1. Do I have a case? If the attorney that you are meeting with looks over the facts that you have presented and doesn’t feel that there is enough to build a case on, then you have two choices: seek out another attorney for a second opinion or give up. There is no point in asking any other questions, if the attorney is not convinced that he or she can win your case.
2. What information will you need from me to file? Don’t be fooled into believing that you can hand over the facts and walk away while an attorney does all of the digging. While a good lawyer will shoulder a lot of the responsibility, there are things that you will need to provide. You may have to help in searching out witnesses. The attorney might just ask that you bring in copies of your medical bills or documentation demonstrating that you have, in fact, missed work.
3. What is the cost if I don’t win? If you feel that the attorney is confident enough in the case and you can reach an agreement about your own responsibilities in getting it ready to file, then the next question should be about the cost. In most cases, an attorney will not charge you anything unless the case is won. However, that is not always true and it is best to be aware, so you are not caught by surprise later.
4. Do you handle cases like this frequently? Experience matters. You do not want your attorney entering the courtroom as a rookie. There is too much that happens during courtroom proceedings and even in the negotiation phases that require a true understanding of the process. If your case is going to go to court, for instance, you don’t want to deal with an attorney that has never taken a case before a jury.
5. What do you think the best and worst outcomes will be? You want to have a clear picture of your attorney’s expectations of your case. If yours don’t match, then it might be time to consider a second opinion.
6. Do you think that we will go to court? It is important to remember that a large percentage of cases are settled well before they go to court. However, some will require that testimony be given before the judge and jury. You will want to be prepared either way.