Personal Injury Lawyers – Traffic Accidents
- by dn29v
Personal Injury Lawyers – Traffic Accidents
Most personal injury actions in the United States result from a wreck involving an automobile, semi-truck, or another motor vehicle. Vehicle accidents that involve physical impairment, fatality, or other significant harm may call for the legal services of a skilled automobile wreck legal professional. The most distinct aspect of a trucking crash, particularly semi-truck wrecks, is that the injuries in this type of crash tend to be extensive. Damages to passengers in cars, SUVs, or smaller eighteen-wheelers are likely significant. As a result, compared to an automobile collision, there is more money available to settle a truck accident legal action. More on this website
Important information about semi-truck accidents
Individuals in a car or eighteen-wheeler crash must be compensated for their injuries. Although it seems that going after the individual who personally brought on the collision would make the most sense, it is most likely that the driver has no more funds than you do. Your likelihood of acquiring complete and reasonable compensation considerably increases if you can go after reimbursement from the firm that hired the truck driver. An individual injured or hurt in an eighteen-wheeler accident with an at-fault driver can pursue a truck crash settlement by taking legal action for all damages and any repercussions from the wreck. Like auto wreck cases, an eighteen-wheeler wreck lawsuit can include compensation for fees such as hospital services, rehabilitation, nursing home services, and domestic services may be recovered, in addition to the loss of wages and loss of earning ability.
Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers’ Key Points About Injury Attorneys
Motor vehicle collisions are a significant source of loss of life in the United States, with more than 30,000 fatalities occurring each year, based on the insurance institute for highway safety. It is recommended to employ auto accident legal counsel promptly to minimize any high-priced blunders. The deadline for filing personal injury claims is different from state to state. Considering you may need to settle for medical charges and deal with lost paychecks, the faster you contact an attorney, the better. Typically, an individual should contact a law firm shortly after the injury, within a week or two of the wreck but before arriving at a payout with the insurance provider.
Motor vehicle collision legal professionals cover many questions, from personal injury to wrongful death, property damage, and liability settlements. When searching for an automobile accident lawyer or attorney, you should concentrate on the lawyer or attorney’s knowledge, skill level, commitment, locality, and rate structure. For example, your car accident lawyer or attorney should know the state and national transportation laws, know precisely how to address insurance and health care service providers, and recognize the best way to put together and settle a claim effectively. Also, it’s significant that you check the legal professional’s experience, referrals, and performance history.
Before speaking with a car accident lawyer, you should have as much detailed information and facts about the car accident and any injuries or financial losses as possible. Documents you might want to show your attorney after a motor vehicle accident may include your insurance policy, information exchanged at the accident scene, and medical records, among other things. Below are some of the questions you should ask before hiring a car accident lawyer:
What percentage of your practice is devoted to car accident cases?
What experience do you have with the specific type of injury in question?
What is a typical settlement range for cases similar to mine?
How much of my car accident case will you handle?
How are your fees structured?
What out-of-pocket expenses am I responsible for?
We understand how damaging a serious accident can be physically, emotionally, and economically. Our accident specialists have considerable expertise in helping our clients recoup the full reimbursement allowed under the law for their loss, including traumatic amputation and wrongful loss of life. Our legal representatives have the skill and background to systematically look into your suit and ensure you receive the optimal settlement the law authorizes for your damages. Our responsibility is to protect our clients’ welfare and take full advantage of your rehabilitation while obtaining reasonable and sufficient compensation or judgment for the pain and suffering you have gone through. We secure your interests by taking care of all forms and settlements with the insurance firm, meticulously researching the scene of the injury, protecting the documentation and gathering bystander statements, help you receive an accurate summation of your injuries from a medical provider who understands your problems and make sure you receive medical care and recovery programs you require to reach maximum physical healing.Read More
You Need an Experienced Attorney: Do You REALLY Think You Can Handle This Yourself?
- by dn29v
You Need an Experienced Attorney: Do You REALLY Think You Can Handle This Yourself?
It’s remotely conceivable. But let us ask you this. Would you play professional football without the proper training and experience; much less the physical capability? Of course, you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t last past the opening kickoff.
A non-attorney doesn’t have the accumulated – and vital – knowledge or experience to effectively investigate a complicated big rig accident, or negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies, or successfully represent him or herself in court. Litigating an 18 wheeler accident-related injury cases is extremely complex. And attorneys who don’t have a deep background in personal injury or commercial truck accident cases don’t have any better chance than you of winning reasonable compensation. So why would you even entertain such a critical, foolish idea: especially when tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake?
Under-representation in personal injury commercial accidents is like asking to get creamed by your opponents. And they’ll be tickled to oblige you. The laws and procedures involved are so complex, and the playing field is clearly tilted in the favor of the trucking companies, their insurance providers and attorneys. Your opponents have deep pockets and years of experience winning these exact kinds of cases you now consider.
Successful litigation (or settlement negotiation) in a truck-related personal injury lawsuit demands that the representing lawyer have a very thorough knowledge of civil procedure and an ability to devise the perfect strategy – based on the evidence – to battle the defendants, their insurance companies and adjusters, as well as their crackerjack defense lawyers. Legal novices don’t have any of that. And rookie-lawyers don’t have enough. So if you do it either of those ways, you’ll feel like Rodney Dangerfield: you’ll, “get no respect.” And without respect, you don’t get paid. This is why an experienced and highly, respected Texas big rig accident injury attorney who has spent years taking on the insurance companies and their lawyers – like our Law Firm – and beaten them, is a powerful weapon in your fight for fair accident injury compensation.
And if you’re thinking about taking up a relative or friend who is a lawyer’s offer to represent you, stop a minute and consider this. Even though he or she might be looking out for your best interests and pledges to fight hard for your rights in a big truck accident case, unless this person is an experienced personal injury lawyer with demonstrated skill in beating trucking companies and their insurance carriers, your attorney friend’s good intentions might be more akin to taking a knife to a gunfight.
Your friend-relative lawyer might have a difficult time emotionally detaching him or herself from issues surrounding your case simply because of that personal investment. Big-rig injury law is quite intense and extremely contentious. Your attorney must be pragmatic, focus solely on the facts of a case at all times and be very cool under in order to succeed for you. What happens if that friend or relative lawyer doesn’t win or accepts a less-than-fair settlement because he knows how badly you need the money now? How will you feel about your friend or relative then: and for how long? You will be very wise to keep your family members and friends out of your legal business when deciding who will represent your big rig injury liability lawsuit most effectively. But by all means, welcome their support during this trying time in your life.
Our Law Firm has decades of experience handling personal injury litigation in large truck wreck cases. If you or a loved one has been hit by one of these monsters and you are blameless, our expertise assures that you should receive the fairest compensation possible for the injuries and pain you have suffered or if a wrongful death of a loved one has occurred. We’ve helped deliver millions of dollars to hundreds of negligent accident victims in Texas. So if you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident in Texas, our experienced accident lawyers can win the best compensation possible for you.
Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation. Get on the road to recovery so you and your family can get on with your lives.
Our Main Office:
Carabin Shaw P.C.
630 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78215
Personal Injury Law: Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
- by dn29v
Legal Care for Injured Pedestrians
The freedom of being able to walk to work, retail, and recreational activities is a wonderful plus of living in an urban area. Many of us are afflicted by the rising cost of gas, the stressful annoyance of traffic gridlock, and the detriments of smog and vehicle emissions. We also are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles and could all use more physical exercise, which pedestrian transportation can obviously provide. But some drivers can be quite careless in their sharing of the road with pedestrians, and because the human body – unprotected – is no match for the physical force doled out in an accident, those on foot can incur grievous injuries in a flash. A personal injury attorney can offer valuable legal guidance to you if you have been injured by another driver.
more here @ https://no1-lawyer.com/
The list of impactful injuries a pedestrian can face is stark: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, organ damage, broken bones, burns and lacerations – the list goes on and on. Pedestrians can do all within their power to avoid injury by diligently following the lead of posted signage and traffic signals, staying within crosswalks, looking twice for errant motorists and road hazards, and staying off limited access highways or roads. Yet a drunk, reckless, or simply distracted motorist can assault even the most careful and observant pedestrian, and these drivers must be held liable for the great physical and financial pain they cause.
Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Our skilled team of lawyers comprise a respected legal firm dedicated to integrity and success. We have assisted countless clients in pursuing personal injury and wrongful death claims after they and their families have been impacted by negligent parties. You can receive this same outstanding and proven representation by procuring the services of our team, and you will find our attorneys to be not only highly competent but also caring and understanding of your needs. More here for personal injury accident victims: @ https://caraccidentattorneysa.com/
Pedestrians stand at significant risk for grievous injury, and if you have been hit by another driver, you can contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for immediate legal care.Read More
After Injuries You Might Have To Fight Your Case In A Court Of Law
- by dn29v
You will probably have to present your case in court if you sustained a personal injury that changed your life. Insurance companies tend not to settle for fair amounts. Follow the tips presented here to understand the best way to manage your personal injury lawsuit.
Meet with a number of lawyers before hiring one. Many will offer you a free consultation to try and get your business. When the consultation happens, you can learn about the potential costs. This is a good chance to compare and contrast against other consultations to see which lawyers are overcharging.
See to it that you document the things that happen to you and take a lot of pictures of every angle possible. If you lack the ability to take photos, maybe a relative or friend could do so. You should take pictures right away to get photos that truly represent the situation.
Don’t move the vehicle, following an accident, unless law enforcement says to. Moving your vehicle might exacerbate damages and let the guilty party off the hook. An exception is if this happens in traffic on a busy street.
Do not apologize after you realize you are injured. This can be used to help prove your fault in an accident. Even if you’re feeling like you’re in the wrong, you shouldn’t apologize.
During meetings with various lawyers, you should be able to provide detailed documentation and information related to your case. Bring insurance papers, bills, accident reports and anything else pertaining to your claim. All of these documents can assist a personal injury and auto injury lawyer in seeing the case’s details so they know if they’re able to handle it or not.
You should ask witnesses for their name and contact information if an accident occurs. The court proceeding may take some time, so your personal injury or auto accident injury lawyer needs valid statements, as soon as possible, so that they can adequately prepare. People forget over time, or move away, so getting information immediately is one of the best ways to reach them in order for you to prevail.
Keep in mind that hiring a personal injury lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll see a brand new check in a few weeks! It can be a long process, and you’ll need to have some patience. In fact, a case can last a couple of years, especially if you’re located in a larger city. You need to have realistic expectation and educate yourself before taking legal action.
If you have physical signs that you have been hurt, and have taken pictures, do so before you see a physician. Pictures do not lie, so this could be the best evidence you could have. Depending on the extent, it can make a significant in the size of your award for your pain and suffering.personal injury lawyers
Think about where the law offices are located when deciding on your personal injury attorney. You will probably have to make stops at the office, so you do not want it to be too far away. This will be more convenient, of course, and you will have a closer relationship with your injury attorney for personal injury. Communication between you and the injury attorney for personal injury will be quicker and your calls are less likely to be ignored.
Seeking damages for your injury is harder than you may think. You must understand the proof that will be necessary and how to find a personal injury and auto injury lawyer who can help you win. This article reviews just a few things you should know when dealing with a personal injury.Read More
San Antonio – South Texas Semi Truck Accident Attorney
- by dn29v
San Antonio – South Texas Semi Truck Accident Attorney
For many years, people who have been injured in car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents have counted on our car accident lawyers to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. When you have been injured, you have enough to do getting to medical appointments and following your doctor’s orders.
When you contact the our Law Offices , we will handle the legal aspects for you. Our South Texas car accident lawyer and our legal staff will investigate your accident, examine the police reports, and contact the insurance company. We will also monitor your medical condition and keep you informed about the progress of your insurance claim.
Tell me about your motor vehicle accident.
Home • Office • Hospital
We will be there within 24 hours.
When you call our motor vehicle accidents law firm, a member of our staff will call you back right away. We will set up an appointment and meet with you within 24 hours. We want to take the stress and worry of the financial and legal hassles away from you as soon as possible so that you can focus on getting better.
No health insurance?
We will help you find a doctor.
The first priority when you suffer injuries in an accident is to see a doctor. You need to have your injuries treated so that recovery can begin. The doctor may also find other injuries that you didn’t notice right away. Often a painful injury can cause a victim to ignore a lesser pain at first. Additional pain may arise a day or two after the accident.
Whatever your injuries, you need medical attention. If you don’t have health insurance, we will help you find a doctor who will provide the necessary treatment right away and wait for payment until after you receive your settlement. Our San Antonio car accident lawyer wants you to have the medical care you need right away. Call us. We can help.
Auto accidents can change lives in an instant. A tractor-trailer big rig accident can result in catastrophic injuries. A trucking accident, car accident, or motorcycle accident can cause many changes in the injured person’s life and in a family’s life.
How serious are the injuries?
Will you need additional medical treatment in the future?
Will you be disabled at all?
Can you keep your current job?
Will you need retraining?
Did you lose wages because of the accident?
Will you have future economic losses?
Car accidents, trucking accidents, and motorcycle accidents can cause serious, even catastrophic, injuries. Make sure you have a Denver semi-truck accident attorney who knows how to present a comprehensive, thorough demand letter to the insurance company. Your future, your health, and your family may depend on having effective legal representation.
Our South Texas Law Offices have handled a great number of personal injury cases. Our entire careers have been devoted to helping injured people and the families of wrongful death victims. Call us. We will start answering your questions and helping you through this difficult time right away.Read More
Mexico court ruling could eventually lead to legal marijuana
- by dn29v
A narrow ruling by Mexico’s Supreme Court could eventually clear a path to make recreational use of marijuana legal.
Four people in the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Personal Use will now be permitted to grow and smoke their own marijuana.
Marijuana still cannot be sold in Mexico but some say the court’s ruling could lead to full legalisation.
Mexico has long struggled with violent conflict from drug cartels.
The advocacy group first brought the case forward in 2013, seeking permission to grow plants for recreational use.
The court voted 4-1 that prohibiting people from growing the drug for consumption was unconstitutional.
In a country that faces drug violence on a massive scale, this is a significant ruling. Although the ruling only applies to the individuals who brought the case to the Supreme Court, activists see this as a huge first step.
Armando Santacruz was one of the plaintiffs. A prominent businessman here in Mexico, he has spearheaded the campaign and told me he sees this as opening the door to many more cases.
But Mexicans are divided when it comes to the legalization of drugs. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has been firmly against any change to drug policy so the battle to legalise marijuana here has only just begun.
It could set a legal precedent for future rulings concerning the use and sales of marijuana.
People celebrated the ruling by smoking joints outside of the Supreme Court building.
“If … this supreme court is taking such an important step toward legalization of drugs, or at least some of them, I suggest that we are equally careful and responsible in crafting a ruling of the same magnitude,” said Judge Jose Ramon Cossio, who voted in favour of the measure.
There are tens of thousands of drug-related killings in the country every year.
The country has been pressured to loosen its drug laws after the US made the drug legal in certain states.
In 2009, Mexico made it legal to carry up to 5 grams (.18oz) of marijuana.
Personal Injury Attorneys really can help you!
- by dn29v
Personal Injury Accident Lawyer –Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer
A lot of people get into accidents every year, whether it’s an accident coming from your workplace or from car accident. It will leave you stressed out, and you might feel lost sometimes. You want to seek justice from the people who caused the accident but you don’t know where to turn to and where to go and that is when a personal injury accident lawyer comes in. A personal accident lawyer is the one you will ask for help. They will be your legal representation in the court to find justice against to those who hurt you. If you think you are one of those people who need help from a personal injury lawyer then have a take a look at this first. It might be helpful for you if you are thinking of hiring one.
Why you Should Hire One
While you are so stress out and constantly healing from whatever injuries, suffering and pain whether physically or emotionally the personal accident lawyer can help you ease some of the most important things that you worry about.
Your personal injury lawyer can help you pay with the medical expenses, lost wages or any accident-related expenses that they have collected aside from whatever coverage that you have from your insurance if you have one.
Getting a personal injury accident lawyer will be a wise decision and has a lot of advantages in your part.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer will get you more money from accident claims than those who do not hire a lawyer. This is actually based on some statistics. Your lawyers are experts. They have experiences on working with other defense lawyers so the more you will be protected and helped. This will save you time too. Instead of you going to places and getting documents that you need, your attorney can do this for you instead whether getting some important reports from investigators or meeting the doctor to get your medical records. And you don’t have to pay any charges if you don’t win the case.
Tips on Getting One
If you are thinking of getting a personal injury accident lawyer then you have to take action right away especially just after the accident so that the attorney can act as soon as possible. Be clear with your communication with your lawyer. Listen and understand what your lawyer is saying during your negotiation that includes the fees, and charges that your lawyer will get if ever you win your case.
Choose your lawyer well. Study him as well like how much experience he has or how he handles his cases before. There are a lot of good lawyers around. You can actually find a lot of great attorneys online. Try to search one that’s near you. Location is also important if you want a lawyer that can keep in touch with you more often. Observe their personality. A good lawyer is not just about how well they can handle the cases they also need to be sympathetic towards their client. Just be wise on choosing your lawyer. More here @ http://truckaccidentattorneysa.com/
More Info about Personal Injury:
Crash lawyer Andrew Houston cleared of causing deaths
- by dn29v
An Edinburgh lawyer has been cleared of causing the deaths of three people by careless driving.
Andrew Houston, 48, had denied driving carelessly on the A9 between Newtonmore and Kingussie on 9 July 2013.
His wife, Abigail, and seven year-old daughter, Mia, died along with German tourist Dr Mohammad Hayajneh.
Houston was convicted of a reduced charge of careless driving. He was fined £1,000 and disqualified from driving for a year.
The trial at Inverness Sheriff Court began on Monday.
Outside the court the family of Dr Hayajneh said they had not wanted Houston jailed but did not feel justice had been served.
Mr Hayajneh’s son Jonas said: “We are sad at this verdict and believe that justice has not been done for our father and husband.
“We don’t feel hatred towards Mr Houston and at no point we wanted him to go to prison, but we wanted him to be found guilty since all the evidence suggested he was and we are convinced that this tragedy could have been avoided.
“We now face the prospect of not gaining proper closure.”
Dr Hayajneh’s wife, Ursula, praised the actions of the police and medical staff in the aftermath of the accident.
She said: “After the accident I learned that Scottish people are very helpful, they have a great heart and so friendly and at this horrible time I would say ‘thank you’ to the police and to everybody who were so helpful to me.”
Houston is a senior partner at McSporrans defence Solicitors in Edinburgh.
Now the family will pursue a civil action against Houston.
He made no comment as he left the court with the mother of his late wife and her sister.
However, his defence counsel, Frances McMenamin said: “His mother and sister in law have been fully supportive of my client since the tragedy and it hardly needs saying that Mr Houston will always carry the burden of the loss of all those lives and knows the grief and loss to others.
“It has taken its toll on him both emotionally and physically and he has found it psychologically difficult to cope with.
“He expresses his inevitable sadness for what this loss has meant to others.”
It was five months before the solicitor advocate was fit enough to be interviewed by police about the tragedy.
But he could not remember how it happened, only a loud bang “and the horrid aftermath” he told officers.
How to Hire an Attorney
- by dn29v
Gavel and scale being held by female lawyer against a white background
There are two professionals every business will need early on: an accountant and a lawyer. The reasons for hiring an accountant are pretty obvious–you need someone to help you set up your “chart of accounts,” review your numbers periodically, and prepare all of your necessary federal, state and local tax returns. The reason for hiring a business attorney may not, however, be so apparent. A good business attorney will provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business, from basic zoning compliance and copyright and trademark advice to formal business incorporation and lawsuits and liability. First, some general rules about dealing with lawyers:
If you are being sued, it’s too late. Most small businesses put off hiring a lawyer until the sheriff is standing at the door serving them with a summons. Bad mistake. The time to hook up with a good business lawyer is before you are sued. Once you have been served with a summons and complaint, it’s too late–the problem has already occurred, and it’s just a question of how much you will have to pay (in court costs, attorneys’ fees, settlements and other expenses) to get the problem resolved.
America’s judicial system is a lot like a Roach Motel–it’s easy to get into court, but very difficult to get out once you’ve been “trapped.” Most lawyers agree that while nobody likes to pay attorneys’ fees for anything (heck, let’s let our hair down–nobody likes paying or dealing with lawyers, period), but the fee a lawyer will charge to keep you out of trouble is only a small fraction of the fee a lawyer will charge to get you out of trouble once it’s happened.
Big firm or small firm? Generally speaking, the larger the law firm, the greater the overhead, therefore the higher the hourly rates you will be expected to pay. Still, larger firms have a number of advantages over smaller ones. Over the past 20 years, lawyers have become incredibly specialized. If you use a solo practitioner or small firm as your lawyer(s), it’s likely that they will not have all the skills you may need to grow your business. I don’t know of any solo practitioner, and very few small firms (under 10 lawyers) that could handle your lawsuits, negotiate your lease of office or retail space, file a patent or trademark, draft a software license agreement, advise you on terminating a disruptive employee, and oversee your corporate annual meeting. Sooner or later, these “generalists” will have to refer you out to specialists, and you will find yourself dealing with two or three (or even more) attorneys.
While larger firms are more expensive to deal with, they have two significant advantages: 1) they usually have all the legal skills you need “under one roof,” and 2) they have a lot of clout in the local, regional and (perhaps) national legal community. A nasty letter from a “powerhouse” law firm with offices in 30 states is a lot more intimidating than a nasty letter from a solo practitioner who is not admitted to practice in the defendant’s state. Also, being connected with a large, well-established law firm may have intangible benefits–they may be willing to introduce you to financing sources or use their name as a reference when seeking partnership arrangements. Certainly if you run a fast-growing entrepreneurial company that plans to go public (or sell out to a big company) some day, you would need to work with lawyers whose names are recognized in the investment banking and venture capital communities.
Types of Attorneys
Like doctors, lawyers are becoming increasingly specialized. Someone who does mostly wills, house closings and other “non-business” matters is probably not a good fit for your business. At the very least, you will need the following sets of skills. The more skills reside in the same human being, the better!
1. Contracts. You will need a lawyer who can understand your business quickly; prepare the standard form contracts you will need with customers, clients and suppliers; and help you respond to contracts that other people will want you to sign.
2. Business organizations. You will need a lawyer who can help you decide whether a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) is the better way to organize your business, and prepare the necessary paperwork.
3. Real estate. Leases of commercial space–such as offices and retail stores–are highly complex and are always drafted to benefit the landlord. Because they tend to be “printed form” documents, you may be tempted to think they are not negotiable. Not so. Your attorney should have a standard “tenant’s addendum,” containing provisions that benefit you, that can be added to the printed form lease document.
4. Taxes and licenses. Although your accountant will prepare and file your business tax returns each year, your lawyer should know how to register your business for federal and state tax identification numbers, and understand the tax consequences of the more basic business transactions in which your business will engage.
5. Intellectual property. If you are in a media, design or other creative-type business, it is certainly a “plus” if your lawyer can help you register your products and services for federal trademark and copyright protection. Generally, though, these tasks are performed by specialists who do nothing but “intellectual property” legal work. If your lawyer says he or she “specializes in small businesses,” then he or she should have a close working relationship with one or more intellectual property specialist.
What to Ask When Interviewing Attorneys
Are you experienced? Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions about a lawyer’s experience. If you know you want to incorporate your business, for example, ask if he or she has ever handled an incorporation.
Are you well-connected? Your business attorney should be something of a legal “internist”–one who can diagnose your problem, perform any “minor surgery” that may be needed, and refer you to local specialists for “major surgery” if needed. No lawyer can possibly know everything about every area of law. If your business has specialized legal needs (a graphic designer, for example, may need someone who is familiar with copyright laws), your attorney should either be familiar with that special area or have a working relationship with someone who is. You shouldn’t have to go scrounging for a new lawyer each time a different type of legal problem comes up.
Do you have other clients in my industry? Your attorney should be somewhat familiar with your industry and its legal environment. If not, he or she should be willing to learn the ins and outs of it. Scan your candidate’s bookshelf or magazine rack for copies of the same journals and professional literature that you read. Be wary, however, of attorneys who represent one or more of your competitors. While the legal code of ethics (yes, there is one, believe it or not) requires that your lawyer keep everything you tell him or her strictly confidential, you do not want to risk an accidental leak of sensitive information to a competitor.
Are you a good teacher? Your attorney should be willing to take the time to educate you and your staff about the legal environment of your business. He or she should tell you what the law says and explain how it affects the way you do business so that you can spot problems well in advance. The right lawyer will distribute such freebies as newsletters or memoranda that describe recent developments in the law affecting your business.
Are you a finder, a minder or a grinder? Nearly every law firm has three types of lawyer. The “finder” scouts for business and brings in new clients; the “minder” takes on new clients and makes sure existing ones are happy; the “grinder” does the clients’ work. Your attorney should be a combination of a “minder” and a “grinder.” If you sense that the lawyer you are talking to is not the one who will actually be doing your work, ask to meet the “grinder,” and be sure you are comfortable with him or her.
Will you be flexible in your billing? Because there is currently a “glut” of lawyers, with far too many practicing in most geographic locales, lawyers are in a position to have to negotiate their fees as never before, and it is definitely a “buyer’s market.” Still, there are limits–unlike the personal injury lawyers who advertise on TV, business lawyers almost always will not work for a “contingency fee,” payable only if your legal work is completed to your satisfaction.
Most lawyers will charge a flat one-time fee for routine matters, such as forming a corporation or LLC, but will not volunteer a flat fee unless you ask for it. Be sure to ask if the flat fee includes disbursements (the lawyer’s out-of-pocket expenses, such as filing fees and overnight courier charges), and when the flat fee is expected to be paid. Many attorneys require payment of a flat fee upfront, so that they can cover their out-of-pocket expenses. You should always ask to “hold back” 10 to 20 percent of a flat fee, though, in the event the lawyer doesn’t do the job well.
Lawyers will be reluctant to quote flat fees if the matter involves litigation or negotiations with third parties. The reason for this is bluntly stated by a lawyer friend of mine: “Even though it’s a transaction I’ve done dozens of times, if the other side’s lawyer turns out to be a blithering idiot who wants to fight over every comma and semicolon in the contracts, then I can’t control the amount of time I will be putting into the matter, and will end up losing money if I quote a flat fee.” In such situations, you will have to pay the lawyer’s hourly rate. You should always ask for a written estimate of the amount of time involved, and advance notice if circumstances occur that will cause the lawyer to exceed his or her estimate.
If a lawyer asks you for a retainer or deposit against future fees, make sure the money will be used and not held indefinitely in escrow, and that the lawyer commits to return any unused portion of the retainer if the deal fails to close for any reason. You should be suspicious of any lawyer who offers to take an ownership interest in your business in lieu of a fee.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an Attorney
Is this person really a frustrated businessperson disguised as a lawyer? Some lawyers get tired of being on the outside looking in when it comes to business dealings. Such a lawyer may attempt to second-guess your business judgment. Be wary of a lawyer who takes too keen an interest in the nonlegal aspects of your work.
Does this person communicate well? J. P. Morgan once said, “I do not pay my lawyers to tell me what I cannot do, but to tell me how to do what I want to do.” The right lawyer for your business will not respond to your questions with a simple “That’s OK” or “No, you can’t do that,” but will outline all your available options and tell you what other businesses in your situation normally do.
Are the offices conveniently located? You will need to visit your attorney frequently, especially in your first few years in business. You should not have to waste a day traveling to and from the nearest city each time you need legal advice. When in doubt, choose a lawyer close to home.
Do I like this person? Don’t forget to follow your instincts and feelings. You should be able to communicate openly and freely with your attorney at all times. If you feel you cannot trust a particular lawyer or you believe the two of you have different perspectives, keep looking. Just remember that Ally McBeal is not reality: good looks and a dynamic personality are not as important in a lawyer as accuracy, thoroughness, intelligence, the willingness to work hard for you and attention to detail. As a former client once told me: “My father always said, ‘Never trust a lawyer who has 20/20 vision and wears Armani.’ I chose you as my lawyer because you look like you work for a living.” The right lawyer for your business will take that as a compliment.
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