An auto accident can be an unfortunate and often unforeseen part of being on our roads. Following such a mishap, you might end up nursing physical or even mental injuries. In some cases, an insurance company may fail to offer you a settlement you deem reasonable. That’s when you need to evaluate alternative legal options to get your dues. If you need to file a personal injury claim, a legal representative at Hale Law can help you through the process. Finding an expert is the best option if you can’t make head or tail of the legal process.
But, how do you go about hiring the best auto attorney? What are the qualities of a credible attorney? Let’s go through a simple guide to help you settle for the best legal expert.
Ask questions about how long the attorney has been in the trade and their area of specialization. Don’t hire the first lawyer who offers to represent you without checking them out first. Why? Because they may end up making rookie moves that could undermine your chances of success.
Instead, your best bet would be to engage an attorney specializing in personal injury. An experienced attorney will possess the requisite training, knowledge, and skills to handle your claim. They’ll also have a track record of cases they’ve worked on as evidence of their competence. Besides, skilled personal injury lawyers are an invaluable asset when it comes to fighting for justice. They are knowledgeable about the intricacies of tort law and can provide their clients with the answers they need to make informed decisions about their cases. Furthermore, skilled personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for their client’s rights and ensuring that they receive the compensation they deserve.
They also understand the legal nuances of personal injury law and their interpretation in court. These may include issues such as the statute of limitations for auto accidents in your state among others. Having a grasp of such issues could raise your odds of getting the upper hand and winning a lawsuit.
An injury attorney also understands how to deal with insurance companies. On that note, they can guide you and simplify the process of dealing with an insurance adjuster to ensure you don’t get a raw deal.
Don’t leave anything to chance. Do the legwork, if need be, by scheduling consultations with personal injury attorneys in your area. Most attorneys offer free consultations to discuss the nitty-gritty of a case before taking it up. Take advantage of such an opportunity to assess the level of professionalism an attorney shows. Chances are you’ll have to deal with them for months or even years as your case proceeds.
Lawyers are usually part of a team. Find out if they or their support staff are eager to address your concerns. Plus, do they have your interests at heart or do they appear interested only in the money? Overall, trust your gut if something feels off about a legal representative or their team, and look somewhere else. You could dodge a bullet by simply listening to your instinct.
Talk About the Money
Most personal injury jurists work on a contingent fee basis. Under this arrangement, they charge a specific percentage of the settlement- once you win. Ask about the proportion of the recovery they charge as their service fee and consider negotiating a reasonable offer. Before signing on the dotted line, ensure the service contract captures the proportion of your recovery due to your attorney. Also, keep a copy of the service contract to eliminate a potential grey area that an attorney may exploit.
Discuss the elements of a contingency fee arrangement in detail. Personal injury attorneys usually charge case costs such as filing fees and the cost of seeking expert testimony- including the time and labor invested in a case. These should not be confused with contingency fees. In most cases, attorneys may bill you by the hour for their services.
Experienced attorneys most likely command a higher hourly rate than their less-experienced counterparts. However, note that an attorney who hasn’t built up their chops may take longer to deal with a legal case despite charging less. With that in mind, you need to find a trade-off between experience and legal fees.
Opt for a lawyer who doesn’t require an out-of-pocket payment before taking up your case. If an injury attorney offers a “No Recovery No Fee” arrangement, then you have a good starting point.
Get your Paperwork in Order
Once you’ve settled for an auto accident attorney, provide them with the necessary supporting documentation. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Your insurance policy
- Medical policy
- Record of post-accident hospital bills
- Image of the wrecked vehicle
- Police report
Your attorney needs this information to help you build a watertight case. It would also make it easier to file your case in time so that you don’t have to drag through the court process for too long.
Hiring an attorney is a painstaking process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I hope this guide serves as a critical reference point in your search for the best auto accident attorney for your case.