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How do you decide whether or not you need to hire a lawyer in a claim? Well, that can be hard. It’s hard to decide what lawyer to hire frankly. How do you know that? I mean, it’s easy to find out consumer reports on cars and trucks, or you can look up various things, but deciding on what lawyer to get is hard. There are TV advertisements, Google ads, all this stuff.

Well, there are a number of things you can do. One is if you have a small claim, you may want to try to resolve it yourself. A lawyer like me — I’m Gary Burger of Burger Law — I can only add value to certain kinds of cases. If it’s a small case, you may want to settle that case yourself. But then the question is whether you should hire a lawyer and what lawyer to handle.

I happen to have written a book on this. So, on my website, www.burgerlaw.com, you can get this book, download it for free, “Essential Questions to Ask Before You Pick a Lawyer or Settle Your Case.” I have a lot of stuff in here on how to negotiate with insurance companies on your own, what tricks they pull, what your rights are, but I also have a list of questions and what to do about how to hire a lawyer and what you ask them, and you know, they’re in here and they’re detailed, and I also have a printable section, of printable questions you can ask when you come in to hire a lawyer, which is handy, and basically, you want to make sure that the lawyer answers the questions that you had, and actually, I’ve had clients come in and ask me a list of questions they printed off the Internet, sometimes from my own book about it.

But, you want to ask them, “Do you try these cases? Do you regularly handle these cases? What are your experiences? What is your success rate? Are you going to charge me even if we lose the case? Do you advance the expenses? What are my fees? What percentage do I get? Is this a typical percentage in the industry? What do other people charge? What are the possible outcomes of my case? How good is the liability? Will you be able to assist me in getting medical care in the case? Will you help me navigate that? Will you work with my insurance company? Will you be an aggressive lawyer? Do you try cases? How many cases do you try? How are your results? Are you going to take the easy money and go away, or are you going to fight for the hard money in my case? How are you going to earn your fee? Are you going to be transparent? Can I know what my expenses are? Can I see what’s in my file?” The answers to all of these in my firm are yes. We pride ourselves on transparency.

“Are you going to communicate with me in a timely manner? Are you going to be diligent about working on my case?” The two most reported ethics violations for lawyers are communication and diligence, every year. This year it was about 185 in Missouri on both, in Illinois it was a little bit more around 200 on both, and then everybody else is maybe like a tenth of that on all the other possible rule violations. “So, are you going to communicate with me regularly? Who am I going to talk to? And are you going to work diligently in my case and move it along as expeditiously as possible or are we going to sit around for years?”

And then you want to make sure that, “Are you going to personally handle my case, or are you going to dish it off to someone and I’m never going to see them? Are you going to answer my phone calls? Are you going to email me? What’s your email address? Although I certainly want to settle my case, how am I going to make sure I get all the money I can rather than 50% of my damages, I rather get 100% of my damages, and how are you going to do that? Is your cellphone number on your card? What qualifications do you have to handle my case? Is this serious enough that I should get a lawyer? Should I handle it myself? Does this law firm have the right experience and the right resources to manage this case? Who’s my primary contact? What’s the best way to communicate to you? Why should I hire you? How strong is my case? What’s the likely outcome of my case and what should I do?”

So, these are some of the questions you should ask. You may think of other ones. I know I’m talking fast. You can go on www.burgerlaw.com, on the top-right, and other places on the website, you can download this book. It gives you a list of questions you can ask. There are also websites you can go to in various places to find out.

One of the other things you do is see how the lawyer is Google-reviewed and rated on Google. That’s a great indicia of the kind of respect that other people in the community have for that lawyer. Please google Burger Law and look at how many reviews and how our firm is rated, and if you have any other questions, you can call me at anytime, and I’ll give you these phone numbers.

But, you can tell by me doing the video that the answers to all those questions that I gave you a minute ago — I read it all quickly — are going to be good for my firm. We worked very hard to satisfy our clients, and we worked very hard to zealously advocate for our clients as our oath as a lawyer requires.

If you have any questions, email me at gary@burgerlaw.com, call me toll-free at 866-599-2222, in Missouri you can call me at 314-542-2222, in Illinois at 618-272-2222. Thank you.

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