|Q. I have never hired a lawyer. Now, I am in
need of an attorney. How do I find a lawyer for my case?
A. If you have never used the services of an attorney, it is important
to find a lawyer who is qualified to handle your particular case. You
can find lawyers and learn about their qualifications on the internet.
Many times more information can be acquired about a lawyer and his/her
firm on the internet as opposed to the yellow pages because the internet
provides more space for the attorney to specify areas of practice and to
provide potential clients with a list of qualifications for the job.
Q. What questions should I ask the lawyer to determine his/her
A. Ask questions like: Do you specialize in personal injury law? How
many years have you been doing this type of work? What type of support
staff do you have? Who will be working on my case? What is your fee
arrangement (contingency or hourly)?
Q. How will my lawyer charge me for services rendered?
A. Lawyers usually charge either on an hourly basis or by way of
contingency fee. Most lawyers who charge on an hourly basis will
ask for a retainer (an advance payment) prior to commencing
representation. A contingency fee is an alternative method of
payment used primarily for personal injury cases. Under this
arrangement, the lawyer does not receive a legal fee unless he succeeds
in obtaining a settlement or verdict for the client. The lawyer
will usually charge between one-third (33 1/3%) percent and forty (40 %)
of the total recovery obtained. In addition, costs for preparation
of the case (i.e., investigation, medical records and reports) often are
deducted from the total recovery. The advantage of the contingency
fee is that it serves as an incentive to the lawyer to win the case.
If he fails to win the case, he does not receive a legal fee. In
addition, the client is not required to bare the burden of paying a
lawyer an hourly charge while recovering from injuries sustained in the