Factors to Consider When Hiring an Auto Accident Law Firm
Auto accidents happen fast. But the repercussions from an accident - even a seemingly minor one - can last for a long time. Thats why seeking out and hiring the right auto accident law firm is so important. If youve had a car accident, especially one involving an injury, a good lawyer can help you successfully navigate the many legal issues that can arise.
Hiring the Right Law Firm
Regardless of whether youve already identified potential car accident attorneys to handle your case, there are several factors to consider before settling on a law firm.
- Does the law firm have experience handling car accident and/or personal injury cases? Lawyers, like doctors, practice in specific areas. Its best to choose one who has the expertise you need.
- Lawyers who represent someone who has been injured (called a plaintiffs attorney) typically dont also defend against injury lawsuits (called a defense attorney). The profile for the lawyer and his or her firm should give you an idea of whom they represent, or you can ask their office.
- If youve been injured in your accident, check to see if the attorney belongs to personal injury trial lawyers' associations, such as the American Association for Justice or your state's trial lawyers' association.
- If youve worked with an attorney previously who practices in another area, ask if he or she can provide a referral to an auto accident law firm in your area.
- Ask friends and relatives if they have any recommendations.
- Use a trusted source like Attorneys.com to get the names of additional car accident lawyers in your area.
- Before making a final decision, ask for references. Its always a good idea to talk to some of the lawyer's representative clients.
- Consider any other needs you have. For example, would it benefit you to have an attorney who speaks a language other than English?
- Except in rare circumstances, you'll want to hire a lawyer with a local office where the accident occurred.
Paying an Auto Injury Attorney
If youve been injured in a car accident, your lawyer may take your case on contingency. A contingency (or contingent) fee means your lawyer will be paid a percentage of what you may collect on a settlement or on a judgment if the case goes to trial.
Contingency fees are the most common fee arrangement in personal injury cases, but some lawyers will charge their clients an hourly rate, which is payable regardless of whether you win or lose your case.
Questions for Your Auto Injury Attorney
- How many personal injury trials have you handled? How many did you win?
- What percentage of your practice is in personal injury involving car accidents?
- How long have you been in practice?
- Do you usually represent injured people or defendants?
- What will the case involve, and how will you go about handling it? What is the process?
- How will you charge for your services?
- Will you handle the case personally or pass it on to another lawyer or support staff in the firm?
Questions like these, as well as personal recommendations, can help you choose the best legal representation for your auto accident case. Attorneys.com can also help you find an auto accident law firm in your area.