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Getting into a road accident is one of the worst things that can happen to a motorist. Between the injuries incurred, the cost of damages, and the hassle of dealing with the insurance agencies, it makes sense for motorists to hire an attorney.
Attorneys who specialize in handling car accidents can help navigate all the hurdles associated with a lawsuit. Finding the right attorney for this type of lawsuit can be a bit frustrating but is well worth the effort in the long run. Here are some of the factors to consider when searching for a good personal injury attorney,
Find out What You Need from an Attorney before Beginning a Search
Before beginning a search, find out the qualities that make for a good attorney. These can be very different depending on the location and facts of the case. If the case is in Boca Raton, then a Boca car accident attorney would probably be familiar with a lawsuit that might involve the elderly or tourists while a case in the Dakotas may require an attorney familiar with the vagaries of practicing law in unincorporated areas.
As you check out your options, here are some other factors to consider:
- Look at the size, experience, and length of time the firm has been around.
- Does the firm have judicial connections?
- Does the firm have experience trying and settling cases similar to yours in that municipality?
- Are you comfortable with the attorney handling your case?
- Has the attorney ever had prior issues with their local bar association?
- Ask friends, family and other attorneys for recommendations.
- Is there a cap on how much an attorney can charge if you win the case? Generally, attorneys are allowed to keep roughly 33% of anything awarded to their client.
Be Prepared for the Initial Consultation
Reputable attorneys won’t charge a fee for a consultation on your case. Many law firms also won’t charge a client any fees outside of basic administrative costs unless the case is won.
When meeting with a prospective attorney, make sure to have as much information as possible about your case. This includes the police reports, any notes from doctors or the hospital, information regarding loss of income like pay stubs, copies of all correspondence with the insurance agencies, and any other bills associated with the accident.
Be Prepared to Be Denied Representation
Some law firms will automatically refuse to take on a case if the dollar amount that could be awarded falls below a certain level. Other times, an attorney will pass on taking on a client because they feel that the client has a weak case, and therefore, it would be difficult to win if the case went in front of a judge or jury.
Expect the Attorney to Have Questions of Their Own
A prospective attorney will most likely have you describe what happened during the accident to the best of your ability. If you are unable to give an explanation of what led up to the accident and what happened afterward, they may be hesitant to take on the case.
A good attorney will want to be sure that a client appears to be a good witness to their case. If a client isn’t, then the attorney will find it much more difficult to present a winning argument in the courtroom.
Do Not Expect the Case to Be Resolved Overnight
Approximately 90% of all automobile accident cases result in a settlement of some kind. Depending on the specific details of the case, it could take several months. In some cases, a lawsuit can drag on for several years. It is important to know how badly you may need any money that could be awarded.
Insurance agencies do not like having to pay out for accidents, so they try to drag the case on as long as possible. Their hope is that you will eventually give up and take a lower offer than you may deserve.
Being in an automobile accident is never a pleasant situation. Taking the time to find the right lawyer for your case will make handling a lawsuit much easier and give you the best chance at being awarded the most money possible.