What to Ask Your Car Accident Lawyer

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      Motor Vehicle Accidents

      What to Ask Your Car Accident Lawyer

      What to Ask Your Car Accident Lawyer

      Finding the right lawyer after a car accident can be tricky, but by asking the right questions during your consultation, you can make sure you choose a lawyer that is qualified to take your case.

      Below, you’ll find out what to ask your car accident lawyer before hiring them.

      General Questions

      When you visit a lawyer for your consultation, the process will often begin with the lawyer asking you a variety of questions. This is normal and helps them decide whether they will take your case.

      Below is a list of questions you should take with you to ask during your consultation:

      • What is your legal background and experience?
      • What is your legal philosophy and the philosophy of the firm?
      • Can you describe your process for managing cases?
      • Can you give me a legal assessment of your case?
      • What is your fee structure like? What expenses will I incur?

      If you ask these five questions, you will have a strong overall sense of whether the lawyer is a good fit; they are also a great place to start when you want to compare several lawyers.

      Make sure to pay attention to the lawyer’s tone as they answer the questions. If you don’t feel fully comfortable with a lawyer, trust your instincts and find someone else to consult with.

      Ask About Experience

      It’s essential that the lawyer you choose has the right education and experience for your case. Reviewing a lawyer’s website is a good place to start, but in addition to that, you should ask specific questions about their legal education and auto accident case expertise.

      Find out when the lawyer graduated, how their education prepared them for car accident cases, and what kinds of training they’ve had that is relevant to car accident cases. Also ask how many car accident cases they’ve handled and how many of these have gone to trial. Make sure to inquire about other cases the lawyer has handled that are similar to yours, as well as examples of cases with successful outcomes.

      Learn About Their Legal Philosophy

      Even when lawyers have similar educational backgrounds, their philosophies and how they handle a case can be extremely different. It’s crucial to find out about your lawyer’s preferred approach to cases so you know you’ll be comfortable with their style.

      Start by finding out what percentage of their total cases are car accident cases. Ideally, you want to look for someone who specializes in personal injury and car accident cases. Also ask about how they think it’s best to handle car accident cases, including when they think it’s appropriate to settle versus going to trial. Finally, ask about what they consider successful resolution.

      Inquire About Case Management

      Case management is how your case will be handled by your lawyer and the administration of the law firm.

      Make sure to find out whether the lawyer you speak to is the person who will handle your case, whether they will appear with you in court and negotiations, and how much your case will be supported by other lawyers or paralegals. This will give you a sense of how much support you will receive from one lawyer versus the team.

      You’ll also want to know how often you’ll be contacted about your case, what kinds of progress reporting will take place, and how much detail you’ll be provided with as your case moves along. Finally, ask how easy it will be to get in touch with your lawyer if you need to do so. Some people are comfortable working with legal teams, while others are more comfortable knowing they’ll receive individualized attention, so make the choice that feels like it will best meet your needs.

      Case Assessment

      During your initial consultation, your lawyer should be willing and able to honestly assess the pros and cons of your case and offer you insight into the probable outcome.

      To get a sense of your lawyer’s opinions, ask how likely your case is to be successful and whether a fair settlement seems likely, or if it seems more likely that you’ll need to go to trial to get the compensation you deserve. In addition, find out what kinds of damages you can seek and are most likely to receive.

      Also ask honest questions about the pros and cons of your case and things you should do or avoid doing to improve the likelihood of success. Knowing the time frame for your case is also important, so try to get a sense of how long the case will take to resolve and whether arbitration or mediation could speed up the process. Finally, find out about your lawyer’s thoughts about settling sooner for less versus later for more.

      Ask About Fees and Expenses

      Typically, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis where you only pay them fees if they win your case. Still, there are typically additional expenses you’ll have to pay for. Make sure to get the clarity you need about fees upfront so you won’t encounter any surprises later on.

      Find out whether the lawyer works on an hourly rate or on a contingency basis and whether the fees will be the same regardless of the settlement size. Also ask about what kinds of expenses you’ll have to pay, how much the expenses are likely to cost, when you will have to pay them, if they can be financed, and whether you can split expenses if the case isn’t successful.

      Remember that consultations are typically free, so you should take the time you need to find a lawyer that’s the right fit for you. If you’ve been in a car accident, book a free consultation with a car accident lawyer to understand your rights.

      Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.