What Should You Ask When Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?
After sustaining injuries in a car accident, it is important to find an attorney to protect your interests and work on your behalf to ensure that you receive appropriate compensation; however, not all attorneys are alike. And, although all have received extensive legal training and are held to the same standards, one attorney may have a specific set of skills that are best suited to the needs of your case. Deciding on the right attorney for your claim can appear to be an overwhelming task, but it does not need to be. Following a few simple steps can help you find the right attorney to fit your needs.
As with any legal situation, you will want to find someone who is well-versed in all aspects of car accident laws and who has a proven track record of success handling claims similar to yours. Once you have narrowed down your list, schedule an initial consultation with each attorney. These meetings are almost always offered to potential clients free of charge, and provide an opportunity for you to gain valuable knowledge about the attorney’s experience, qualifications, legal style, strategies for cases like yours, and fees. more on this website
During your initial consultation, do not be afraid to ask questions. Remember, you are the one in charge of making this important decision, therefore you have the right to know the information you need to make an informed choice. While many questions could, and should, be asked, the following important questions will go a long way in helping you determine the skill, ability, and dedication of your attorney:
How long have you practiced law?
What percentage of your caseload pertains to car accidents?
What percentage of your caseload is settled out of court?
Knowing the length of time your attorney has been in practice will help you gain a better understanding of his or her level of experience. By finding out what percentage of their cases involve car accidents, you can gauge how familiar the attorney likely is with the issues that might arise in your case. For example, an attorney who only devotes 10% of her client base to car accident cases will likely not have as much pertinent experience as one whose practice is solely devoted to representing victims of car accidents. Finally, knowing how often the attorney settles their cases, as compared to taking them to trial, might serve as an indicator of their negotiating skills, litigation skills, and dedication to their clients. See this website
Other things are also important to know. It is vital to ask prospective attorneys to explain their strategy for handling car accident cases. Attorneys with experience representing victims of car accidents will have a well-established process that they implement and follow for all car accident-related cases. They will be well-versed in accident laws, insurance laws and regulations, and be familiar with time limits for filing claims such as yours. Also be sure to ask about the role that other attorneys and paralegals in the firm might play, and ensure that the main case-management duties will be the responsibility of the most qualified and experienced attorney, not his or her junior staff.
In addition to strategic discussions, you should also ask the attorney if he or she believes that your case has merit. Understand that in order to have a valid personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that you sustained an injury as a result of the car accident, that the other driver’s negligence (or their vehicle’s malfunction) was the cause of your injuries, and that your injuries are able to be quantified in terms of money (damages). A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will be able to tell you if sufficient evidence exists to establish these three key bases for a valid claim, as well as what the possibility of recovering damages might be.
The main question in the minds of anyone who consults an attorney is fees. The fear of costly litigation can serve as a deterrent to many, but it does not have to. In fact, many car accident attorneys work on contingency, meaning that they receive their fee as a portion of your eventual compensation from the defendant. Nevertheless, it is prudent to ask the attorney to clearly explain to you their fees, any personal expenses you will incur, the firm’s billing practices, and the methods of payment that they accept.