Hiring a Car Accident Attorney That Best Fits Your Needs
You’ve been hurt in an accident- now your to-do list for handling the medical financial, and legal aspects of your case seem to be growing by the minute.
You know you need help because your life has been seriously altered due to the impacts of the crash. But there are thousands of car accident attorneys in California, so how do you decide with whom to work? In this post, you’ll learn more about what to expect with a personal injury lawyer and how to do your research to find the right fit for you.
What Does a Car Accident Attorney Do?
Although there are some people who prefer to handle a car accident injury claim on their own, there are many reasons to hire a California car accident attorney. Hiring an accident attorney shows the other side that you mean business. It demonstrates to the other party that you know how much your life has been changed as a result of this devastating car accident and that you intend to fight for full and fair compensation for your injuries.
From dealing with the insurance company to collecting evidence for hearings and settlement, an experienced personal injury attorney who has served many other clients in this capacity can also give you confidence and enable you to get back to work if possible, and continue your medical treatment for recovery.
The right California car accident attorney will:
- Act as the go-between with insurance carriers
- Prepare evidence to show the extent of your injuries
- Consult with experts like medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists
- Keep you updated about news in your case
- Attend hearings and meetings on your behalf
Not all car accident attorneys are created equal, and doing your research will help you find a firm that you feel comfortable with in handling your case.
Questions to Ask Your Car Accident Attorney in an Initial Consultation
In the initial consultation, expect your car accident attorney to ask for information about how the accident happened and what you’ve been diagnosed with since the incident happened. They may also review with you what role they and their other key staff may have, and provide you with an overview of the process, overall case management and costs.
Don’t forget that your initial consultation with a lawyer is a chance to ask questions of the attorney. Use this meeting as a chance to decide whether or not this person would be the right fit for you based on their background, commitment, communication style, and the resources available to them at their firm.
In addition to asking questions about your specific case, be sure to ask the following questions:
- Have you handled cases like this before?
- How do your personal injury cases usually end?
- What can I expect in terms of communication with you and your firm for the duration of the case?
It’s helpful to start your search knowing the answers that you’d like get from the attorney. While you may not change the response they do provide, it can help you decide whether this is the attorney with whom you want to work. Scheduling the initial phone, or in-person, consultation does not obligate you to work with the lawyer.
Understanding What You Need
Living in a digital age empowers you to do a lot of the research about your potential car accident attorney beforehand. Look at online reviews for the attorney or firm, and visit the attorney or firm website. This information can give you a general sense of how the firm operates as well as the lawyer’s experience with certain types of personal injury cases. Use this research to narrow the search for the right car accident attorney for you.
Firms can be differentiated by:
- Size of the practice
- How much of the caseload is made up of personal injury or car accident cases
- Typical case outcome, such as negotiated settlements or trial
- Communication style
- Available resources
- Familiarity with car accident laws in California
Once you have found one or two firms who have an approach and style that suits your car accident case, contact them to ask whether or not they are accepting new cases. On this phone call, you might be presented with an invitation to schedule a phone, or in-person, meeting with a lawyer. Remember that even this initial phone call to schedule a meeting can tell you a lot about the firm – does the person who answered the phone take your case seriously, treat you with respect, and suggest next steps?
How Will I Pay for a Car Accident Attorney?
Most car accident lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. What this means is no short-term stress about being able to pay legal fees since the lawyer will only collect their fee at the conclusion of the case when you settle or are successful in court. This is typically a percentage of the amount won or awarded to you based on the agreement made with your personal injury lawyer at the outset of the case.
Given that most victims are concerned about their own financial well-being when searching for a lawyer, it’s important to be upfront about the attorney’s fee structure and what you can expect when the case is closed.
Percentages can vary depending on the services that an attorney is capable of providing. With more complex cases, such as those involving multiple parties or extensive medical treatments, the attorney percentage may be higher so that access to appropriate services and resources, such as medical treatment and expert witnesses, can be obtained.
Spend time looking at the websites of law firms that have a background in serving personal injury victims, then use this information to guide you in your next steps. Whatever your decision, make sure you focus on choosing a law firm that best represents your interests.
As an accident victim, the personal injury lawyer you decide to work with is extremely important. He/She will be involved in your case from beginning to end. You deserve to know what you can expect and how you can most effectively support a positive outcome in your case. Knowing that you have an experienced personal injury attorney to manage your claim and fight for the compensation needed to help you and your family move on with your life can be a source of great relief.
Dunnion Law is proud to have a reputation of providing dedicated, personalized representation to California residents injured in serious vehicle accidents. When you need a personal injury lawyer you can trust, contact Dunnion Law immediately for a free consultation.