There are over 1.3 million attorneys in the United States, so you have a lot of potential options if you ever need a lawyer.
As with most things in life, attorneys aren’t one-size-fits-all. Some attorneys are better than others, and most attorneys specialize in one particular aspect of the law, such as family law, traffic court, or workplace injury.
It’s not uncommon to make mistakes when hiring an attorney. Any number of things can go wrong if you’re not careful.
Knowing about some of the most common mistakes can help you avoid them. We’ll talk about some of these in this article.
- Not Discussing Cost
It’s no secret that hiring an attorney can be expensive, but it can also be tricky. You’ll need to discuss all costs and fees upfront. Otherwise, you might find yourself paying more than you expected.
In some cases, you may be able to find a lawyer who’ll work on contingency. This means that the lawyer doesn’t charge you to handle a case unless you win it. The lawyer then takes a cut of the winnings as payment.
Not all lawyers will work on contingency, though. Usually, this is only an option when the case involves money. No lawyer will work contingency for a custody hearing, for example.
- Not Asking Questions
Too many people are afraid to ask their lawyer certain questions. Asking about experience and successes may seem personal or even rude, but it’s not.
It’s important to make sure that your lawyer knows what they’re doing and has a good chance of winning your case. This is your stuff, after all.
Whether you’re fighting for custody of a child, insurance payments you’ve been wrongly denied, or any number of other things, this case is important to you. Any good lawyer will understand that.
Be wary of lawyers who answers these questions vaguely, using phrases like ‘years of experience’, or ‘great record’ without giving any actual numbers or examples.
- Hiring a Friend or Family Member
We’ve all heard stories of people hiring attorneys they’re related to or friends with. This can be a mistake.
Just because you know an attorney doesn’t mean you know the right attorney. They may specialize in an entirely different field, or be inexperienced, or not have a very good record.
Gearhart Law Group, for instance, is excellent in workers’ compensation cases. However, they’re probably not going to be as good with vehicle damage, since they don’t have as much experience with it.
That being said, hiring an attorney you know isn’t always a bad choice. It usually is, but there’s a small chance the lawyer you need is also one you’re close to.
Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an Attorney
Hiring an attorney can be a difficult process, and many people end up making mistakes. We’ve talked about a few of the most common mistakes in this article, but there are plenty of others. Perhaps the best advice we can give is to be careful.
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