If you’ve been injured in an accident, the last thing you want to worry about is how to find the best accident attorney near you.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available that can help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the best attorney to represent your interests in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything from understanding the law to locating your perfect attorney with ease.
- 1 How do I find an injury lawyer?
- 2 How much does it cost to hire an injury lawyer?
- 3 What should I expect from my lawyer?
- 4 How can I communicate with my lawyer?
- 5 What is a contingency fee?
- 6 How will my lawyer get paid?
- 7 Should I hire an attorney who handles personal injury cases exclusively?
- 8 Should I pay an hourly rate, retainer, or on contingency?
How do I find an injury lawyer?
|Guide to Finding the Best Accident Attorney Near You|
There are several ways that you can find an injury lawyer.
The first place you should look is on your local area’s Yellow Pages website.
After searching for accident attorney, you should see a long list of attorneys that specialize in these types of cases.
If you don’t see any listed on your website, type in personal injury attorney near me or something similar and search again.
In most areas, there will be at least one attorney who specializes in these types of cases.
Make sure to call each one and ask if they have experience with motorcycle accidents, car accidents, slip-and-fall injuries or other kinds of injuries.
They will usually be able to tell you right away whether they do.
Many attorneys will give free consultations over the phone as well so make sure to ask about those as well.
When speaking with them, try to get a feel for their personality and how knowledgeable they seem.
This will help you determine which ones are worth meeting in person.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to two or three attorneys, it’s time to meet them face-to-face.
This is when you want to bring along someone else like a friend or family member who knows what happened during your accident so that they can corroborate what happened when talking with your potential attorney.
How much does it cost to hire an injury lawyer?
The cost of hiring an accident attorney varies from state to state, but in general it ranges from $100-$400/hour.
If you’re looking for a specific attorney, such as one that specializes in motorcycle accidents or auto accidents, call around for free consultations; many law firms offer free consultations so you can get a feel for their experience and professionalism.
Also, keep in mind that some attorneys work on contingency: they don’t get paid unless they win your case.
This means that if you choose to go with a contingency-based lawyer, you may have to pay for all court costs out of pocket.
However, if you do decide to hire an accident attorney after getting a consultation, make sure he or she has at least 5 years of experience handling similar cases (and preferably more).
What should I expect from my lawyer?
If you’ve ever been in an accident that was not your fault, it’s tempting to handle it on your own.
But having a car accident attorney near you can help streamline the process of getting what you deserve and give you peace of mind that things are going as smoothly as possible.
These tips can help make finding a great attorney even easier.
The first step is knowing exactly what to expect from your lawyer so you can decide if they are right for you.
Here are some important questions to ask: How much will my case cost? What kind of experience do you have with my type of case? What happens if I don’t win? Can I get a free consultation? What happens after we file suit?
How can I communicate with my lawyer?
So, you’ve got a good-looking attorney on your side.
It’s time to get down to business, but how do you communicate with them? Here are some guidelines for what you should expect from your attorney and how you can make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Your lawyer will work closely with you throughout all stages of your case.
This means providing updates about your case, responding to any questions or concerns that you may have, and explaining any documents or legal jargon that may be difficult for non-lawyers to understand.
Your lawyer will also help educate you about what to expect in court so that when it comes time for trial or arbitration, you’ll know exactly what will happen next and when it will happen.
If you don’t feel like your lawyer is being transparent with you or if they aren’t answering any of your questions, then there might be a problem.
If you feel like things aren’t going well between yourself and your attorney, then it might be best to find another one who works better with clients.
What is a contingency fee?
Before hiring an accident attorney, it’s a good idea to understand how legal representation works.
Most attorneys offer contingency fees for personal injury cases, which means you only pay them if they win your case and collect money on your behalf.
If they don’t win, then you owe nothing beyond what you’ve already paid up front.
This way, you have no risk; if there is no case, you don’t pay anything.
But because contingency fee arrangements are not always available—and sometimes cost-prohibitive—some lawyers require clients to pay their fees up front.
Make sure you know what you’re getting into before signing any agreements with your lawyer.
Also make sure that your attorney has experience working with your type of accident.
For example, if you were in a car accident, be sure that you hire an auto accident attorney near me (see below).
Lastly, ask about any possible conflicts of interest.
Your lawyer should not be working for multiple parties in your case—or against you.
How will my lawyer get paid?
In most cases, an attorney works on a contingency fee basis.
This means that if you win your case, your lawyer will be paid for his services by taking a percentage of what you recover in damages.
An attorney’s standard fee is between one-third and one-half of any monetary award or settlement.
If there are no monetary awards or settlements, some attorneys may take their fees from other sources (for example, medical bills).
If you have concerns about how your attorney might get paid, discuss these with him/her before signing a contract.
Also, keep in mind that many personal injury attorneys work on a flat rate.
A flat rate means they charge a set amount per hour (or per job) rather than working on a contingency fee basis.
For more information regarding flat rates, talk to your local accident attorney near me!
What will happen after my case is settled?
There are two possibilities in any accident case: either your injuries will heal on their own or they won’t.
If you have sustained serious injuries, but are still able to continue working for a period of time, it is likely that your employer’s insurance company will offer an amount in settlement before you ever even meet with an attorney.
This is called a nuisance value settlement and is often less than what you would receive if you took your case to court.
Once you accept a nuisance value settlement, however, there are no further options; your claim cannot be taken to court because by accepting payment from your employer’s insurance company, it releases them from all liability.
It also prevents you from filing a lawsuit against anyone else who may have been at fault in causing your accident.
A good attorney can help protect your rights so that you don’t settle for too little money or release someone else from liability without understanding what you are giving up.
How can I be sure my lawyer has my best interests at heart?
The best way to ensure that you’ll get excellent representation is to make sure you hire a lawyer with a great reputation, deep knowledge of your area of law, and experience in handling cases like yours.
An attorney who works for a large firm has less flexibility and ability to deal with your case on a personal level than one who works at an independent firm or as part of a small team.
Make sure you speak with your prospective lawyers about their approach to client service and how they plan to communicate with you throughout your case.
Find out if they will meet with you in person when possible (rather than relying solely on email) and if they have time set aside each week specifically for meeting with clients.
If possible, ask friends or family members who have used attorneys in your area for recommendations—and be sure to check whether those attorneys are still practicing before scheduling consultations.
Above all else, trust your gut! If something doesn’t feel right during your initial consultation, move on.
Should I hire an attorney who handles personal injury cases exclusively?
If you’re in an accident, whether it’s a car wreck or another form of personal injury, your first call should be to your insurance company.
But if you need legal representation—say, because of a dispute with an insurance company or a third party—then hiring an attorney who specializes in personal injury can make sense.
Such attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of accident cases and typically offer free consultations.
Consult with several accident attorneys before making a decisiona.
Make sure you feel comfortable with them; after all, they will likely play a key role in resolving your case.
And make sure they have experience handling similar cases.
(If you were injured on someone else’s property, for example, find out if they have experience handling premises liability claims.)
Should I pay an hourly rate, retainer, or on contingency?
When you hire an attorney, you’ll likely face one of three fee arrangements: A contingent fee arrangement, an hourly rate or a retainer.
Contingent fees are typical in personal injury cases.
An hourly rate is often used for complex business litigation where there is no guarantee that money will be awarded if your case ends up in court.
Retainers usually apply when you need ongoing legal services such as real estate transactions and tax advice.
The best option for you depends on your financial situation and what type of case you have.
It’s important to remember that some attorneys offer discounts for paying upfront or by cash, so don’t rule out an attorney because they charge more than others.
Make sure you get answers to all of your questions before signing any contracts with an attorney.