Automobile Injuries: Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Every year, there are around 6 million car accidents in the US and about 3 million people are injured in those accidents. If you have suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, you might want to consider hiring a car accident lawyer.
An accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process as well as ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve, especially if the injury is something that will impact you for the rest of your life.
Read on to learn what you should be looking for in a car accident lawyer
1. Ask for Recommendations
Word of mouth is often the best advertising and people love to give recommendations. Hiring a lawyer to represent you after you’ve suffered from auto accident injuries is a big decision. Make sure that you get personal recommendations from family and friends that you trust.
2. Do Your Own Research
Even if you trust your family and friends to give you good recommendations, you should still do your own research. Read Google reviews, check on the law firm site for any testimonials, and see if any ethics complaints have been filed with your state bar association.
Based on recommendations and your own research, put together a shortlist of potential attorneys to consider.
3. Schedule Consultations
Once you have your shortlist together, schedule consultations with the attorneys. These may be over the phone or in person, but most attorneys will do a free consultation or case review.
During the consultation, they should be honest with you about whether they think you have a case, what compensation you can expect to receive, and how long they think the case will take.
This is also your chance to ask them questions about their experience with cases like yours, how they communicate and how long it will take to get back to you, and who will be doing the day-to-day work on your case.
4. Understand the Fee Structure
Most car accident attorneys don’t charge unless you win the case. If you do win a settlement, whether you and the insurance company agree to it or the case goes to trial, you will have to pay your attorney.
In general, you should expect to pay about 1/3 of your settlement amount to your attorney. You may also need to pay for things such as expert witnesses, special medical exams, and copies of medical reports and accident reports, although you generally will not have to pay for these things until the case is finished.
Make sure everything is spelled out in writing before you agree to work with an attorney.
5. Choose Someone You Feel Comfortable With
Many car accident cases go on for a long time. Insurance companies may try to get you to settle and may make multiple offers to avoid taking the case to trial. If the case does end up going to trial, it might be a year or more after the accident.
Because your case has the potential to drag out for years, you should choose a lawyer that you feel comfortable working with for the duration. Someone who communicates well and that you get along with.
Top Tips for Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a car accident lawyer is much like hiring an employee. You want to hire the best person to look out for you and your interests. Use these tips to ensure that your attorney will work hard to get you the compensation that you are entitled to.
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