The first way you know that you have a good lawyer is by having a lawyer who is not overconfident about the end results of your case. The end results of your case is something that a lawyer should never be able to be confident about. You may never be able to truly tell whether you will win in your case or you will lose because there are many things that may happen in between as the court proceedings go on. On the other hand, you might not be able to know the kind of compensation you will get from the accused party even if you happen to win the case.
Winning the case against the other person is good and your lawyer should only be able to assure you of doing his best to make sure that it happens. What a good lawyer should not do is get your hopes up on winning the case, getting the compensation that you really want to get from this case and he also should not get your hopes up on the time that should actually be taken for this case to be over.
If your lawyer is a good lawyer, he should also not push you to do things that you do not want to do or to get into a contract that you are not ready for. He should be able to give you time to read the agreement or contract you two are getting into before you sign it. He should also be able to tell you what the document you are signing entails and what you will get from signing it.
If you have a good lawyer, you should be able to hire a new one if you feel like it without him interrupting you. If you feel that you are not getting what you bargained for and that you really want to look for a lawyer who will suit you perfectly, you should be able to move on to another lawyer.
Understanding the whole legal process is something that you should be able to do by the help of your lawyer if he actually a good lawyer. As you continue understanding all his, he should be very patient with you. Also, when you are learning all about your case and all the processes involved, he should not try to make you feel like you are eating his time by him making you feel unwelcome and uncomfortable.
If the lawyer you have is a good one, he will tell you surgery to file the case or whether not to.