Thousands of people are injured in car accidents every day and many lose their lives. Injuries sustained in a car accident can be severe, life-changing and leave you with a mountain of medical bills. So, it is extremely important that you hire the right lawyer to handle your case––one who can recover every bit of compensation you’re entitled to receive. Here are 5 of the most important questions you should ask every potential car accident lawyer:
1. Do You Have Trial Experience as a Car Accident Lawyer?
This question is by far the most important question to ask any car accident lawyer before you hire them. This is because, if you can’t reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may need to go to trial in order to recover the compensation you deserve. When this is the case, you want a lawyer who has tried cases frequently and knows what it takes to win.
Attorneys who frequently go trial (and win) have more leverage with insurance companies. Especially, those who have had cases that have gone to the jury and have won.
If the insurance company knows that your attorney is not afraid to go to court and that he or she has a record of success at trial, they will be more likely to settle with you for a fair amount.
There are many car accident attorneys who have never been to trial, and if so, very seldom. So, ask the attorney how many times they have been to trial, how many of those cases were decided by jury, and what his or her success rate is in these cases.
2. Can You Offer Me Help Being Treated for My Injuries?
Ask if they law firm can refer you to healthcare professionals who can help you get better? Also, ask if they will help you deal with any insurance denials? In other words, if your insurance company denies you ongoing treatment, will they help you get more treatment if it is needed.
Medical treatment is very expensive, but getting the treatment you need to recover from your injuries is extremely important. So, you need to know how much help the law firm can provide you with if and when you need it.
3. Who Will Handle My Case?
If you hire a larger law firm, and unless your case is really big, it will probably be handled by a junior lawyer. This isn’t necessarily bad, but you want to know this before you hire the firm.
You also want to know who at the law firm you will be in contact with on a regular basis––a paralegal, legal assistant, associate lawyer, or the lawyer you are interviewing with? It is important to know who your contact person will be for the duration of your case.
4. Do You Regularly Handle Cases Like Mine?
Ideally, you want to hire a lawyer whose main focus is car accident cases like yours. However, you can’t expect a lawyer to only handle car accidents cases.
Ask what other practices areas the lawyer handles? What percentage of his cases have to do with car accidents? Some lawyers may dabble in car accident cases but really focus on other areas of law. However, you want a lawyer whose main focus is at least personal injury law, including car accidents cases. But, under no circumstances should you hire a lawyer who simply dabbles in car accident cases.
5. How Much Will I Have to Pay You to Handle My Case?
Most lawyers charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay if they recover money on your behalf. Ask what percentage of that recovery they take?
Percentages can range quite a bit from firm to firm. But, don’t choose a lawyer simply because he or she takes the lowest percentage. A good lawyer who can get you the best results may be well worth the extra percentage.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that you will win your case. So, what happens if your case is unsuccessful––will you owe any money? Particularly, will you owe any disbursements if the case is unsuccessful.
Disbursements are expenses that the law firm incurs to investigate and advance your case. If your case is unsuccessful, will you have to reimburse the law firm for these costs?
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, damage to your car, pain and suffering, and more.