It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve taken that same commute: this morning might be different and an accident might happen.
Car accidents are just an unfortunate reality of life as we live it. They are so common that each and every one of us is likely to be in at least one accident during our lifetimes.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, your future well-being could be severely at risk. The injuries and damages that result from an accident can be quite intense. It can take the help of an auto accident attorney to make things right.
If you’re looking to hire such an attorney, you’ll want to ensure you get the best person for the job. What kind of questions should you ask to get a feel for the attorney that you might hire? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
1. What Is Your Background?
When it comes to hiring an auto accident attorney, the most important element you’ll need to consider is an attorney’s experience in the field. The more experience a lawyer has, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
Why is this? It’s just basic logic and follows the principle of practices makes perfect. If a lawyer has handled cases like yours dozens if not hundreds of times before, they’ll be incredibly knowledgeable of how such a case proceeds.
They will know what kind of obstacles you might run into and how best to steer around them. They will be able to easily evaluate your case and determine what evidence you’ll need to make your argument.
They’ll also know from experience the best and most effective ways to present this evidence so as to convince a judge or jury of your side of things.
An attorney with a lot of experience working in the realm of car accident law might also already have pre-existing relationships with judges or insurance companies that can be beneficial for you.
Every young lawyer needs a little time to figure things out and get their footing. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, when it comes to something as important as a car accident settlement, you’ll want to rest your fate in the hands of someone who really knows what they’re doing at a bone-deep level.
When speaking with an attorney about their background and experience, make sure to specify that you’re curious about how much work they’ve done with auto accident cases specifically.
Even if someone has been practicing for many years if they’ve primarily focused on a different area of law that experience might not be as helpful.
2. How Much is My Case Worth?
When a person is injured in a car accident, there’s a lot of damage that can be done. There’s physical damage to the victim, which will result in a long recovery and a fair share of medical bills.
There is also physical property damage to the car, lost wages if one can’t return to work, and the difficult-to-pin-down cost of pain and suffering.
If you’ve never been in such a situation before, it can be difficult to know how much money you’ll really need to properly recover from a serious car accident. This is made all the more difficult by the fact that your pain and suffering, for example is not exactly a quantitative element.
A car accident attorney can step in and help you to determine the true value of your auto accident case. As long as you work with someone experienced, they can guide you through things and let you know how much you should expect.
This will help you avoid getting low-balled by a team of insurance company attorneys, which happens all too frequently. An attorney will make sure that you don’t get less than you deserve.
Asking upfront the value of your case can help you understand what you’re working towards.
3. What is Your Rate?
Different car accident attorneys will charge different rates for the time and effort. They might also charge their clients in different fashions.
Often, an attorney will work by the hour. Others will work for a lump sum for the whole case, possibly decided on as a percentage of your eventual settlement. Some attorneys might require a retainer upfront, which is a small payment that represents a portion of their total charge.
It’s incredibly important that you understand going into your relationship with an attorney how much they intend to charge and how. There are some lawyers out there that will only charge you if they win your case.
They will then take their winnings from the settlement that you’ve brought home from the insurance company. The percentage could range from anywhere from 20% to 50% depending on the case and attorney.
Often, an attorney that charges a hire contingency fee percentage will do so because they know they have the background and experience that will be worth your time.
Having a serious and clear talk about money and payment at the beginning of things can help to avoid a nasty surprise later on during the process.
Speaking With an Auto Accident Attorney
The initial consultation is an important moment for your car accident case. This is your opportunity to sit down and ask questions about the auto accident attorney that you might hire. Making sure you fit the above queries into the conversation can help you get the information you need to succeed.
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