When Should You Hire a St. Louis Accident Attorney?
A St. Louis accident attorney may not be the first person you think about contacting after someone else’s actions have injured you. You are probably more concerned about getting the medical help you need and making arrangements for work or childcare. However, it’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible if you think you may need to file a lawsuit after a car crash or other type of accident.
Finding a Lawyer to Fight for You
An experienced lawyer can help you in several ways. The person who was at fault may have immediately hired a lawyer, or his insurance company may try to get you to sign some sort of release saying you won’t sue. You will want someone in your corner fast who can take on the other person’s team.
A lawyer who understands personal injury law will get to work right away to begin trying to get the compensation you need and deserve. You should also talk to a lawyer before the scene of your accident changes, if possible, or witnesses forget what exactly happened.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations varies. In cases of personal injury, it’s five years, but in a case of assault and battery, it’s two years. You want to make sure your case doesn’t get thrown out of court because you put off hiring a lawyer.
Having a lawyer working on your behalf can also bring you peace of mind. As you struggle to get better, you know you will have someone trying to get you the damages or settlement award that you are entitled to.
But while you don’t want to waste time hiring a St. Louis accident attorney, you also want to make sure that you hire the right lawyer. There are several steps you can take to make sure you find an attorney who shares your ideas and understands what you are going through.
Hiring a St. Louis Accident Attorney
You may need some assistance in finding a St. Louis injury lawyer.
You can ask people you know if they have personal recommendations. Attorneys.com can also help you find a lawyer for your St. Louis personal injury case, whether you live in Webster Groves, Clayton, Forest Park or elsewhere around St. Louis County. By entering just a few simple pieces of information, through the form on this page or by calling 1-877-913-7222, we can connect you with an attorney who handles St. Louis personal injury cases.
Once you have the name or names of St. Louis accident attorneys, you can arrange an initial consultation. This meeting is your chance to size up the lawyer, see if you trust him and his judgment, decide if he has the right experience and charges the right amount in fees.
You will need to ask a lot of questions before you make your decision. Find out whether the lawyer focuses on personal injury cases like yours. See if he prefers to try to settle or if he is willing to take the other side to trial in St. Louis County Circuit Court.
Find out how he charges for accident cases like yours, and if he will take your case on contingency fee basis, an hourly rate or a fixed fee basis. Ask each attorney exactly what he charges and when he expects to be paid. You can also ask the lawyer how much you can reasonably expect to receive in a settlement or award, and to take you through the math so you know how much you might reasonably take home after legal fees and expenses are paid.
After the initial consultation, write down your thoughts and impressions. These notes will help you decide which lawyer you should hire. If you still aren’t sure, get references and follow up with them to find out about their experiences.
When you have suffered a serious injury or accident that someone else caused, you will have a lot on your mind. But it’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself, and hiring the right lawyer can help you do that.