Hiring an auto accident lawyer, or any lawyer, for your case can be a stressful process. There is always pressure to hire the best one so you can get the most favorable result. That said, it is important to ask the right questions to assess whether the attorney you want to hire is the best suited and most qualified for your situation.
Here are important questions you should ask before hiring an auto accident attorney:
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
Before anything else, it is essential to know the background and experience of your potential attorney during the initial consultation. Get to know your possible attorney by asking questions regarding his educational background, the length of his practice in personal injury law and if he specializes in that field, and the average number of cases he handles per year. Ask what the results were for cases similar to yours, and what other cases he has dealt with in the past, and so on.
If the attorney is a member of bar associations or other organizations related to his profession, ask him that, too. This information will give you a an idea about his practice and professional career.
If you do not have the time to schedule a visit with lawyers in person, checking out their websites, like https://www.legacycaraccidentlawyers.com/, can also be helpful in assessing the lawyer you can potentially hire.
- What is your realistic assessment of my case?
During the initial consultation, it is essential that you can describe the circumstances of your case. To do that, try taking notes about what happened and how the accident unfolded. Bringing the police report and other relevant documents, even if auto accident attorneys in Los Angeles might not ask for them, supporting your story can also help you describe the accident more precisely.
After telling the attorney your case, ask for a realistic assessment and whether your case has merit. Ask for the attorney’s opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of your case and whether additional consultation with other professionals, like doctors, would be necessary to help strengthen your case. You should also ask whether mediation is appropriate, or if going to trial is a better option.
What is your approach in representing my case?
Legal philosophy and style in representing cases can be a deciding factor in whether your case will fail or succeed, and this will all depend on the personal injury attorney you choose to hire.
To know your potential attorney’s legal philosophy and style, you can directly ask him what his approach will be in your case. How will he handle it to ensure that winning or securing a suitable amount of settlement is possible?
You should also ask him how he handles clients with regards to decision making. Will he be consulting you and decide together, or will he make the decisions by himself?
- Will you personally handle my case?
Attorneys, especially if they are from big firms, often handle lots of cases. What usually happens is that a senior, more experienced attorney has a junior attorney that he works with. The junior attorney does the hard labor, and senior attorney supervises them.
Thus, when hiring an auto accident attorney in Los Angeles, you should be aware whether the person you are talking to will personally handle your case. You can also ask him if he will be the one who will appear with you in court or handle the negotiations. Who will update you on the progress of the case or who can you call to ask for updates?
- What will be the payment method?
Often, personal injury attorneys charge their clients through contingency fees. This means that a lawyer’s pay will depend on the amount of settlement you, the client, will get as they will ask for a percentage of that amount. However, it is always safer to be clear about money matters.
Ask your lawyer if they charge via contingency fee or an hourly fee. And if you lose and don’t get a settlement, will you still have to pay them? What other expenses should you, the client, expect to pay for?
It is crucial to be clear on the payment and money matters from the beginning. You would not want to win your case and end up broke because the attorney took all your money.
Your chosen lawyer will be your partner in pursuing the justice that you need for the auto accident in which you were involved. Therefore, it is imperative that he meets your standard and your requirements to handle your case. And to find out if the personal injury attorney meets your criteria, you have to ask the right questions.