December 17, 2020
What to Ask a Car Accident Lawyer
So you have been hurt in a car accident that someone else caused… what now? The first things that you will need to do are to get the medical care and attention that you need, get an attorney on your case, and get your insurance claim filed. Experienced car accident attorneys and those “in the know” recommend that you hire an attorney before even contacting the insurance company, because, from the moment you initiate your claim, the insurance adjuster will be looking for every possible reason to limit your settlement, and this is especially easy for them to do when you are distracted by pain, anxiety, and the stress of trying to get back on your feet after such a major disruption.
When there is an experienced legal professional acting as your intermediary, you are able to focus on your recovery without taking on the additional burden of these communications, and your attorney can use their knowledge and experience to avoid the common mistakes made by claimants that insurance companies leverage in order to pay as little as possible for claims.
Finding an attorney that suits your needs can be difficult, as well, which is why we have put together this list of questions that you should be asking each car accident attorney you interview before finding the right lawyer for your case. Many car accident law firms, including ours, offer free initial consultations so that you can get an understanding of the type of lawyer you will be working with, and how they will handle your case. We encourage you to contact the team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC as soon as possible so that we can discuss your accident and help you get on the path towards compensation today.
Important Questions To Ask During Your Free Consultation With a Car Accident Attorney
The following are some of the most important questions that you can ask during your consultations with car accident attorneys. Remember that this consultation an opportunity for you to interview the legal team that you may be working with for months or even years to come, and will be entrusting to recover the compensation that you deserve. If you are not comfortable with or find that you do not trust, your attorney, this can make for a difficult process. These questions can help narrow down your candidates.
How much will it cost to work with you through my car accident claim?
It can be uncomfortable to talk about money but remember that money is the central reason that you will be working with an attorney. As they fight to recover the damages that you deserve from the other driver’s insurance company, it is important to know how much of your award will be going to your attorney once the case is resolved. Most personal injury firms operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they will take a percentage from your final award.
Do you have experience representing car accident claims?
This may seem like a silly question, but there are personal injury attorneys who may not have much – or any – experience representing car accidents, and it is important to know this fact before you begin working with them. The team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC has years of experience representing car accident victims, and our history of successes indicates the level of expertise that you will be getting as our valued client, and we will be happy to go through examples of past car accident cases that we have fought and won for our clients in the past to give you an idea of the level of experience you are getting from us.
What is your record for cases similar to mine?
Even if an attorney has years of experience representing car accident cases, they may not have specific experience with the type of accident that you have been in. This may not have any bearing on the process, or it may be very important to work with someone who understands a unique or uncommon type of crash. Additionally, years of experience won’t matter much if the attorney has never won a case similar to yours! Knowing your attorney’s history of winning cases is a great way to establish trust early on, which is important when you will be relying on your attorney over the coming months to get you the money you deserve.
Will you be the only attorney I work with, or can I expect to work with multiple people at the firm?
Depending on your preferences, it may not matter if you speak with someone different each time you call the law firm. However, if you are expecting a one-on-one relationship, and that you will not need to explain your situation to a new person each time you call the law firm for an update, it is important that you know whether or not this will be the case with the firm you choose to work with. Feeling like you are a valued individual with a case that the entire law firm knows about is a great way to continue to trust your attorney throughout the duration of your case together, and is an important detail that will help you keep your stress down.
How long do you expect this case to last?
While no attorney will be able to give you a definitive answer to this question, it can be good to have a general sense of how long it takes them to resolve similar cases and to learn early on if they think that you may end up in court or not. It can also be helpful to understand whether or not your attorney thinks your situation is a particularly complex one, or if it seems to be fairly straightforward when compared to other tort claims and cases.
Do you think that my case has a good chance of being settled?
Hiring an attorney is not just for having someone represent you in court, and perhaps more importantly, their role is as a negotiator first and foremost. In most cases (barring certain accidents with a high likelihood of punitive damages being awarded in court) it is in your best interest to settle out of court, so working with an attorney who excels at out-of-court settlements is very helpful.
Will you represent my case if we must go to trial?
Additionally, many personal injury attorneys are not experienced in trial law, meaning that if they are unable to settle your case and you DO go to court, that you may need to hire a trial attorney. Fortunately, the team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC has the experience with negotiations and trials that you can rely on for every step of your case. This saves a lot of administrative work where your negotiation attorney will need to hand off extensive information to your trial lawyer, and you will need to go through the process of finding an attorney all over again. To keep your work in one place, contact our firm as soon as possible.