What do you need to know when choosing a traffic accident lawyer?
Accidents happen when you least expect, leaving you unprepared and unsure of how to proceed. When you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic accident, you will need to act fast so as to get medical care as well as legal representation.
In 2013, 32,719 people perished in road accidents in the United States.
Fatality Composition for 2004 and 2013
If you are involved in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence then you can file for a compensation lawsuit. You need to find a traffic accident lawyer who is experienced in traffic accident law. But with so many attorneys to choose from, how do you know the most qualified lawyer for your case?
Here are a few questions you should ask your traffic accident attorney to make sure that you are hiring the right person for your case:
What areas of law have you specialized in?
You obviously wouldn’t go to a gastroenterologist if you have an eye problem even though they are both doctors. The same applies to law. You shouldn’t hire a lawyer who does not practice person injury law. Lawyers specialize in different areas, which mean that they have specialized expertise related to those fields.
In order to win your claim compensation case, it is important that you that you find a lawyer that specializes in traffic accident cases
Have you handled similar cases in the past?
How many cases has he handled? And how did they turn out? You should know that just because an attorney specializes in traffic accident doesn’t mean that he is skilled or experienced in it. They could be doing it part time, or they are new in the field or they may just be bad at what they do.
While past performance is not guarantee of better results, but you will at least have the confidence that you are dealing with someone who is experienced in the field.
Will other lawyers be handling your case?
Many people often hire lawyers they see on TV commercials think that the will be the ones handling their case. The reality is that much of the work is done by non-attorney case managers. The law firm sends junior attorneys to attend hearings.
While the staff and junior attorneys may be qualified to do their job, it is important that you work with a specific attorney, not the law firm in general. This is a very important question to ask.
How long will it take to resolve the case?
As time out of work and medical bills continue to increase, it is important that you get an idea of how the long the case will take before you get your compensation. You need to know how long you need to attend the trials.
There a few factors that will definitely affect the duration of your case; therefore, your traffic accident lawyer may not give you an exact period of time, but he should be able to give you an estimated based on how long similar cases take to get a verdict.
Do you work on a contingency basis?
Many lawyers handling personal injury cases work on a contingency basis, which means that they will not charge you for the services they are providing, but will take a certain percentage of the money you will be compensated when you win the case.
A good attorney should pay for doctor visits, witnesses and other expenses as the case progresses. If a lawyer charges you an hourly fee then it could become very expensive for you considering the fact that medical bills are also increasing day by day.
Can you do anything to increase my chances of winning the case?
Many people often think that once they have hired a lawyer, all they need to do is sit back and wait for the check in their mail. This is rarely the case. You will probably need to visit see a physician, talk to investigators and be available until the case comes to an end. Remember that your traffic accident lawyer is trying to help you; therefore, make sure that you also help him.
How frequently do you go to trials?
This is a very important question because it has an impact on the amount you receive as compensation. Insurance companies that compensate accident victims in a personal injury case often offer much less settlements than what you might get when the case is taken to trials. Your lawyer needs to analyze the factors of your case and determine the most appropriate cause of action to be taken, but hiring a lawyer who never goes to trials is not good for you. Chances are that he is only looking for a quick payoff.
Have you ever been disciplined by an ethic committee in the past?
A majority of lawyers will not be in any kind of disciplinary issues, but if they have then this could be a red flag. It is important that you know what the lawyer did to get in trouble because this might affect your chances of getting your compensation. You want to work with a traffic accident lawyer who is reputable and has not be involved in any scandals that may come back to interfere with your case.
Can you provide references of your previous clients?
Many jurisdictions allow lawyers to provide references of previous clients. By talking to previous clients, you will be able to know whether they were satisfied with the performance of the attorney. It can be a great source of information about the time frame, results obtained and what else to expect from your lawyer.
Asking these questions can improve your odds of a traffic accident injury victim finding the best lawyer when compared to using TV based advertisements, lawyer referrals or Yellow pages. One of the best ways to find lawyers is by asking for recommendations from friends, professional associations and doctors.