After you have been involved in a car accident, you may consider hiring an attorney to help you get compensation for property damage and injuries. Before you hire any attorney, there are some questions that you need answered. Here are the top 10 questions to ask any car accident attorney you are considering having represent you.
This is typically the most important question for anyone considering hiring an attorney. There is little argument that lawyers are expensive. The average citizen who lives paycheck to paycheck may find the thought of hiring an attorney overwhelming simply due to the perceived expense. Don’t be afraid to ask an attorney how you will be charged.
Our car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. That means that we only get paid if we win your case. Contingent lawyers take a percentage of your settlement. You may not want to give up a chunk of your compensation, but it can make a lawyer much more affordable.
Even if your lawyer is not asking for money up front, you may still be responsible for court fees and other costs associated with your case. Ask your attorney which fees you will be responsible for. This is important because you may be responsible for these costs even if you don’t win your case.
There are some lawyers who will fight a case no matter how likely they are to lose. There are other lawyers who will not take a case they don’t believe they can win. You want the second type of lawyer. Your car accident attorney should offer you a free consultation during which they will gather enough information to determine if you have a winnable case. If you do, they will advise you to move forward. If you don’t, they will tell you so.
In most instances of car accidents, the person you will sue is the other driver. That said, if the other driver didn’t have sufficient insurance, you may be looking for additional defendants. For example, if the person who caused your accident was performing a job for their employer, you may name the employer as a defendant. Your attorney should be able to clearly tell you who you will be naming in your lawsuit.
In nearly every state, there is a statute of limitations when it comes to filing a lawsuit. The statutes vary depending on the type of case, but you will have a maximum time limit in which you can file for compensation for your car accident. Ask your attorney what this statute of limitations is. You want to be sure that you file well within the time frame to be sure that your case is accepted by the court.
Depending on the details of your accident, you may be entitled to some types of compensation and not others. Million dollar settlements described in television commercials are extremely rare. Chances that you will receive enough money to retire and live comfortably are slim. Ask your attorney what types of compensation, or damages, you will be entitled to and how you will recover these damages should you win your case.
You not only have to pay close attention to the statute of limitations, but you may also need to take other steps to protect your rights. Find out from your attorney what the law requires. For example, in some areas you may be required to have a police report, and in other areas you must have filed notice with the DMV. Your attorney can tell you what the requirements are for your locality.
In many cases, you can expect the other party’s insurance company to offer you a settlement. They do this so that you do not take them or their client to court. Unfortunately, these initial offers are not always fair. Be sure to speak to your attorney about the benefits of suing and settling. You may be better off settling, and you may be better off suing. An experienced attorney can tell you the merits of both options and help you choose the one that is best for you.
Again, the insurance company is out to protect themselves. To do so, they will offer you a settlement to avoid going to court. In some cases, such as those where those was no injury and very little damage, the settlement offer is fair and will cover the cost of your repairs or replacement. In other instances, the settlement is a low-ball offer that is nothing close to what you deserve. Your attorney can tell you the pros and cons of accepting a settlement offer.
It could take several months for your case to see the inside of a courtroom, and it could take even longer for you to see the money from your award. You need to be aware of this so that you are prepared to handle any medical bills that come your way while you are waiting. If you need money immediately, accepting a settlement may be in your best interest. On the other hand, there are companies out there that will loan you the amount of your anticipated settlement if you have committed to going to court. Your attorney should be able to explain all of this to you in detail.
Hiring an attorney after a car accident in West Palm Beach is almost always in your best interest. Call our office today and let us provide you with a free case evaluation. We will advise you of your options and tell you if we believe that you have a case that will be successful. Browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can assist you or call now.