Before hiring a car accident attorney in Southwest Virginia, there are several questions you should be asking. Choosing a lawyer after a personal injury is a big deal, as the one you choose will be guiding you through the process for many months or even years to come. Do your research beforehand and ask the right questions to ensure you get the best match for you.
Here are eight key questions to ask before hiring a Roanoke auto accident attorney.
1. Have You Handled a Case Like Mine Before?
Many lawyers are the legal equivalent of general practitioners. They practice a variety of areas of law and are all over the map. You want a lawyer who is well-versed in one main area, with several different types of expertise under that umbrella. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you will want a lawyer skilled in personal injury law, not criminal, real estate or social security law. And furthermore, you will want a lawyer with vast expertise in car accidents, and specifically with your kind of unique situation and injury.
2. Will You be Accessible?
First off, ask if the lawyer you’re speaking to will be your main point of contact, or if you will be shifted to another attorney or team after the initial consult. Ask how accessible they will be, and how you can contact them with any questions or concerns. The top complaint attorneys get from clients is they are not accessible. Maybe they don’t return phone calls or emails promptly, or perhaps they “disappear” for months on end, leaving you wondering what’s happening with your case. Ask this question ahead of time so you know what to expect and whom to call.
3. Will I Have to Go to Trial?
No one can predict how a case will go. However, with that being said, most car accident cases do not go to trial. Most are instead settled out of court. Some do require litigation and trial, especially in tragic cases where the individuals involved suffered a catastrophic injury, or died as a result of the accident.
In this type of case, it will be vital to hire a Roanoke car accident law firm with litigation and trial experience.
4. Can You Provide References from Past Clients?
Don’t be afraid to ask about references. Like any other professional or product, you have to do your due diligence, and that includes considering “reviews.” Check the firm’s testimonial page, then do your own independent search for reviews of the company.
5. How Can I Ensure the Success of My Case?
There are many things you can do to strengthen your own case, and those steps can mean the difference of thousands of dollars in your pocket. Stay off social media and don’t talk about the case to anyone but your lawyer. Show up for all doctor appointments and take all medications required. Save receipts of everything, including prescriptions.
6. How Long Will My Case Take to be Resolved?
No attorney can predict with 100 percent certainty when the legal proceedings will be completed. You can ask for a ballpark idea though, but it will depend a lot on the insurance companies and opposing counsel, as well as the complexity of the case, witnesses involved and extent of your injuries. Some cases can take a few months; others a couple of years.
7. How Much Will This All Cost Up Front?
Most lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they will only collect a fee if and when you win or settle the case. This means most of the time, you do not have to pay anything out of pocket until then. When your fee is awarded, your auto accident lawyer in Southwest Virginia will take out his or her attorney fee from that award.
8. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Ask how many years the lawyer has been in business and serving the same area. Generally, the more years in practice, the better. Ask about their win/loss record as well. You should also ask about the types of cases they routinely handle on a daily basis, and what percentage of the practice is devoted to car accidents and personal injury cases.
Asking these questions and more will give you peace of mind and arm you with the information necessary to make an informed decision.
Contact Altizer Law, P.C.
If you have been in a car accident or have a personal injury claim and need legal advice, we welcome you to call us right away at 540-345-2000 for your free, no-obligation consultation. Feel free to ask questions and we will address your concerns. Rest assured, we work hard to ensure your rights are protected, backed by many years of experience in car wreck cases and personal injury law.