Finding an injury lawyer that actually has experience winning cases isn’t as simple as it may seem. The most successful injury lawyer in your community and the least experienced may charge comparable fees.
Knowing which questions to ask will help you hire a motor vehicle accident lawyer that can stand up against an insurance company.
How to Interview a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
The first step to finding an excellent lawyer is to do some homework on the attorneys in your community. Start by asking friends and family members for recommendations. If you already have a family attorney, ask them to make a recommendation.
- Take advantage of free consultations
- Meet with the lawyer in person
- Come prepared with a list of questions
- Bring important information about your accident
Now that you know what to do, consider the following questions before making a final decision.
1. What Are Your Fees?
Don’t hesitate to ask about costs, and don’t accept anything but a clear answer. In most accident cases, lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay anything unless damages are recovered.
If they are, your lawyer will take a percentage as their fee. The percentage rate should be clearly stated before you agree to representation.
Be aware that agreeing to a contingency fee doesn’t mean you won’t have out-of-pocket costs. Ask who will be responsible for related court costs and how much they will be.
Also Read: Why You Have to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
2. How Much Time Can You Devote to My Case?
It’s unreasonable to expect your attorney to work 40 hours a week on your behalf, but you do want to make sure they have the time and resources to represent you.
Though most are resolved within a year, some injury cases can take years to settle. Make sure your attorney has the support staff and resources to give your case the attention it deserves.
3. How Long Have You Been Handling Personal Injury Cases?
There’s nothing wrong with hiring an attorney who is just starting their career. It’s good to have representation that is eager and energetic.
However, the experts at Ping an Attorney point out that it is important to work with an attorney who has handled cases like yours and who has experience taking a case to trial.
4. What Percentage of Your Cases Are Referred From Other Attorneys?
Lawyers who get frequent references from other lawyers have a good reputation in the community. Frequent references aren’t a guarantee you will win your case, but it is an indication that other legal minds respect that attorney’s expertise.
5. What Legal Organization Are You a Member Of?
There are several state and national organizations dedicated to representing injury victims. They sponsor legal publications, conduct educational programs, and lobby for consumer rights. The American Association of Justice is the best-known national organization.
Membership in these types of legal groups is a good sign that the attorney takes their career seriously and is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured persons.
6. Do You Teach Other Lawyers?
Many excellent attorneys do not teach law. However, those who take the time to lecture at legal education seminars or write articles for legal publications are experts in their field.
You can check the lawyer’s website for this information. In most cases, published works and teaching credits will be listed.
7. Can I See Your Case Results?
Most motor vehicle accident lawyers try to settle lawsuits before they go to trial. Settlement is usually advantageous to the clients. However, you want to make sure that if your case goes to trial, your attorney has a reputation for winning.
8. Have You Ever Been Disciplined by the State Bar?
There may be a reasonable explanation, but disciplinary proceedings by a State Bar should be taken seriously. Be sure to choose an attorney that is upfront about this information.
9. What Happens If I Don’t Win?
No one wants to think they will lose an accidental injury case. About 95% of motor vehicle accident cases are settled out of court, but it is possible your case will go to trial and you will lose.
Make sure you understand the financial and legal consequences if your lawsuit is unsuccessful.
Other Factors to Consider When Comparing Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Choose an attorney that returns all of your calls or is eager to set up a consultation. Such behavior is a sign of what kind of service you will get in the future. Every person and every case deserves to be handled politely and professionally.
Also, consider the competency of the staff and the work environment. If the office is organized and calm, or if the staff seems pleasant, it is likely you will get the best representation. An experienced, competent attorney will treat you with respect and answer all your questions fully.