You’ve been in a car wreck and are dealing with injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and other life-changing repercussions. If you feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do, that is normal. You are dealing with a lot in tough circumstances. An accident or accident attorney is a great avenue to explore but choose carefully. Here are five things to look for when considering candidates.
1. Clear Communication
It’s essential for your attorneys and their staffers to communicate effectively with you. Can they break complex, jargon-filled concepts down in ways you understand? Do their communication methods (phone, email, text, etc.) work with yours? Ask about the hours they are reachable and how quickly they respond to questions.
Ideally, you’d meet with at least three potential attorney candidates. Compare their communication styles to get a good fit for you.
2. Well-Organized Office
Pursuing car accident cases requires staff and resources. Try to visit attorney candidates at their offices. Note how organized the offices are. For instance, are papers piled all over, or can an attorney easily locate files relevant to your case? When attorneys get information from computers or tablets, can they do it quickly?
A lot of staff does not necessarily equal more attention to your case. It could just mean the attorney handles more cases than one with fewer staff members. However, your attorney would ideally have at least one or two staffers to help with the case and communicate with you.
3. Experience in Car Accident Cases
Your attorneys should have handled cases like yours. Ask about their experience and how they typically handle car accident cases. How many settlements and judgments have they earned from insurance companies?
Discuss how many times the attorney has taken a case to trial and how many times the attorney has settled. Neither outcome is necessarily better or worse, but you want an attorney who is experienced in both possible results.
Choose an attorney who gets paid on contingency. Contingency means that lawyers get money, often 33 percent, from your settlement or judgment instead of you paying them before the case proceeds. This type of payment structure motivates them to work harder in your favor.
However, you may have to pay filing and witness fees upfront, among other fees. Review fee agreements closely so you understand what you are responsible for. One more note: Higher fees may be worth it if the lawyer has a lot of experience and a proven track record of settlements and judgments.
5. Standing in the Community
Do a little investigative work such as checking with the state bar to see if the attorney has faced disciplinary actions. Ask for references and inquire about the percentage of cases that come from attorney and client referrals. Referrals are a sign of respect and high esteem.
Finding an Accident Attorney
Consider communication effectiveness, office organization, car accident cases experience, fee structure, and community standing when choosing your car accident attorney. You are going through a lot and deserve an advocate you trust and feel comfortable with.
One thought on “5 Things to Look For in an Accident Attorney”
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