Questions to ask a lawyer

Posted in: FAQ | Sep 02,2021


What are the right questions to ask a lawyer? If you think you need to talk to a lawyer, your questions probably relate to a few areas of concern. At the top of those concerns is the question of whether you have a case or not. That question is often followed closely by questions relating to timeline, costs, risks, responsibilities, and what to expect, to provide a fuller picture of your unique case. Before diving into the first question of “Do I have a case?“, it is helpful to back up just a bit and consider the following question: “Do I have the right lawyer?

Do I Have the Right Lawyer?

Talk to your prospective lawyer. To explore fit, they need to learn about you and your case. Listening to their questions and having questions of your own creates a dialogue and mutual understanding. Litigating a negligence case can require a substantial amount of time and energy on your part—energy that may already be depleted by the circumstances of the case. The conversation you have with your lawyer can be an energy booster. Ideally, you’ve found an advocate, a confidant, and a team that will work tirelessly for you.

Here are a few questions to ask your prospective lawyer: 

  1. How long have you practiced law? You’re not inquiring about the lawyer’s age necessarily, but about the lawyer and the firm. You want to get a sense of their unique storehouse of knowledge, combined experience, and networks they’ve built within the legal profession. It’s a simple question that can reveal a lot. 
  2. What type of cases do you handle? Negligence cases like medical malpractice, product liability, trucking accidents, and wrongful death can benefit from having a lawyer with experience in these types of cases, plus the backing of subject-matter experts.
  3. Who is your typical client? If you’re an individual filing a claim as an individual, it makes sense to not contract with a legal firm specializing in representing large corporations. 
  4. What is your track record? Some law firms publish the results of their cases; some do not. Asking them how many cases they have won or settled and the amounts awarded is reasonable. 
  5. Do you have special training? Medical malpractice is one area of the law where generalists fail. It pays to know the intricacies of the Medical Malpractice Act and the Patient’s Compensation Fund. The Montross Miller legal team includes a Board-Certified physician who is also an attorney.   
  6. Do I pay a fee upfront? Sometimes. However, Montross Miller does not require an upfront fee. Instead, we work on a contingent fee plus cost-recovery basis. That means our fee is dependent on whether you win your case or not. If there is no recovery, there is no attorney fee. 
  7. What is your philosophy or approach? The reasons for your pursuit of a case may be very personal. You want an attorney who recognizes you as an individual. The Montross Miller mission is backed by values of servanthood, compassion, integrity, trust and confidence, and aggressive pursuit of the truth. 

Now I Have a Lawyer. Do I Have A Case?

The most frequent question we receive is, “Do I have a case?” Of course, each case is different, but we pride ourselves on possessing a unique understanding of medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, product liability, and vehicular/truck accident cases. We take on tough cases if we believe they have merit. 

Be prepared to answer questions related to the facts of your case. These questions will help your attorney discover the answer to the question, “Do I have a case?” The merit of your case largely depends on the provable facts. These can include: 

  • Proof that you received substandard care, received an injury, or that substandard care caused an injury (Medical Malpractice). 
  • Proof that the death of a loved one was the fault of another person or entity and that the death created economic and non-economic burdens for the survivors (Wrongful Death). 
  • Proof that a serious injury was the fault of another and led to lost earnings (Catastrophic Injury or Semi-Truck Accident). 
  • Proof that a defective product design, manufacture, or a manufacturer’s failure to warn resulted in injury or death (Product Liability).

I Have a Lawyer. I Have a Case. What’s Next?  

It’s helpful to manage expectations. Your lawyer should have experience in the conduct of cases like yours, so they should be able to brief you on the available alternatives to going to court, expected timelines, range of potential award outcomes, and potential risks. They should also set a plan for communication, including who will contact you, how often, and under what circumstances.   

Montross Miller is a legal firm that prides itself in expertise in complicated and challenging cases of negligence. We are not for everyone. When we evaluate cases, we do so with a critical eye. We will not advise clients to litigate unless we feel strongly that the case has merit, the damages are substantial, and litigation is the only means of resolution.