Getting in a car accident can be devastating and potentially alter the course of your life. If your accident resulted from another person’s mistakes, you could sue them for damages.
Sometimes the lawsuits can turn out to be a protracted struggle between you and the at-fault party or their insurer and can end with the victim not getting what they deserve.
So, it is important to have a lawyer with you. If you are working on a personal injury case for the first time, here are some questions you may need to ask before settling for a lawyer.
What Cases Do They Specialize In?
The legal field is pretty wide, and no lawyer can be an expert in all fields of law. If you get into any accident category, you will need to work with a personal injury attorney. But personal injury law is still pretty broad; you have to narrow your search to a personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents.
The best way to discover what a lawyer specializes in is by looking up their website. Often lawyers will pick a specialty and market themselves as such. Specialization means they will have considerable insight into car accidents and be best placed to ensure you get a favorable outcome.
What is Their Workload?
Every client wants a lawyer with the best credentials. Unfortunately, when everybody runs to the same lawyer, they could get overwhelmed by the workload. As a result, they may not give a case the attention it deserves, which could compromise the outcome.
Some indicators of an overwhelmed lawyer can include constantly canceling appointments and not taking ample time to listen to you in your first consultation.
The best idea would be to strike a balance between a lawyer’s credentials and their availability. Otherwise, you could have the best lawyer but still, get a poor outcome.
What Success Rate at Trial?
While important, years of practice alone are insufficient in determining a lawyer’s quality. Before settling for car accident attorneys to assist you in your case, you will need to look at the percentage of cases they take to trial.
Most cases settle before going to trial. But when a lawyer deems an offer inadequate for damages, they can choose to go to trial. Taking a case to trial is something a poor lawyer won’t risk doing. So, they are a good lawyer if they have a record of winning cases at trial.
Where Are They Located?
The more familiar a lawyer is with the laws of a particular state or county, the better the quality of representation they can offer. So, the question of their geographical location is important.
If they do not practice in the state where you had an accident, they may not be the best fit for your injury claim, even though they could have served you well in another state.
Also, you will need a lawyer you can reach easily for in-person consultation because you can not handle all matters of a case remotely. A law firm with a presence in all states is an excellent pick because of its combined experience handling cases in different jurisdictions.
What are the Legal Fees?
The cost of hiring a lawyer can also have a huge implication on what you take home after setting up your case. Often, car accident lawyers charge a contingency fee after they win a case and you recover your damages.
Lawyer fees can differ from one lawyer to the other and often range from 25% to 40% of the payout. Also, there may be extra fees such as court expenses and the cost of hiring expert witnesses if need be.
So for agreeing, you must factor in the possible outcomes and legal costs to determine if pursuing a claim is worth it. If not, you could always look for a different lawyer.
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- Top Reasons to Never Accept A Settlement Before You Consult A Car Accident Lawyer
- What Do I Need to File an Accident Claim?