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Lake County Malpractice & Litigation Blog

Ask these 5 questions to find the perfect lawyer for your case

If the time comes to hire a lawyer, regardless of the reason, you'll have many options. The path you follow depends on a variety of factors, such as the information you're able to gather from the lawyers you're considering.

It's critical to find the perfect lawyer for your case in Illinois, as doing so gives you peace of mind and puts you in position for success.

4 Ways your lawyer might be overcharging you

When you hire a lawyer, you put a significant amount of trust into that attorney. You trust the lawyer to perform his or her duties and charge you accordingly. What you don't expect is to receive a charge worth more than you originally discussed.

How do you know if your lawyer is overcharging you? Here are a few things you should watch for when you hire an attorney.

How could a statute of limitations impact you in a lawsuit?

For most people, the term statute of limitations likely calls to mind criminal matters. For many criminal offenses, such as petty theft and other misdemeanors, there is a firm statute of limitations in place. This statute effectively protects someone from facing criminal consequences indefinitely. In other words, the state has a limited amount of time when they can bring charges against someone for a criminal act.

Creating a statute of limitations helps incentivize individuals to change their lives. If they don't make similar criminal mistakes in the future, they can potentially avoid penalties and consequences. If there weren't such a limit in place, there would be little reason for those who have ever committed a crime to attempt to reform their ways.

What does professional malpractice look like for accountants?

When you hire a professional for a skilled job, you assume that they will properly fulfill their obligations to you. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances in which professionals fail to live up to the expectations of their clients. Sometimes, these issues are performance-based and not necessarily serious. Other times, mistakes and improper action taken by professionals can have a profound impact on their clients.

Accountants occupy a specific role in the lives of individuals. They may perform specialized financial tasks for someone who runs their own business, or they can offer support to people filing their taxes or managing Investments and multiple accounts. Regardless of the role you wish to have your accountant fill, they have an obligation to perform the task to the best of their ability.

How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

It's not something anyone wants to do, but there may come a point when you need to hire a lawyer. If you don't have the expertise to handle a legal matter on your own, it's imperative to bring a lawyer into the fold as soon as possible. This can help you win your case, thus putting your trouble in the past once and for all.

Many people shy away from hiring a lawyer because they're concerned about the cost. The amount that you pay depends on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • The type of case: For example, there is a big difference between hiring a personal injury attorney and a bankruptcy attorney. For example, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only receive payment if they win your case. However, with a bankruptcy attorney, you'll agree to a set fee up front.
  • The arrangement you make: You shouldn't agree to work with a lawyer until you're 100 percent comfortable with the fee structure. Although you don't want to go overboard, you have the right to negotiate with your lawyer or search for legal help that's more affordable.
  • The complexity of your case: Some legal cases are simple, and can be settled with nothing more than a letter or phone call from your lawyer. Conversely, there are criminal cases that are extremely complex and require many hours of work and great attention to detail. Talk to your lawyer up front about the complexity of your case and the impact on the overall cost.

Construction defects and protecting your legal rights

It doesn't matter if you're buying a preexisting home or building from the ground up, you expect to get exactly what you pay for. While mistakes can and do happen during the construction process, it goes without saying that some defects should not exist.

As a buyer, the best way to protect against construction defects is to hire an experienced and knowledgeable home inspector. This person will examine every inch of the home, ensuring that they point out anything that's wrong. This gives you the opportunity to not only learn more about the issue, but to ask the seller to correct it before moving forward with the purchase.

Forgetting a deadline isn't something your attorney should do

Whether you're defending against pending criminal charges or taking civil action against someone who has injured or wronged you, you depend on your attorney to ensure you remain in compliance with all laws and applicable contracts.

One of the many duties that an attorney owes to their clients is to remain organized and ensure that deadlines are met or that the client moves forward with knowledge about the statute of limitations, if there is one that applies to the case.

There is more than one reason to fire your attorney

When you hire an attorney, you assume this person will handle everything related to your case in a timely and responsible manner. Unfortunately, as your case unfolds, you may realize that things are not going as planned.

Even if you put a lot of time into choosing the right attorney, you may soon find that you're not a good match. This alone may not be reason enough to fire your attorney, however, there are specific things that can happen that lead you down this path.

How do I know if my attorney committed malpractice?

It can be very challenging for a lay person not well-versed in the law to know -- let alone prove -- that their attorney committed legal malpractice with their civil case. When this occurs, the clients may have little proof other than a vague, unsettled feeling that justice was never served.

Of course, a feeling of discontent is insufficient evidence to warrant filing a lawsuit alleging legal malpractice. But it can be the first step in sifting through the evidence to find credible proof that your attorney was negligent in litigating your case before a judge or jury.

Has your attorney made secondary income off your relationship?

Working as an attorney can be a lucrative career. Lawyers can charge hundreds of dollars an hour for their time, and they can bill for every moment that they spend with the client.

Whether it is answering an email or discussing your case with someone with a specialized background in that area, many attorneys have the ability to make substantial money off of any work people bring to them. Unfortunately, for some attorneys, that income from their clients isn't enough.

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The Gooch Firm
209 South Main Street
Wauconda, IL 60084

Phone: 847-865-4915
Phone: 847-526-0110
Fax: 847-526-0603
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