The Legal Information Provided in this Web site is for General Reference Only and Should
Not be Relied Upon You Should Always Consult a Lawyer to Determine Your Legal Rights.
This site only provides general information about the law which is designed only to help
users of the site learn more about their own legal needs. But general legal information is
not the same as legal advice true legal advice is the application of local and federal
law to an individual's specific circumstances, and true legal advice can only be given by
This Web site is not operated by a law firm, and the content provided by this site should not
be used as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer. Although we go to great
lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, the laws vary considerably in
different jurisdictions (from State to State and from County to County) and laws change frequently.
As a result, you should never rely on the accuracy or applicability of the information provided
by this Web site because there is no substitute for true legal advice from a lawyer. We strongly
recommend you consult a lawyer to discuss the laws in your area and how they apply to your particular
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many reputable lawyers don't advertise
in newspapers or the Yellow Pages. Don't assume that the size of the Yellow Page ad means
that a lawyer is better qualified than one who does not advertise. Always review the profiles
of LegalMatch Member Attorneys to learn about their experience and qualifications.
2. Don't hire a lawyer who actively solicits your business.
If, without your permission, a lawyer or someone acting on his behalf contacts you in person
or by telephone and asks you to hire him in connection with your accident, it is commonly referred
to as “ambulance chasing.” This is against the Legal Rules of Professional Conduct.
When a lawyer will break those rules to get your business, he is probably not the kind of lawyer
you want representing you.
3. Make sure you understand what you're paying for.
No two contingency fee arrangements are alike. Find out if your lawyer will take his fee
“off the top” or only after all the expenses are counted up. Insist on getting this
information in writing and in clear, direct language that you are comfortable with. Typical
expenses include: court costs (fees for filing a lawsuit), court reporter and copies of transcripts,
expert witness fees, private investigator, postage, telephone, courier, photocopying, legal research,
out of town air or car transportation, and hotel and meal expenses. LegalMatch Member Attorneys will
typically provide this information in their responses to your case.
Some contracts specify that even if you fire a lawyer, he still gets a large percentage of any
future award or settlement you may receive on your case. Make sure you know how to fire your lawyer
– before you hire him.
Ask your state bar association if your lawyer has ever been the subject of an ethical complaint or
inquiry. Knowing if your lawyer has a pattern of questionable conduct could alert you to potential
problems and save you time and money. LegalMatch Member Attorneys are pre-screened for such violations
prior to joining LegalMatch.
6. Make sure your lawyer provides you with all of your options.
Lawyers don't just sue. In fact, suing can be one of the more expensive and time-consuming ways for
you to get compensated. Make sure your lawyer has an open mind about alternative means to resolve your
problem, such as mediation or arbitration.
Consider several lawyers before selecting one. It is important that you find someone who has the
skills you need, who will be honest with you and who will work hard on your behalf. Make sure you
review all the responses from attorneys on your LegalMatch home page and carefully read each LegalMatch
Member Attorney’s profile to learn about his or her experience and qualifications. Then, check
out each attorney's LegalMatch Client-Rating to find out the experiences of other clients with this
Be prepared when you call or meet with the lawyer you selected. Make a list of questions so you get
the information you need. If you think you might feel intimidated asking these questions in person,
email them to the LegalMatch Member Attorney and don’t agree to anything until you get the
answers. Focus on what you want to know, including asking for references, recent cases they handled,
whether or not they have tried similar cases, if they will have a less experienced lawyer working on
your case instead of handling it themselves, or if they will refer you to a different lawyer if it
looks like you will be going to court.
Never sign anything until you have time to review it and consider other responses, and certainly do
not sign anything you do not fully understand.