A recent article about choosing a personal injury lawyer posed some key questions any accident victim should be asking, but when it comes to car accidents there are also some other issues and questions that arise. Sometimes the ‘questions’ you need to ask are different.
Given that in the US there are around 47,000 deaths from motor vehicle accidents (and that is 2021 figures from the National Safety Council) the issue is an important one. Injuries from passenger car road accidents nationally are around six million.
So what questions should you ask when choosing y our lawyer. The location of the accident is obviously a key factor, as you will be wanting a local lawyer experienced in this area.
I spoke with an experience Albuquerque car accident lawyer to ask their views on just what you should to to get the right lawyer. They provided seven, key questions to ask before retaining your auto accident attorney.
Here they are:
1 How Much Do You Charge for Representation?
One of the first questions that you should ask a potential personal injury lawyer is how much they charge for legal representation. It is critical for you to have a clear understanding of how much their services will cost you.
The majority of personal injury attorneys will charge between 25 percent and 40 percent of the recovered damages for their services. There are also instances where attorneys opt for an hourly rate or even a flat fee structure to provide you with representation. Learning how much you can expect to pay for your legal representation can help to provide you with some peace of mind moving forward. A reputable attorney will gladly explain their fee structure and provide you with a written agreement outlining all financial arrangements.
2 If I Lose, What Case-Related Costs Will I Be Responsible For?
If you are considering whether you should hire a particular car accident lawyer, it is important that you ask whether you will be responsible for any of the case-related costs if you do not prevail on your personal injury claim. This is critical as legal expenses can add up quickly and leave you with a significant financial burden if you are deemed to be responsible for these expenses, even if your case does not go in your favor.
When discussing this question with any potential car accident attorneys, it is crucial to understand the fee structure that they have and how they handle different costs related to your lawsuit. Due to the fact that some attorneys may require clients to pay for all of the case-related expenses regardless of the outcome, it is crucial to clarify this point during your initial consultation so that there are no surprises in the end.
3 Have You Tried Any Cases Similar to Mine to Juries Before?
Asking whether an attorney has handled any cases similar to yours and presented evidence to a jury is crucial. This can provide you with insight as to whether the attorney that you are considering has experience handling cases that are similar to yours.
Attorneys who do have experience handling complex car accident cases are more likely to be able to navigate the complexities of your specific lawsuit. They will have a better understanding of everything that is involved, they will be better equipped to gather evidence on your behalf, and they will possess the skills that are needed to present a persuasive argument in court so that you are able to prevail.
4 How Long Will it Take To Resolve my Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be highly concerned about how you are going to be able to cover the costs and losses that you face moving forward. For this reason, it is highly likely that you will wonder how long it will take for you to get the money that you need. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every case is truly unique and can vary in complexity. However, having a discussion with a seasoned car accident lawyer can provide you with an idea of what to expect.
Your attorney will be able to take into consideration various factors pertaining to your case in specific. This can include the severity of your injuries, how much property damage you have suffered, and whether the insurance company is cooperating. With all of this information, your attorney will be able to give you an estimated timeline of when you can expect to receive your settlement or go to trial.
5 How Much Is My Case Worth?
There is no way to tell exactly much your case will be worth upfront. However, an experienced car crash lawyer will be able to assess all of the aspects of your case in great detail. They will consider any of your lost wages, how much your current medical expenses are, and whether you require future medical care. They will also evaluate liability and gather strong evidence to support your claim. This will help to determine how much you can potentially ask for your personal injury lawsuit to ensure that you have the financial resources you need moving forward.
6 Who Will Handle My Case?
Although this may seem like a pointless question, it is a critical one. The attorney that you meet with for your free initial consultation may not be with the attorney who represents you throughout the duration of your claim. For this reason, it is important to find out if one attorney in specific or a team of attorneys will be responsible for handling your lawsuit.
This can provide you with clear insight on who you should communicate with throughout the duration of your claim. You should also gain clarity on who you will reach out to for questions and concerns in order to create a strong foundation for open communication throughout the duration of your claim.
7 How Much Money Do I Need Up Front For Legal Representation?
The majority of personal injury lawyers handle claims for car crash victims on a contingency fee basis. With this type of fee arrangement, injured parties are not required to pay any money upfront. Instead, the amount of money that they pay for legal representation will be deducted from the amount of compensation they recover following their accident.
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer to handle your car crash case is crucial. Selecting your attorney will have a major impact on the outcome of your case. By asking these important questions, you will gain valuable insight and information that can help you determine if a particular lawyer is the right one for your case.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences regarding choosing the right personal injury lawyer and any times you feel should be given.
Author –Lucy King is legal and public affairs writer who writes for publications in the US and Canada. She publishes as blog on consumer and service affairs. Her most recent post was 9 Key Factors to Think About When Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney.