10 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
The purpose of asking these important questions is to ensure that you hire someone who understands this very well. That would be best if you could find one who has dealt with car accident cases. It will also help you determine whether working with them might be worth the time and money. The following are the important questions to ask:
1. Have You Taken Similar Cases in the Past?
A good question about any potential lawyer is how many similar cases have they taken in the past? A knowledgeable and experienced legal professional will tell you immediately that they are familiar with the local laws, court rules, procedures, and insurance company tactics. Also, a well-qualified attorney will disclose their experience level in handling these cases.
2. How Many Years of Experience Do You Have in Handling this Type of Case?
Asking this important question means you want to ensure that the individual has at least some experience dealing with this kind of case. As we mentioned above, there are different types of personal injury claims, and knowing which ones require special skill sets is very important. Without such training, even the most qualified lawyer may struggle with many aspects of such cases.
3. Are You Licensed?
It is important that the person you are considering as your car accident lawyer is licensed by the appropriate authority in the state where they practice. Most states have law licensing requirements, so only qualified attorneys can practice. Ask exactly what qualifications they possess.
4. How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Case?
Lawyers differ in terms of how fast they get things done. Some people need more time than others because of all the documentation that must be gathered before settling a claim. However, a great deal depends upon the complexity of the case, the defendant’s insurance coverage, and the number of other clients that have filed similar complaints against the same party.
5. What are the Potential Damages in My Case?
It would help if you considered getting estimates from several different professionals. For example, an auto accident attorney will often provide an estimate based on available information. At the same time, a medical doctor will likely have a better idea of what damages you sustained. These estimations are necessary because sometimes there can be confusion over precisely what was damaged and how badly. Getting different opinions will help clarify things for you.
6. How can I Improve the Odds of Success for My Case?
This is another crucial question to ask if the negligence of other drivers caused the accident. Insurance companies do everything they can to protect themselves when accidents occur, and one way is to settle quickly without providing sufficient compensation for injuries suffered. Having a strong legal team behind you is unlikely that this will happen to you. You should always check out every option before taking the first offer.
7. Can Your Office be Reached During the Day or Weekends?
When you retain a personal injury lawyer, you must be able to reach someone immediately if you have a problem or need advice. When you are injured, it can be easy to forget important details like names, phone numbers, and addresses. Having someone who works around the clock to answer calls and address your needs is key to ensuring that you obtain proper compensation.
8. Is There Any Fee or Deposit Needed to Begin Work?
In addition to working on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you pay no fees until you win, many lawyers charge a down payment or retainer. Retainers are helpful because they inform you upfront that you will be charged for costs incurred during your representation. It also helps prevent surprises later on when work ends up being billed. Even though some firms don’t charge for the initial consultation, there may be occasions when you receive bills directly related to their services. Make sure to review these charges carefully.
9. How Many Cases Similar to Mine Have You Seen Settle Out of Court?
This is where you learn whether or not a particular firm has experience handling car accident claims. To build a reputation, attorneys may handle many cases with little success. They may even file lawsuits and then drop them after the plaintiff loses at trial. This can hurt their client base and damage their ability to represent you successfully. However, plenty of good lawyers out there take great pride in providing excellent service to their victims. You won’t find them if you don’t look.
10. Will You Be Working on My Case?
The last question you should ask before retaining an attorney is, “Will he or she be working on my case?” Every person involved in an auto accident deserves competent legal guidance. If the person responsible for causing your accident is found liable, you will want someone fighting for your rights. A solid legal team can save you money and time spent pursuing the matter yourself. Finding a reputable law office takes research. Importantly, you shouldn’t hire anyone unless you feel confident, that they will do the job right.