In Texas, there were 12,897 serious injury crashes in 2019. In fact, the statistics are startling when you realize 1 person experienced an auto accident injury every 2 minutes and 3 seconds. Texas reported 1 crash every 56 seconds.
If you were involved in one of those crashes, you already know the trauma associated with a car accident. Then there’s the aftermath of dealing with injuries and damages. Making it likely even worse is dealing with the assorted insurance companies involved following an accident.
If you’re feeling frustrated working through the aftermath of your accident, you might be ready to call a car accident attorney. But you already know, that can be overwhelming too. How do you find the best attorney? How do you find one who is experienced in handling car accidents? How do you know the attorney will be reputable?
Read on for a list of questions to ask your car accident attorney to make sure you get the right attorney for your case.
1. What Is Your Background?
There is enough stigma about attorneys for you to know that not all attorneys are the same. While they might all have attended law school, what they bring to the table will not be equal.
Before you sit down with your attorney the first time, spend some time on their website getting to know their background. Don’t hesitate to look around online and see if others have shared their experiences with this lawyer.
As you sit down with the attorney for the first time, ask them to tell you about their background and education. How long have they been practicing law? How long have they practiced personal injury or car accident cases?
Have them give you a verbal resume of sorts, it will give you a good feel for them as a person and as a lawyer too.
2. What Areas of Law Do You Specialize?
If you live in a more rural area, you might find that many lawyers are kind of jack of all trades with the law. They may practice family law, personal injury law and handle a whole range of types of cases. In more urban areas like Victoria, Texas, it’s likely an attorney will be more specialized.
You want to ask your lawyer what areas of the law they specialize in. You want to aim for finding a lawyer who specializes in injury law like car accidents, truck accidents or bike accidents. It’s likely that the more specialized they are, specific to car accidents, the more experience they will have with a case like yours.
3. What Is Your Assessment of My Case?
You want an attorney who will be straight with you about your case. It’s traumatic enough being involved in a car accident. But reliving it as you go through the legal process can also be daunting.
Your case can be as unique as others as car accidents are from one to another. Ask your attorney to talk you through what they think of your case.
They will want to consider all the entities involved including other drivers and the assorted insurance companies too. You should ask them to talk you through how they would expect your case to proceed if they were to handle it for you.
4. Will You Be the Attorney Who Handles My Case?
You not only want to talk with the attorney about how they see your case progressing, but also about who will be handling the particulars of your case.
Many large firms will use the name partners to bring in a case, then hand it off to an associate to take care of it. You want to know who will be the attorney working and negotiating on your behalf.
Remember, though, it can still be okay to have your attorney have some of their staff handle some tasks as they relate to your case. In the end, it can save you money too.
5. What Will You Expect From Me as My Case Progresses?
As already stated, no two cases are alike. Having said that, there is likely a timeline and a game plan for how to approach your case. Ask the attorney to talk you through what they anticipate the steps they would take in handling your case.
How long will investigating the case take? How will they approach the insurance companies that are involved? Do they often take cases like yours and end up settling out of court?
You should know the attorney doesn’t have a crystal ball and may not know much about your case, but they should be able to have enough experience to anticipate a timeline for your case.
6. Is It Likely My Case Will Go to Trial?
In many cases, car accident cases get settled before they go to trial. Having said that, you don’t want to hire a lawyer who has that as their only plan.
You should want to hire a lawyer who approaches your case like it will go to trial. You want an attorney who will gather evidence and work on your case like a trial is imminent. Then they are prepared when it happens.
You also want to hire an attorney who has trial experience so if the case proceeds to trial they are well prepared and have the necessary experience to get you the best results.
7. What Experiences Do You Have With Accident Cases Going to Trial?
This continues with an attorney’s trial experience. Of course, you want an attorney who has the know how to handle an accident case. You also want them to have the above mentioned trial experience.
Ask them to talk to you about some of the car accident cases they have taken to trial. As they talk you through some of these cases it will give you a good idea of what to expect from how they handle their trials and their clients going through a trial.
Asking this question also helps you as the client to be prepared for what going through a trial might be like for your case.
8. How Will You Communicate With Me About My Case?
While you might be anxious to move your case along quickly, the law doesn’t always work that way. You want to discuss with your attorney how often they will update you on the status of your case and who will provide those updates.
Some clients are comfortable having the attorney work through the logistics without needing to hear every detail. Others want more specific information on every step of the process.
You want to know how your lawyer will communicate updates on your case and how often you will get those from the attorney.
9. Can You Go Over Fees and Costs?
While this is one the last questions, it’s probably one of the most important for you as the client. You want to know how the attorney will charge you for their services.
Most car accident cases are taken on a contingency. This means you only pay the attorney if they are able to get money on your behalf. This means they are as invested in your case as you are. Often there is a predetermined percentage of the case compensation the attorney is paid, once you get it.
In some cases, as the client, even in a contingency case, you are responsible for some fees, often these are connected to court costs. You want to make sure your attorney is spelling out those fees in advance for you. The last thing you need on top of being in an auto accident is to have a hefty legal bill too.
10. What Makes Your Firm Different From Others Who Handle Car Accidents?
Just go to Google and type in: attorney near me. You will quickly see there are bunches of attorneys ready and willing to take your case. As was already mentioned, not all attorneys are the same, have equal qualifications or the same level of experience.
Ask your attorney to share with you how their law firm is different from others. What makes this firm unique? How will they approach your case in a way that makes them stand out from others?
Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable with both the law firm and the attorney who represents you. There might be a perfectly qualified attorney to handle your case who doesn’t mesh with you. This is an important relationship for you one and one that should make you feel at ease. Your attorney should instill confidence in you.
Know What to Ask Your Car Accident Attorney
Being involved in a car accident is traumatic and challenging. Navigating a recovery from the accident and then dealing with the insurance company can be overwhelming.
You want to hire a car accident attorney who will help you with the process and make your case their highest priority.
If you need help with your Victoria, Texas car accident case, we can help. We have the experience and knowledge to help guide your case to a successful outcome. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.