A car accident attorney is a type of personal injury attorney. You may be overwhelmed by the number of options out there in your area. It seems like every commercial, bus bench, and billboard offers the services of a different attorney. By asking the right questions and looking for the right references, you can narrow the field down to a field that’s right for you.
What is their experience?
Many personal injury attorneys focus on a particular type of case. Some handle workers’ compensation cases, others handle class action lawsuits against manufacturers, and others handle car accidents. You want to find a lawyer who has a lot of experience with car accidents. In the unlikely event that your case is not settled before then, find a lawyer who has handled cases up to trial. Of course, with this experience, there should be a successful track record of obtaining appropriate settlements and judgments from insurance companies.
What are the fees?
It’s no secret that lawyers cost a pretty penny. You want to find a lawyer who works on contingency, meaning they don’t make any money until you get your settlement or verdict. Most personal injury attorneys work for a percentage of the final amount awarded. This is usually about 33%, and possibly more if your case goes to court. You are also likely to be responsible for costs such as filing fees and expert witness fees. Read the attorney’s fee agreement carefully so that you understand what you are responsible for. Don’t just make the decision about compensation; if they are the best they may be worth the extra money.
Can they communicate clearly?
You will have many questions during your case. You want a lawyer who can talk to you in a way that you understand what’s going on. A lawyer who sticks to legal jargon may seem impressive, but you will be confused during the process.
Are they respected by their peers?
Do some research online to see what other lawyers have to say about them. Don’t be afraid to ask them what percentage of their cases come from other attorney referrals. The higher the percentage, the better. Referrals mean that other attorneys have a lot of respect for the person you’re talking to — enough respect that they’ll risk their own reputation on a recommendation. A good lawyer is also willing to provide references that speak of their capabilities.
You can also contact the state bar to find out if any disciplinary action has been taken against the attorney.
Do they have a professional office?
You need a lawyer who has the resources to handle your case. This means that they have the staff capable of doing research work and solving problems as they arise. As your case progresses, you will likely come into contact with some of these employees. Organized office space is also a good indication that the lawyer is running a professional business. It would be hard to trust an attorney who is flipping through files to find your case when you walk in for a meeting.