Car accidents are a cost of motoring, but that doesn’t mean that the car’s owner is off the hook. In fact, to stay safe on the road and avoid legal troubles, it’s important to have a Racine based car accident lawyer by your side after being involved in a wreck.
But what should you look for when searching for a lawyer? What questions should you ask? How can you be sure that this person will represent your best interests? And what does their fee look like anyway? In this post, I’ll give you all of these answers and more.
1. Evaluate Experience
A lawyer’s experience matters because it will tell you how often your lawyer is likely to encounter the same problems as you. For example, attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases deal with car accidents and their aftermath much more frequently than those who deal with business or family law.
When it comes to car accidents specifically, lawyers should have at least a decade of experience under their belts and should concentrate much of their practice on this area of law. You can find out how often your lawyer appears in court for car accident cases by contacting the court clerk, and you can also ask your friends for their recommendations.
2. Research Their Performance
Every lawyer should be willing to provide you with a list of his or her past cases. Some may have a website devoted to their work or have been featured in local newspapers. Ideally, the lawyer you select will have represented people in a similar situation as yours and will be able to provide positive testimonials from those clients.
However, if no such information is available, it’s important that you ask your lawyer about other cases that he or she has been involved with. One way to find out more information is to read up on how other lawyers felt about the experience as well as read reviews from other customers online.
3. Ensure Accessibility and Reliability
You want to hire a lawyer who meets your schedule and is reliable, so it’s important that you ask about the availability of both. This is especially true if you are an out-of-state client with limited access to legal services.
Even if your lawyer is in your area, he or she may be unable to meet you when you need him or her due to work or family obligations. To find out when your lawyer will be available, contact them in advance and find out when they can meet with you. If it seems like you’re not getting the assistance that you need, consider looking for someone else who can help with your case.
4. Discuss Fee Structure
Your lawyer’s fee is probably the most important factor to consider when selecting a personal injury attorney. The fee you pay each month will go directly to cover your lawyer’s expenses as well as those of his or her staff. By requiring that you pay a set amount each month, the lawyer can then only work on your case if cases of higher value come along.
However, it’s also important to discuss the costs associated with a potential case with your attorney so he or she can put together an estimate of how much it would cost to take on your accident. Some lawyers have low fees but charge for everything from court fees and filing fees to more complex medical records and travel expenses. Others may charge a flat rate for their services and require you pay only if they win your case.
5. Use the Free Consultation to the Fullest
Once you’ve found a potential nearby car accident attorney, you’ll want to use this time to have a free consultation to see whether he or she is worth hiring. However, don’t look for the lawyer’s office in the same way you would a dentist or doctor’s office. Try to get in touch with someone who can help you with your legal matter over the phone or through email. In fact, I highly recommend that you avoid calling lawyers at their offices, especially if they’re based outside of your area. The last thing you want is for them to have an automatic connection with your case and be able to make a decision about it based on a conversation they’ve had in their office.
It’s important to choose a legal representative that can get the results you need. Don’t settle for low fees or a bad fit with your nearby car accident attorney, and always make sure that you meet your attorney in person before signing any contracts.