8 Tips for Hiring a Lawyer After a Car Accident
A car accident is a sudden and shocking event. One minute you’re driving to work or running errands, and the next, you’re in the hospital and unable to earn a living.
After a car accident, the last thing on your mind is thinking of pursuing a case against the at-fault driver. But if you have a family to provide for and the bills are piling up, you might need legal assistance to get back to normal.
You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence. At Garrison Law, PC, we work to get victims of serious accidents back on their feet. Let us focus on the legal aspects of your recovery while you focus on your health and getting back to work.
If you’d like to learn more before calling a lawyer, keep reading. Here are eight tips for hiring a lawyer after a car accident.
Watch out for Ambulance Chasers
Be careful of ambulance chasers. Attorneys or investigators who show up to your hospital room unannounced must be viewed with skepticism. They might falsely claim they were referred by a friend, a nurse, or your primary care physician, and then ask you to sign a retainer agreement to hire them. But if you did not call or speak with a lawyer directly, do not sign anything with someone who comes to the emergency room looking for your business.
An attorney who wants the best for you will give you time to research your options. A lawyer should respect your time and space for decision-making and allow you to meet with numerous lawyers before deciding on the best fit.
Ask About Caseload
You’ve seen the commercials. Large personal injury law firms run them nonstop. Like ambulance chasers, these TV lawyers aggressively pursue your business. While there is nothing wrong with advertising, the business model of these organizations can be a “take every case approach.” At these types of firms, the lawyers have hundreds of cases they are responsible for. As a result, your case might not receive the personal service and attention it deserves. Your case could take years to get to settlement or trial. When it finally gets to trial, the lawyer who has been initially assigned to handle your claim will likely pass your file off to another lawyer to handle. The new lawyer might not know anything about you, the facts of your case, or your injuries.
The better decision is to hire a lawyer who is selective about their caseload and can devote the time and attention to your case that it deserves. As a result, your lawsuit will be processed through the civil justice system more quickly, and your goals will be realized much sooner. Besides, insurance companies know that delays in your case are detrimental to your financial recovery. Insurance companies love delays. The reason they love delays is that witnesses forget important details as the years go by, and evidence can be lost or destroyed. As the plaintiff in your lawsuit, you must prove those details in court. So be careful if you are considering hiring a lawyer from a large law firm whose commercial you saw on TV.
Choose an Experienced Attorney
Every professional has to start somewhere. But you don’t want a new attorney handling your injury claim. Find out how long the attorney has been practicing law, and hire one with the experience and resources to take on an insurance company, at trial and on appeal. After all, insurance companies keep track of personal injury lawyers and their results. Insurance companies know which lawyers are not afraid to take cases to trial, and which lawyers have beaten them in the past. They are also aware that attorneys who do not have the necessary trial experience will be more likely to encourage their clients to accept low settlement offers.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Lawyers should concentrate on specific practice areas. While one lawyer might be skilled in completing real estate transactions, another might be focused on divorces. If you were seriously injured in an automobile accident, you need a personal injury lawyer. Your family law attorney or your corporate lawyer might be great in their roles, but not as competent in personal injury cases. If you want to maximize your settlement, it’s a good idea to choose a personal injury attorney who specializes in car accidents.
You want to know everything you can about the attorney you hire for your personal injury case. One way to gain more information about the attorney is to seek information from former clients. You may be able to find customer reviews online. You should speak to your friends, family, or doctor, as word-of-mouth recommendations can be valuable.
Schedule a Free Consultation
A reputable car accident attorney should offer a free consultation. In this initial interview, you’ll share your car accident experience, and the attorney will suggest a legal strategy. The discussion does not commit you to use the attorney but allows you to see if the relationship is a good fit. During your meeting, you can ask any questions about personal injury law or the attorney’s practice to determine if this is the attorney for you.
Find a Good Communicator
Does your potential attorney speak legalese or explain things to you in plain English? Does the attorney rush communication or act annoyed when you ask simple questions? You want an attorney who is patient and a great communicator. Not only does your attorney need to explain the law to you, but they also need to persuade others of the value of your case. An attorney who can communicate well with a client should be able to argue a case effectively to a jury. Don’t hire or sign a contract with a car accident attorney who won’t take the time for a conversation with you.
Ask About Legal Fees
During the free consultation, the attorney should clearly outline legal fees. Make sure that you understand all potential fees and costs before you sign a contract with an attorney.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee. That means the attorney will not get paid unless and until you win your case. At that time, the attorney will take a percentage of your settlement as payment for legal services. Most people prefer to hire a car accident attorney whose payment is contingent on the outcome, as they don’t have to pay unless the attorney wins their case.
You should also ask about how the lawyer will cover the upfront costs of the litigation. Also, ask the attorney what percentage of your award they will take if they win your case.
Find a Michigan Car Accident Attorney
Get started on your car accident attorney search by calling Garrison Law, PC today. We give every client personalized attention and work hard to accomplish their goals. Our team believes that victims of car accidents deserve the opportunity to get back to their pre-injury lives. We advocate passionately for our clients. We have litigated hundreds of cases throughout the state and country. We have won millions of dollars for our clients, and we would like to help you get your life back on track. Please call us for a free case evaluation to discuss your options.