Factors to Consider When Selecting a Cleveland Auto Accident Attorney
A Cleveland auto accident attorney can help car accident victims obtain compensation for injuries suffered in a crash. Yet you need to know how to assess a lawyer’s qualifications before hiring him. This article explains how to determine if a lawyer is the right fit for your case.
Hiring a Cleveland Auto Accident Attorney
Before selecting a car accident attorney, you need to find some potential candidates. Ask friends, family or work associates to provide names of personal injury attorneys they’ve used in the past. Or check out Attorneys.com. We can connect you with a car accident attorney in your area.
Simply fill out the form on this site, or call 1-877-913-7222 to start the process. After answering a few questions, you will get the name of at least one Cleveland car accident attorney. Call the lawyer directly, or he will call you within two business days.
Next schedule an initial consultation with each attorney you're considering for your case. An initial consultation is a meeting between you and the lawyer to discuss your case. It’s also the time to question the lawyer about his experience, the rates he charges, his case strategy and case-management style. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations, but confirm this when scheduling your appointments.
Ultimately, the meeting should help you decide which lawyer best fits your needs.
Look at a Lawyer’s Experience
Experienced car accident lawyers provide clients with guidance during a personal injury lawsuit. They can assess the potential outcomes of your case and determine if you should negotiate a settlement or go to trial.
You want to find an attorney who concentrates his practice on helping people who have sustained injuries in accidents. The lawyer should also know the ins and outs of Cleveland personal injury laws and how they apply to car accidents.
The lawyer you ultimately hire should have worked on car accident cases similar to yours. To confirm his credentials, check out the lawyer’s bio on the web. Verify how long he has handled car accident cases.
You also want a lawyer who is familiar with other players in the legal arena, such as the judge and other trial attorneys you're likely to encounter in your case. See if the lawyer is a member of any legal associations, such as the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. A lawyer’s involvement in legal organizations is an indicator of how well he knows other people in the legal arena.
Assess a Lawyer’s Case Strategy & the Legal Options Provided
Next review the lawyer’s proposed strategy for handling your case and your legal options. Look at how he would handle your car accident lawsuit. Do you agree with his proposed strategy? Do you think he properly assessed the potential outcomes of your case? Does his legal advice seem reasonable?
Call the attorney if you have any follow-up questions. The answers he provides, and the promptness with which he gets back to you, could help you decide which attorney to hire.
Pay Attention to Legal Fees
Then evaluate how the attorney charges for services.
Most auto accident lawyers work on contingency, which means they do not get paid unless you win the lawsuit and get a monetary award. The advantage of this fee structure is that you pay no money up front or if your case is unsuccessful. Because of this, most lawyers only accept cases on contingency if they are fairly certain the case will be a success.
Lawyers also may charge an hourly rate. This means you pay for the actual time the lawyer works on your case, regardless of the outcome. Lawyers’ hourly rates vary for multiple reasons. These include:
- How experienced they are
- Which city or town they work in
- Overhead expenses
- A case’s complexity
Determine which billing method your potential lawyer uses. Then check the numbers. How much did the lawyer say your auto accident case would cost? Do those fees seem reasonable? Can you afford the lawyer’s rates? Know that if you're unable to find a lawyer who will take your case on contingency, it could be a sign that your case is weak or worth little money.
Trust Your Gut
Finally gauge how comfortable you were with the lawyer during the initial consultation. Let your gut instinct help you choose a car accident attorney.
Since you may be working with the lawyer for an extended period, you need to feel that the lawyer listens to you and addresses your concerns. Did he explain the process for handling a car accident case in layman's terms? Are you comfortable with the lawyer’s strategy for handling your case? Do you trust the information he provided you?
Select a Cleveland Auto Accident Attorney
Once you’ve met with a few auto accident attorneys, review your notes before choosing a lawyer. Review the factors discussed in this article—experience, case assessment, case management and billing rates.
Speak with references if you’d like some additional input. Call back an attorney if you have any follow-up questions.
Then select the lawyer that best fits your needs and hire him.