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Need a Lawyer? The Right Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer


Need A Lawyer

When you or a beloved family member need a lawyer or are in search or legal services, it can seem a little scary. After all, you’ve just been through some sort of traumatic event or injury and may have been treated unfairly.

Take heart, as the right attorney will spend time with you answering any questions you may have. Finding the right attorney for your individual case is easy when you finally have the right questions to ask your lawyer.

Two Types of Questions to Ask A Lawyer

Your client-attorney relationship is the cornerstone to getting your fair settlement and compensatory results. To find out if your attorney is the right fit for your individual case, how much experience they have, and what your attorney’s success rate is; here are 2 types of questions to ask:

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  • Lawyer Related/SpecificLearning more about your lawyer and their level of expertise is a critical component of your case’s success. Some initial background questions might include –

    Background and Training

    How long have you been practicing law?

    What school is your law degree from?

    Which state bar associations are you admitted to?

    Are there specific jurisdictions you are permitted to appear in court in?

    Legal Role in Law Firm

    Are you a partner, associate, or founding member?

    How long have you been practicing in any specific legal area?

    What is your record of court cases you’ve won/lost?

    Do you have any special knowledge that applies to our case?


  • Individual Case Related/SpecificOnce you’ve found the right lawyer for your case, it’s time to ask a few more probing questions which directly relate to your individual case. Some questions to learn more about your lawyer’s experience with your specific type of case may include –

    Success in Related Cases

    Have you ever handled a case similar to ours?

    What is the client success rate for this kind of case?

    What is the estimated amount of money damages we could be entitled to receive?

    How many cases like this has your law firm won and how many chose to settle?

    Projected Case Outcomes

    Are you familiar with all the arguments and defenses available for our case?

    How long do cases like this typically take to resolve our dispute?

    Do you offer any alternatives to litigation like mediation or alternative dispute resolution?

    Is there a way to save resources and time by ending the suit quickly with a motion to dismiss?


These are initial ideas for finding the right attorney for your specific situation. Obviously, you will want to share as much relevant information as you possibly can to determine the legal measures necessary to get you the justice you deserve.

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Hiring Your Attorney

When you’ve narrowed your search for an attorney down to your top 2-3, it’s time to check references on your lawyer. Many jurisdictions currently allow lawyers to provide references from past clients. Past client references are a solid indicator or how satisfied people are with their attorney’s performance. Talking to past clients means you can get the low-down on results obtained, time frames for your legal action, and what you can expect from your lawyer.

At Pittman, Dutton & Hellums, we know how unexpected events can cause setbacks and challenges for families which affect day-to-day living. While a lawsuit cannot undo any damage that was caused, it can help you or your loved ones create a more positive future.

Contact Us

Our talented legal team has tried or settled hundreds of multi-million dollar cases over the past two decades. We keep the single focus on getting the results our clients deserve. Let our Pittman, Dutton & Hellums legal team help you seek due process and take the legal burden off of your own shoulders.

We are dedicated advocates who provide the highest level of representation for our clients. Our philosophy is to put clients’ interests first and foremost to achieve the best possible results.

Contact us today for your free case evaluation and consultation. To learn more about how we can help you and your family, call us at (866) 515-8880.

Mass Tort Trends

What is a Mass Tort

To qualify as a tortious charge in accordance with mass tort law, the basic legal definition is that a mass tort is a collective tort or injury to more than one

Spike in Mass Torts Cases being filed

During 2016, according to court statistics, there has been an increase of 25% in successful Mass Torts cases being filed over the number filed in 2015. Much of this is due to increased courtroom efficiency, change in administrative processes, and several streamlined legal delineations meant to clean up courtroom process and procedures thereby making it easier to both file a mass torts case and potentially receive remuneration.

Many of the cases involved with this spike in filings deals with the drug Reglan. However, inventory of cases involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal is coming in at a close second. The Reglan cases are approximately 34% of the Mass Tort case inventory. The Risperdal cases comprise over 31% of the collective mass tort docket. Previously, in 2015, 43% of the cases involved Reglan and Risperdal cases were slightly more than 26%.

The blood thinner Xarelto also saw a large increase – 121% – from 2016 in comparison to 2015.  Conversely, the largest decrease in mass torts filings was with the Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella program. One of the reasons for this may have been the $57 million settlement over claims that these contraceptive pills cause blood clots.

Legal Definition of Mass Torts

person. The two instances of mass torts can be:


  • Involve several victims with many lawyers, but a single common instrument; such as defective medicine or defective medical device.


Common types of Mass Torts cases

There are a wide variety of types of cases that qualify as mass torts. A comprehensive list includes:

Intentional Interference with a Person

Defenses to Intentional Interference with Persons

Negligence: Standard of Conduct

Owners & Occupiers

Negligence- Defenses

Imputed Negligence

Strict Liability


Products Liability

Survival & Wrongful Death

Compensation for Mass Torts cases

For tort cases, many times the victims will receive compensation of some kind; including monetary judgments. Some other types of recompense or case results may include the accused having to publicly admit guilt. In most jurisdictions, courts have placed limits or legal judgment ranges which depend on specific factors unique to each individual case. For many victims who sustain injuries, they will receive a judgment which maxes out regardless of how painful and permanent the injury is. However, courts can also award additional judgments in tandem with the award made for specific bodily injury.

When to file a Mass Torts case

Your mass tort case, like a class action, will involve a large group of individuals who have a claim against a company. The difference is that a mass tort case comprises a number of individual claims handled by one attorney or a number of lawyers who happen to be grouped together for a brief time – usually for reasons of discovery.

Many mass torts can be related to cases involving pharmaceuticals which have caused harm to many people. The injuries the plaintiffs sustain can vary – which is why filing a class action suit is both impractical and inappropriate. One sufferer may have developed long-lasting brain damage and another may simply experience periodic headaches.

Mass torts allow the lawyer or attorney(s) representing all the individual parties to investigate, pool information, and share discovery findings with each particular case. This allows a large number of cases to move more rapidly through the legal system.

What Should I Do if my case qualifies as a Mass Torts procedure?

To determine whether your case qualifies as a mass torts action or to determine your next steps, it is critical to remember that your individual case is subject to a statute of limitations. Depending on which state you are in, the clock begins to run down anytime after the injury first began or potentially when you first recognized the cause of your injury. Our qualified legal team can assist you in determining the relevant statute of limitations. We will help you file your claim well within the statute of limitations and far before the clock runs out.
Call our expert team of lawyers at Pittman, Dutton & Hellums for your free consultation today. Call (866) 515-8880 or simply fill out our form. We serve clients nationwide. Our highly qualified legal representatives will get you a fair and just settlement or determine whether to move your case to trial.

3 Safety Tips for Polaris Owners

Enjoy your Polaris Safely

ATVs are fun to ride – whether it’s for commercial use to haul small cargo loads or simply for recreation. ATV vehicles operate best in tight wooded areas and are perfect for folks to use if they need to quickly hop on or hop off. While physically demanding to ride, in comparison with UTVs, ATVs can be towed more easily to an approved riding venue.

Polaris is one of the largest distributors of ATVs, Side by Side vehicles and RZR vehicles. Polaris vehicles do adhere to the strictest of safety standard. However, in the past few years, this company has had some issues with unreliable parts and were forced into a recall situation on several of their product lines.

Basic ATV Safety

Whether your idea of an ATV race is to get a full day’s work done before sunset or simply get outdoors on an adventure ATV course to pit yourself against the elements and your friends, following several basic safety guidelines is key to maximizing your enjoyment and minimizing any risk of injury. Here are 3 top safety tips for ATV owners – Polaris and otherwise:

  • Wear the Right Protective Gear –
    According to the ATV Safety Institute’s Golden Rules, having the right protective gear available and ready is a key part of enjoying your Polaris ATV activities safely. Be sure to wear a DOT-compliant helmet along with goggles, long sleeved shirt, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and riding gloves. If you are riding in climates with warmer weather, be sure to find lightweight cooling fabric that allows your skin to breathe. By following safety guidelines, you are sure to make the most of your ATV activities and protect yourself from injury as well.
  • Have Age Appropriate Supervision –
    Age 16 is the national age for getting a driver’s license and while an ATV is not a car, it also is a vehicle that requires good judgment and a degree of driving acumen. Not all states require strict registration and licensing for ATV riding. Even if you happen to reside in a state with more relaxed rules around ATV ownership and driving, it’s always a good idea to have an extra person or two available for contacting in case of any type of emergency. It is also wise to be sure and choose an ATV that is the right size for your age and ability level. In addition, make sure that any ATV riders – no matter what age they are – have received the appropriate safety training.
  • Ride in ATV Approved Spaces –
    ATVs – whether for recreational use or commercial use are designed to be ridden and operated off-highway. While it may be tempting to find a deserted area of the highway to ride on, never, never do so – it endangers you, any passengers you may have and other drivers on the paved road. Besides, isn’t the entire purpose of riding ATVs recreationally to have an off-road adventure and get away from the typical urban sprawl or everyday places? You can find a list of trails to ride here.

Further Information

If you or your loved ones have been negatively affected by the Polaris recall or any type of ATV product issue, our highly qualified legal team is here and ready to hear from you. We operate on a contingency fee basis which means that you, the client, are not responsible for repaying any legal expenses until and unless we recover money for you.
For your free preliminary consultation with one of our Pittman, Dutton & Hellums team members, please call 866-515-8880 or fill in our contact form. We’re here to get you true justice for any safety issues you’ve experienced with your Polaris ATV.

Pittman Dutton and Hellums

Contact Us

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 2001 Park Pl #1100, Birmingham, AL 35203


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