Unfortunately, there are over 6 million car accidents each year in the United States. To make matters worse, it can be notably difficult to know what action to take after you’ve been in an accident.
Finding the right car accident attorney is crucial if you’ve been involved in a collision.
However, hiring an attorney isn’t always a straightforward process. So, we have put together a brief guide that details everything you need to know when looking for a car accident lawyer.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Have You Handled Cases Like Mine Before?
It should come as no surprise that car accident attorneys specialize in legal matters related to vehicles. So, one of the first questions you should ask is whether or not they have handled cases like yours before.
This will give you an indication of the lawyer’s level of experience and whether they have the necessary skills to handle your case. As you might guess, it’s highly recommended that you do not work with an inexperienced attorney.
Although they are not guaranteed to fall short of your goals, they will be much less likely to help you reach them.
2. What Are Your Fees?
Most car accident attorneys charge a fee for their services, so it is important to make sure that you understand how much you will be expected to pay.
Be sure to ask about any additional costs that may be involved, such as filing fees or court costs. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation where you are paying much more than you anticipated.
It’s also worth noting that many attorneys offer their services on a contingency basis. This means that they do not require money upfront. Instead, they will take a percentage of your winnings.
In many situations, this is one of the best options to take advantage of.
3. What Is Your Success Rate?
It is also important to find out the lawyer’s success rate when it comes to car accident cases.
Ask them how many cases they have won and lost so you can get a better idea of what kind of outcome you can realistically expect. If they attempt to brush off this question, you will likely benefit from working with someone else.
It’s in your best interest to choose a lawyer that has the highest success rate you can find. Even a small difference in percentage could negatively affect you in the future.
However, you need to consider the total volume of cases they have worked on. Having a 99% success rate across 100 different cases won’t be much compared to someone who has a 98% success rate over thousands of cases.
4. Do You Have Any References I Can Contact?
No matter how experienced a lawyer may be, it is always important to check their references.
Ask if they have past clients who you can speak with so that you can get an idea of what working with them has been like for others in similar situations. The more references they have the offer, the greater the chance they are a reputable attorney.
However, a lawyer with a short list of references is necessarily a poor choice. You should gauge other criteria in a situation like this to help you make your decision.
For instance, consider how communicative they are. You should also consider their rates. If you don’t find either of these attributes favorable, you might want to look for a lawyer with a long list of references.
5. How Long Do You Think This Case Will Take?
It is important to have an idea of how long the legal process may take and what kind of timeline you can expect. Ask your lawyer for an estimate so that you can plan accordingly.
Keep in mind, though, that it isn’t always possible to provide an accurate estimate. Still, an experienced attorney should be able to provide some level of insight into what you can expect.
In general, more complex cases will take longer. For instance, an accident that involved multiple vehicles will take much longer to resolve than an accident that involved only two cars. In some cases, it could take months or even years until you reach a conclusion.
6. Are There Any Other Options Available?
In some cases, there may be other options available to you, such as arbitration or mediation. Ask your lawyer if these are viable alternatives and whether they would recommend pursuing one of them instead.
In some cases, these routes may be more cost-effective and less time-consuming. So, it’s always worth inquiring about alternatives.
7. What Is the Next Step?
Finally, make sure you ask your car accident attorney what the next steps should be after you have discussed all of your questions.
This will help you both to stay on the same page and ensure that your case is progressing in the direction that you want it to. Otherwise, you may find that you are left feeling confused or frustrated.
A situation like this is already stressful enough, so there is no need to make it more complicated than it has to be.
What Red Flags Should I Watch Out For?
When looking for a car accident attorney, there are certain warning signs that you should be aware of. For example, if the lawyer is unwilling to answer any of your questions or seems hesitant to provide details about their experience, this should serve as a red flag.
Additionally, if they seem overly pushy or unprofessional in their correspondence with you, it may be best to look for another lawyer. Finally, it is important to make sure that the attorney’s fee structure is clear and easy to understand.
If anything seems suspicious or unclear, it may be best to look for another lawyer.
Finding the Right Car Accident Attorney Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming
Initially, finding the right car accident attorney for your case may seem daunting. The good news is that the guide above has everything you need to know to make the process simple.
Looking for more information about what we can do? Reach out to us today to see how we can help.
Cook & Tolley, LLP
304 E Washington St
Athens, GA 30601