Top Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Car Accident Attorney
Every year, there are millions of car accidents in the US (nearly 6 million, to be exact). Of these accidents, about half of them result in injuries. If you are one of the 3 million people injured in a car accident, you may need a car accident attorney to help you negotiate the insurance claim process and ensure that you get adequate compensation.
Choosing a car accident attorney can be overwhelming, as you need to sift through all the internet ads, TV commercials, and radio advertisements you hear to find the best attorney for your case.
Luckily, we've got tips to help. Read on for our car accident attorney guide for the questions you should ask before hiring a lawyer.
What Do You Specialize In?
Not all personal injury attorneys are created equal. If an attorney specializes in slips and falls or workplace accidents, they could represent you in your car accident case, but you would be much better off finding an attorney who specializes in car accidents.
You can take it one step further to find an attorney who specializes in your specific type of accident, such as a motorcycle accident, truck accident, or accident resulting from defective vehicles.
You might also ask potential attorneys if they represent victims only or if they also represent insurance companies.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
Ask the attorney how long they have been practicing personal injury law and specializing in car accident cases. You can also ask them about cases similar to yours that they have represented: how many of them have there been? What was the settlement outcome?
What Are the Outcomes of Your Previous Cases?
Many attorneys will put success stories on their website, but ask them about cases they've won, how much the settlements were, and how long it took for the case to conclude.
A lawyer might have lots of experience, but that doesn't mean they were effective in all the cases they represented. While they may have negotiated settlements, are the settlements adequate for the type of case?
Do You Have Trial Experience?
If you aren't able to agree on a settlement with the insurance company, you may choose to take your case to trial. If your attorney has little to no trial experience, you will often have to find a different attorney or take your chances with your inexperienced counsel.
It's best to ask about your attorney's trial experience from the start so you have the confidence that if the insurance company will not offer you a fair settlement, your lawyer has the skills to litigate your case in court and represent you well. Not only do you want them to have trial experience, but you also want them to be successful at trial, getting large verdicts for their clients.
How Strong Is My Case?
When you have an experienced attorney, they should be able to give you an assessment of how strong your case is. While they can't guarantee the outcome, they can tell you how similar cases turned out and give you an idea of how they think your case will conclude.
They should be honest with you about your chances and if they think your case is a longshot, they should be clear about that. If what an attorney is saying seems too good to be true, it likely is.
What Is Your Fee Structure?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, but you should make sure that is the case before you hire an attorney. A contingency basis means that you don't pay your attorney anything unless you win your case. If you win, your attorney gets a percentage of your settlement, usually around 1/3 of the total amount.
There are other fees involved in building your case, though, so be clear about who pays for these. For example, you may need to pay for additional medical evaluations, copies of your medical records, accident reconstruction specialists, or expert witnesses.
Some attorneys will front the money for these expenses and then get reimbursed after your settlement comes in. However, some others may require clients to pay for these expenses upfront. Be clear about who pays for what and when you'll pay when you agree to work with an attorney.
Do You Have References?
While there is attorney-client privilege and attorneys cannot divulge much information about their past clients, some may be willing to act as references and can vouch for the attorney. Respect from others working in the legal field is a valuable reference as well, so ask about other attorneys who will provide a reference.
Hire the Best Car Accident Attorney for Your Case
If you have been in a car accident, the process of navigating the insurance process may be overwhelming. Coupled with trying to recover from your injuries and figure out how you'll pay your bills, this can be a very stressful time. To help alleviate this stress and also ensure that you get a fair settlement, contact an experienced car accident attorney to represent you.
They will handle everything for you so you can focus on your recovery. If you've been injured in an accident, contact us at Fair Price Lawyers for a free case consultation. We have experienced personal injury lawyers and can provide you with the skill you need to win your case.
We have an easy online scheduling tool that allows you to book your consultation when it's convenient for you. Use this tool to schedule your 30-minute Zoom consultation today.