Some people mistakenly think that as long as they’re safe drivers, they can avoid dangerous car accidents. However, many accidents happen due to drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, and drowsy driving. In 2021 alone, there were over 42,000 motor vehicle fatalities. If you’re injured in an accident, do you know what to do when the other party refuses to take responsibility? That’s when you reach out to a car accident attorney for help. However, you need to ensure that attorney is the best person to take on your case. Here are seven questions to ask before you hire a car accident lawyer.
1. What Do You Specialize In?
One of the first things to know is whether or not the attorney specializes in auto accident lawsuits. There are a lot of firms that offer services related to personal injury. However, that can also mean that firm does not specialize in auto accidents.
If you’re reaching out to a local attorney, you should ask them what types of law they practice. They should specialize in either motor vehicle accident law or personal injury law.
Finding this information is much easier when searching for law firms online. Most of them will let you know whether or not they specialize in a certain area or offer more generalized services.
2. Have You Handled a Similar Case to Mine Before?
Every auto accident is unique, so it’s important that the law firm you go with has experience with cases similar to your own. They may have worked with a regular car on car head-on collisions but have not worked on car accident cases involving a trucking company.
For example, this type of accident would require an expert witness like an accident reconstructionist who could support the claim that the truck driver caused the crash. In addition, a car accident attorney who has worked on truck accident cases will be able to determine all liable parties, like the trucker, trucking company, or another third party.
3. How Many Years of Experience Do You Have as a Car Accident Attorney?
Experience can mean everything when it comes to lawsuits. It isn’t enough for an individual to specialize in the area. Years of experience show that this attorney has worked successfully in their job without issue.
Someone who has dedicated their career to practicing this area of law will know what information to gather. In addition, they’ll know what to expect in the courtroom if the case goes to trial. An attorney new to personal injury law may make mistakes and take longer to build a case.
4. What Do You Need From Me?
When you hire a lawyer, you should not expect them to handle everything on their own without your input. The best lawyer stays in touch with you through every step of the process. You may need to provide regular updates, like medical progress or if new physical symptoms develop.
In addition, a car accident attorney may recommend what to do and not to do during the claims process. For instance, social media and discussing your case with anyone else could hurt the outcome of your case.
One of the most important pieces of advice is to avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company. You may think you can talk them into a settlement, but whatever you say can and will be used against you in court.
5. What Can You Offer Over the Competition?
It can be difficult to differentiate between all the available attorneys and what they can offer. What makes this specific firm better than the competition?
In particular, you can ask if a lawyer or their firm has earned any honors, awards, or other forms of special recognition. Lawyers and firms receive recognition every year, so the more they have shows both experience and proficiency.
If a lawyer doesn’t have any achievements for any reason, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth hiring. You can ask them to prove their track record in court or offer up referrals from past cases. Look into their online reviews and ask them to explain why they received certain bad ones.
6. What Are Your Costs?
Repairs after a serious car accident can cost thousands of dollars. Then there is medical care and treatment that can put victims into financial debt.
The last thing you want to do is pay a ton of money for a lawyer only for them to potentially lose. Always find out how much an attorney charges beforehand.
Some law firms offer their services on a contingency basis. That means, if you win, they get paid a percentage of your awarded compensation. If they do not win, then you owe nothing.
Other law firms charge a flat fee in advance. They may also charge you extra if they need to bring in experts. It all depends on the type of case and how many hours they need to put into it. Ensure legal fees are clearly established before agreeing to work with a particular attorney.
7. How Will You Handle My Case?
Many people hire an attorney with the idea that the case will go to trial. However, most personal injury cases are actually settled outside of court. This is often ideal, as it requires a lot less work for everyone involved and can produce the desired results more efficiently.
Ask for specific details on how the law firm plans to handle your case. Ask how much your case is valued and the likelihood of settling for the desired amount versus litigating the case. When you have answered these questions, you will also be able to gather how long the case period will last.
Professional Legal Help From a Westminster Car Accident Attorney
As long as you know what to look for, finding the right car accident attorney doesn’t have to be difficult. You want someone with years of experience, a proven track record, and who knows how to stay in touch. Take it as a red flag if they avoid answering your questions or give half-answers.
West Accident Law Group has helped its clients win millions of dollars in settlements. We offer a free case evaluation and no fees until we win your case. Contact us to learn more.