Whether we like it or not, unfortunate run-of-the-mill accidents happen all of the time. When the unfortunate occurs you'll need the right support to help you through this difficult time. There are plenty of Ottawa law firms that specialize in handling injury cases. But before you go calling any Ottawa lawyer you find in the phone book, you should first find the right lawyer for your specific case. Finding the right attorney might seem like an incredibly daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. There are ways of sifting through the large pool of law firms to find the right Ottawa lawyer for you, and it all begins with asking the right questions. The only way to be sure you've selected the best Ottawa law firm is to find out if they meet your personal requirements. Here are five questions you should ask your prospective attorney before hiring them:
1. What types of cases does your law firm handle on a day-to-day basis?
There are many lawyers in Ottawa that tend to be jacks of all trades -also known as general practitioners. This type of work may include occasional personal injury cases, fraud suits, or cases against drug manufacturers. However, if they don't specialize in cases similar to yours this could be a major disadvantage to you. Top results require specialists in a specific legal field - whether that be a personal injury lawyer, bankruptcy or immigration. The more experience and familiarity they have with the type of case you bring in the better able they will be to effectively represent you.
2. How many years of experience do you have in the field in which I need a representation?
You should note your potential attorney's experience in their field to help determine whether or not they are veterans of the game or beginners. By and large, Ottawa lawyers charge the same contingency fee (a percentage of the amount recovered from a won lawsuit) regardless of the amount of years they've been practicing. Meaning, for the same fee, you could have a lawyer with just a few years of experience, or be backed by a law firm in Ottawa that has over 50 years of combined experience. Just like everything in life, experience helps!
3. What is your personal track record of verdicts and settlements?
Don't just ask how many cases they handle, you need to know whether or not they are winning these cases. You want a lawyer who's successful in the courtroom. The longer the list of successfully settled cases, the better your chances.
4. Who will actually be handling my case?
Even if the credentials of the attorney you first meet with during your consolation might truly impress you, it's crucial to ask this question before proceeding in hiring the attorney. Find out whether the lawyer plans on actually working on your case, or passing it to another lawyer in the law firm to work on. You'll need to know the skill level and experience of the person who will actually be working on your case, and not just the first lawyer you meet with. That being said, there's no problem with having more than one attorney working a case. In fact, top law firms in Ottawa generally use teams of lawyers to handle separate aspects of the case. Find out how their team operates before you sign on the dotted line.
5. Does the law firm have adequate resources to take on my case?
Lawsuits can become extremely expensive if they end up in court. The average case can involve anywhere from a half dozen or more medical specialties, with each one needing to have an expert witness appointed to handle issues in that area. If your prospective law firm lacks the resources to fund the case properly, corners might be cut at the expense of your case. Or you might end up feeling pressured into taking an inadequate settlement. Just remember, in the end it pays to hire a lawyer with the resources to handle a case all the way to trial, if need be.