Have you been injured in a car accident? Are you looking for the best car accident attorney you can find?
Involvement in a car accident can be a trying time. You may feel confused, frustrated, and angry. Your physical injuries need attention but your mind is still reeling from the trauma.
A qualified car accident attorney can help allay your fears. But it's critical to find one who you can be confident will do a good job.
Here are some questions you need to ask to make sure you are hiring the best car accident lawyer in your neighborhood.
1. What Is Your Experience?
Just like doctors, lawyers tend to specialize in particular areas. They have studied cases in-depth and are well-versed in the ins and outs of local regulations.
Before considering a lawyer, check out their website and see whether or not "auto accidents" are an area of specialty. When you're interviewing prospective lawyers, ask about experience in car accidents.
How many years have they been practicing law, and what percentage of their caseload is devoted to car accident cases? What percentage of the time do they win? Do the cases usually settle or end up going to trial?
Your attorney's answers to these questions should give you a good idea of what your attorney's background and knowledge base are. Don't settle for a professional who hasn't had any experience with cases similar to yours.
2. Can You Give Me an Example Of a Case Like Mine That You Won?
The right attorney for you will have such a wide array of experience that they should be able to talk about cases similar in scope to your own.
Ask your lawyer if they can describe a case with similar issues to yours that they won. What was their strategy? How did their knowledge and experience give them an edge?
The right lawyer will give you confidence that they're going to know how to get you the best outcome possible.
3. How Do You Charge?
You'll want to know how and what you'll be charged when you hire a car accident attorney.
If the other driver is at fault in your accident, you may get charged a contingency fee. This means that they won't get paid unless you recover money, either through a settlement or trial.
The fee will typically be somewhere between 25% and 40% of what you are awarded. Contingency fees will vary depending upon whether or not there is a lawsuit filed against the other driver. It may also increase if the case ends up going to court.
Your geographical area, the lawyer's experience, and the length and complexity of your case will also influence the total fee. You may also be responsible for fees such as those required for obtaining medical and police reports. In addition, some lawyers may require an initial retainer fee.
4. Can You Provide Me With Three References?
Before hiring a lawyer, ask for the names of at least three former clients that you can speak to about their experience. Don't be afraid to ask detailed questions when you call.
Was the lawyer professional and knowledgeable? Were they always responsive and punctual? Were there any unexpected fees?
Online reviews are another great way to find out about the experiences of former clients. Look out for patterns, as these will give you a good idea of what your experience will be like.
Are a lot of former clients saying that the lawyer was friendly? Do a few of them say their calls went unanswered for days?
Remember that anyone can get a poor review sometimes. But you should look out for those who are getting a number of negative comments.
5. How Long Do You Think My Case Will Take?
The right lawyer can help you estimate the amount of time it will take for your case to reach a conclusion. The law firm's resources and your lawyer's experience can either speed up or slow down the timeline.
A car accident case can take anywhere from four months to five years to reach a settlement or verdict. Your lawyer may be able to anticipate the level of work involved and help you estimate the length of your wait.
6. What Hurdles Do You See With My Case?
Any personal injury case comes with potentially difficult issues. The legal system is complex and additional evidence or testimonies may be required.
An honest attorney will tell you what about your case is challenging, as well as what they will do to make sure you win.
7. What Is My Case Worth?
Every case is unique, but your lawyer should be able to provide you with a range of what you can expect to get at the conclusion of your case. The value will increase depending upon your lawyer's ability to negotiate with insurance companies.
You may be able to get a maximum award in court, or your lawyer may be prone to settling outside of court, which will result in lower fees. Once you find out about their past experience, you can get a good idea of what to expect in the future.
A Qualified Car Accident Attorney
When you've been shaken up by a car accident, finding the right car accident attorney is key to your recovery. With the right professional, you could be putting the past behind you and moving on to a fresh start in no time.
Don't stop getting smart about your accident now. For qualified car accident attorneys in your area, contact us today.