Over 5,000,000 car accidents happen in the US each year. If you’ve ever been in one, even a minor fender bender, you know how traumatizing they can be.
Hiring a lawyer after a car accident or personal injury is the best decision you can make. A lawyer will help you file a lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve. Remember, it is important to act fast because there are time limits for filing lawsuits. Here are some tips on how to hire a personal injury lawyer.
To ensure that you’re hiring the best lawyer for your case, you need to do some research to find the best personal injury lawyer for you. There are many types of personal injury lawyers, but you need to find one that specializes in car accidents and personal injuries.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find a good personal injury lawyer. Talk to your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else who has been in a similar situation and used a lawyer. They will be able to tell you about their experience with the lawyer and whether or not they would recommend them.
Another way to hire a personal injury lawyer is to look for online reviews. Google the lawyers in your area and see what others have to say about them. You can also refer to the California State Bar site. There, you can see if the lawyer has any complaints filed against them. This is a great way to get opinions about the lawyer and to know their reputation.
How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
After doing your research, set up interviews with multiple lawyers. This will give you a chance to discuss your personal injury accident with them and get to know their law firms. Be sure to bring a list of questions to the meeting so that you can make an informed decision.
Take your time and make the best decision for you and your case. There are many factors to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer, such as:
The lawyer’s experience is one of the most important factors to consider. Be sure to ask the lawyer how many cases they have handled that are similar to yours. You should also ask about their success rate and if they have ever taken a case to trial.
Although many car accident cases settle out of court, you want to be prepared if your case must be tried by a judge and jury.
Questions to Ask in the Interview
You want to know specifically how the lawyer will handle your case. When you set up your first consultation, here are some questions to ask.
- Currently, do you have the time to work on my case?
- How big is your firm?
- Who else will be fighting for my case if not you?
- Do you think it is likely that we will end up going to trial??
- What is your comfort level going to trial?
- Is there another approach to handling the case?
- If I file a claim, what will my role be?
- What are the contingency fees and expenses involved?
- Will I be responsible for any additional fees if we lose?
- What do you think the chances are that I will win my case?
What to Bring to the Consultation
Ask the lawyer what documents you need to bring to the consultation. Make copies of any documents they ask you to bring and keep for your personal file. This will help you keep track of everything and ensure that you do not forget anything. This may include:
- Your driver’s license
- Your insurance information
- The other driver’s insurance information
- The police report
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Your medical records
- Any witness information you have
Also, request that the lawyer provide you with copies of all documents pertinent to the case that comes up during trial or negotiations.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. The lawyer will take a percentage of the settlement, so it is important to ask about their fees before you hire them.
In a contingency payment agreement, it is important to work out the percentage that the lawyer will take as well as any additional expenses that you will be responsible for. The usual contingency fee is one-third of the total settlement, but it can range from 20% to 40%. https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/lawyers-fees.html
Make sure you are comfortable with the fee arrangement before you sign a contract. You should also ask about any additional fees that you may be responsible for if you lose your case.
Sliding Scale Fees
Some attorneys may be prepared to work on a sliding scale fee, which means they will charge you less if your earnings are low. This is something you can negotiate with the lawyer before you hire them.
If your case is expected to go to trial, some lawyers may charge an hourly rate. This is something you should ask about before you hire a lawyer. The average hourly rate for a personal injury lawyer is $250, but it can range from $100 to $500.
Ask for a Written Contract
Once you have decided to hire a lawyer, be sure to get a written contract. This will protect you and your rights. The contract should outline the lawyer’s fees and how they will be paid.
The contract should also state that the lawyer is working on a contingency basis, which means they will only get paid if you win your case. Make sure you understand everything in the contract before you sign it. If there is anything you do not understand, ask the lawyer to explain it to you.
Once you have read and understood the contract, you can sign it and get started on your case.
Next Steps on How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
You’ve probably found quite a few options when searching for a “personal injury lawyer near me” and wonder now how to narrow them down to the best personal injury lawyer.
Promenade Accident Attorneys offer a free case evaluation to help you determine if we are the right law firm for you. If you’re in Downey, CA, schedule a consultation today to protect your case and get the compensation awaiting you.