A car accident attorney is a type of personal injury attorney. You may be surprised at the number of options in your area. Every commercial, bus bench and billboard seems to be offering the services of another lawyer. By asking the right questions and looking for the right credentials, you can narrow the field down to what’s right for you.
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What are the fees?
It’s no secret that lawyers cost a penny. You want to find an attorney who works on a contingency basis, which means you won’t get any money until you get your settlement or judgment. Most personal injury attorneys work for a percentage of the final award amount. This is usually around 33%, and may be higher if your case goes to trial. You will also be responsible for expenses such as fees and expert witness fees. Read the attorney fee agreement carefully to understand what you are responsible for. Don’t make the decision solely on the fee; If they’re great, they might be worth the extra money.
Can you communicate clearly?
You will have many questions during the course of your case. You want to have an attorney who can talk to you in a way that you understand what is going on. A lawyer stuck with legal jargon may sound impressive, but you’ll run into confusion in the process.
What is their experience?
Many personal injury attorneys focus on a specific case. Some handle workers’ compensation cases, while others handle class action lawsuits against manufacturers and other auto accidents. You want to find an experienced car accident attorney. If your case cannot be settled before then, look for an attorney who has taken cases to trial. Of course, in this experience, there should be a winning story of getting an appropriate settlement and judgment from the insurance companies.
Are they respected by their peers?
Do some research online to see what other attorneys are saying about them. Don’t be afraid to ask how much of their business comes from other attorney referrals. The higher the percentage, the better. Referrals mean that other attorneys have a high level of respect for the person you’re talking to — enough respect that they risk their own reputation with a referral. A good attorney is willing to provide references that speak to their abilities.
You can also contact the state bar to find out if the attorney has been subject to any disciplinary action.
Do they have a professional office?
You need an attorney with the resources to handle your case. This means they have staff available to perform diagnostic work and resolve issues as they arise. As your case progresses, you will meet with some of these staff members. An organized office space is also a good indication that the attorney is doing professional work. When you come to a meeting, it’s hard to trust a lawyer who is flipping through files trying to find your case.