If you find yourself in a situation where you need to hire a solicitor, then you may be feeling a little in over your head. Finding the right person to represent you isn’t always an easy task. If you’re not familiar with the law, then you may not know what to look for in legal experts. These are some questions to ask a lawyer or a solicitor to find the best fit for your situation.
1. Do You Have Experience in Cases Such as Mine?
Although every legal case is going to be different than others, you should look for solicitors who have experience in your area.
For example, if you’re dealing with a case of medical negligence, then you need medical negligence solicitors who are specialised in that specific area of the law. A general solicitor should be a last resort as each area of the law is complicated, and that is especially true when it comes to medical malpractice cases.
For instance, medical negligence claims UK often involve the NHS, and only a real medical negligence lawyer will know how to deal with an entity like the NHS and how to negotiate with them. And medical negligence claims UK based are actually going to go better if the solicitor can explain complicated medical situations in a way that’s easy to understand.
Before you sign up for any legal help, you should also always ask about fees, since fee structures and payment options will vary depending on the type of case. Legal costs can be very high and may vary, depending on your solicitor. Costs are going to differ greatly, and the less expensive option may not be the best one. Some solicitors may charge by the hour while others may charge only if they win the case.
Medical negligence lawyers often work on a “no win, no pay” basis, but the fees if they win can be very high. The Medical Negligence Experts are a prime example of a firm that works based on this payment structure, who also offer potential clients free over the phone advice on their claims.
Also, be sure to enquire about whether the costs will change over time. The solicitor should provide you with an estimate of the total anticipated legal costs for the entire case which will help you decide on a legal expert.
2. Who Will be Doing the Work for My Case?
Although it’s anticipated that the solicitor you meet with initially will be handling your case, you shouldn’t assume this. Legal teams often have a variety of solicitors and they may hand the work off to another person for a variety of reasons. The best medical negligence solicitors, for example, may be specialised in certain cases and may refer you to a colleague if they don’t feel as though they have adequate experience to win your case. Medical negligence UK cases are complicated, and you want to know who is representing you. If you haven’t met the person who will be doing the work of the case, makes sure to do this before signing on.
3. Can You Explain Complicated Legal Terms in a Way I Can Understand?
Although many people may be impressed by a solicitor’s use of flowery and complicated language, this isn’t actually a sign of a good solicitor. This will also be important if the case progresses and becomes more complicated over time. Having good communication with the solicitor is important so make sure to ask this question early on.
You can find a legal glossary on The Law Society.
4. How do We Stay in Touch?
Knowing how to contact the solicitor is important and will be an important question to ask before signing up with one. In some cases, you may not contact the solicitor directly but instead, contact the office who will pass on the call. Ask the solicitor how often you can expect to be in contact and what communication will look like throughout the legal process. You should be wary of any solicitor who is reluctant to share this information or appears as though it would be difficult to communicate with during the process. While solicitors have busy schedules, they should make it a priority to communicate well with each client.
5. What are my Chances of Winning?
Although the solicitor cannot guarantee that you will win or lose a case, an expert one will be able to give you their evaluation of your case and if it’s worth pursuing. They may also ask for additional information or documentation before recommending a course of action. In some cases, they may state that you have a low chance of winning and recommend not pursuing the case at all.
Don’t choose a solicitor who guarantees winning the case as cases are never guaranteed to win. However, a solicitor should be able to tell you, based on experience, what he or she thinks about your chances in court.
6. How Long will the Case take?
All legal cases take time, and some can take longer than others. There’s no exact amount of time that your solicitor will be able to tell you, but most experts in their field will be able to let you know an approximate amount of time to expect. This is important to know as it will affect your future plans. In some cases, you may need to prepare financially or make other preparations for a lengthy legal case. Some people may not be willing to pursue a case that can take longer than a few months to complete. If your solicitor has dealt with similar cases, they will be able to provide you with information about basic time frames to expect.
7. Are There Other Options to Solve My Case?
Although many people think of pursuing a court case when it comes to legal situations, this may not be the only option available. In fact, a good solicitor will want to seek out the best option for your situation which may not involve a standard case. Don’t hesitate to ask the solicitor if there are other options to solve your legal issue that you may want to pursue first. This is important to ask about since it will affect both the legal costs and the time spent on your situation.
Some examples of this may include out-of-court arrangements or mediation which can be reasonable options. Although you may not have other options available, be sure to ask this before pursuing any legal action.
8. How Long Have You Practiced Law?
Just because a solicitor is older or younger does not necessarily mean that they have the experience needed to represent you. Many people pursue law at an older age, so you’ll want to ask them how many years they have been practicing. Ask the solicitor about their background and experiences. Not all solicitors have stayed in the same area of law throughout their career and they may have changed specialties at some point. Although a lawyer without a huge amount of experience isn’t always a poor choice, you do want legal help that has expertise in your area. Make sure to ask about this early on as it’s easy to miss this area.
Although you may not be a legal expert, you can find one with the help of these questions. Use these suggested questions on a solicitor for your case. Not only will you have a better idea of who to choose, you’ll also have a greater amount of knowledge about your legal situation.