didn’t know about because they would never let you finish talking and that is never a good thing.
Won’t give you contact information. Most lawyers will give you their office phone number and email to keep in contact with them. Some will even give you an after hours number that you can text or call at any time. This shows that the lawyer cares about you and is going to be working hard for you and won’t resent you calling in to see what’s going on. It’s also a good practice because then this way, if you come across new information, you can get it to your lawyer immediately. If a lawyer will only give you access to their assistant or paralegal or insists that you not call them but they will call you, move on to a lawyer who is more willing to be open with you.
They have bad reviews and a negative online reputation. Before you even sit down with a lawyer, you can look them up online. Check out reviews that real clients have left them. Keep in mind that not everyone can be pleased so if there are one or two negative reviews, but the rest of quite upbeat, then don’t worry about those negative ones. However, if the majority of the reviews are bad reviews and their general online presence is negative, you can cross them off the list.
They don’t have experience in your type of case. You need someone that has plenty of experience in the realm of your case. There are general lawyers and then there are lawyers that specialize in specific areas. Having a specialized lawyer is a better idea because then they will already be familiar with the process and the steps that need to be taken as well as any paperwork that needs to be filed. Having wins under their belt is also a bonus. Ask about this stuff in your initial meeting.
You have to realize that you are going to be spending the next six months, a year, or several with this person, telling them all your intimate details and secrets. You need to be able to feel confident in your lawyer and develop a professional but deep relationship with them if you have any chance of winning your case.
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