The United States Department of Transportation reports many car accidents every year with a significant number of injuries and fatalities in each State. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, about 395,785 cases of car crashes occurred in 2016. The statistics are alarming, considering the number of injuries.
Due to the high number of car accidents and injuries, the State of Florida is keen on prosecuting these cases. Therefore, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced and competent car accident attorney in Florida.
An attorney with vast legal background concerning car accident will help you get the legal help you need. But how do you find the right attorney to handle your case? Also, how do you make certain your case is worth pursuing?
It’s important to ask these questions before hiring a car accident lawyer. Keep reading for seven key questions to ask before hiring a car accident lawyer.
- Should You Pursue The Case?
One of the main reasons for pursuing a car accident case is to get compensation for your injuries and damages. But in some instances, you may not have a good case for compensation. For example, in Florida, you can’t be compensated if you share in the responsibility for causing the accident.
A trustworthy lawyer should be able to advise on the merits of your case, and he should do that free of charge. He will review your case, weigh options, and give you proper guidance. Less competent lawyers may push you to pursue the case in courts just to ensure they get their payment.
- How Long Has the Attorney Practiced Personal Injury in Your State?
Laws covering personal injuries are very complex because they also cover other types of injuries which may be either intentional or unintentional. The laws not only cover auto accidents but also medical negligence, slip and fall, product liability, and medical malpractice.
Furthermore, these laws vary from state to state, meaning lawyers can only handle accident cases which occur within the states where they operate. That’s why you need to hire a car accident lawyer who operates in your state if that’s where the accident occurred.
The lawyer should also have a long history of practicing in your state. That way, he will be able to navigate through the complex personal injury laws of your state to ensure you get favorable results.
- Does the Attorney Specialize in Car Accidents?
Not all attorneys can handle car accident cases, some specialize in other branches of law. So before you hire an attorney, try to find out about their background in car accidents.
When you are dealing with a law firm, ensure the attorney assigned to you has significant experience in handling personal injury cases, particularly those that arise from car accidents.
- What Kind of Damages Can You Claim?
They are many damages that result from car accidents and you should be compensated for all of them. These damages include lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, property damage, etc. There are also non-tangible losses such as emotional distress, physical impairment, pain and suffering, and more.
A good attorney should be able to ensure you get maximum compensation. He should have the capacity to investigate your case and get all the details including how the accident has impacted your life.
He should then come up with a strategy to pursue your case in a manner that addresses all your damages.
- How Are the Attorney’s Fees Structured?
Car accident lawyer fees are structured differently with some lawyers charging hourly rates while others charge a flat fee. Still, others will take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you’ll only pay them when the ruling is in your favor.
For a car accident case, it is good to go for the contingency fee payment method as this is the best way to ensure your attorney does his best. It also means you’ll be able to defer your payment until you get compensated.
Since the attorney will only get paid after you are compensated, he will have a strong incentive to get a ruling that favors you. He will also work extra hard for you to get maximum compensation so he can also get more.
However, you should note that even if your attorney takes cases on a contingency basis, you’ll still be required to pay additional fees for things like record requests, filings, court costs, and other expenses associated with your case. So before you hire a lawyer, ask about these fees and how they will be handled.
- How Many Similar Cases Has the Attorney Handled in the Past?
This question is especially important if you’ve been involved in a rare accident such as when you were driving someone else’s car. Another rare case is when the driver who’s at fault was driving a business vehicle but not for the business purpose. Traffic accident lawyers who have never handled such cases may not be in a position to help you much.
That’s why the lawyer you hire should assure you that he has handled cases similar to yours and with good results. If the lawyer doesn’t sound or look confident, you should move on to the next law firm.
- How Long Will It Take for Your Car Accident Case to Achieve the Best Resolution?
Unfortunately, some cases drag for years making them unnecessary to pursue especially if the compensation value is not substantial. An insurance company can also offer you some sort of financial settlement to prevent the court case.
A good attorney should review your case plus all the available options including the out-of-court settlement and the duration the court case might take. With all that information, the attorney should guide you on the best course of action – whether to accept the insurance company’s offer or move to court.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Who Has Your Interest at Heart
No amount of money can compensate for all the damages you’ve suffered as a result of a car accident. Compensations are just meant to make things a little bearable. Accident injuries can have permanent or long-term effects on your life.
That’s why you need an attorney that has your interest at heart – an attorney that empathizes and feels your pain and suffering. If you need highly qualified car accident lawyers who have clients’ interest at heart, you can contact us.