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If you were in a car accident in Alabama, you should immediately schedule a consultation with an experienced injury lawyer. A car accident can be a very traumatic experience, causing physical and emotional damages, and you may deserve compensation for your losses.
Choosing the right lawyer is a crucial step and can help decide whether you win or lose the case. However, finding the right lawyer may seem daunting. There are over 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, according to the American Bar Association!
Instead of calling the first lawyer you find on Google, we suggest you take a more careful approach. We’ve broken down the most important questions to ask a car accident lawyer so that you can make the best decision for your case. These questions will help you find a lawyer that fits your situation and needs.
While you may think that all personal injury claims are the same, you’re incorrect. Every car accident is different, and you need a lawyer who can properly investigate your claim, negotiate with the insurance company, and present your case to a judge and jury.
For example, if you have a truck accident case, you’ll want a lawyer who understands the complexities of these cases. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ve built a reputation as Alabama’s “Big Truck Firm.” We know how both state and federal laws can impact your claim, can move quickly to preserve important logbooks and black boxes, and are ready to go toe-to-toe with the trucking company’s insurer. If you pick a law firm with less experience, they can easily miss important details.
Some questions to ask a car accident lawyer to get a better understanding of their legal experience include:
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you’re relying on them for many things:
These tasks require specific knowledge about Alabama’s laws, medicine, the insurance company’s tactics, the judge’s personality, and other issues.
If your car accident lawyer has handled similar cases to yours in the past, they’re better equipped to handle yours. For example, suppose you suffered a serious back injury during a car wreck. The insurance company sends you to a medical examination with one of their company doctors. If your lawyer is familiar with the company doctor’s approach, they can help you prepare for the exam. And when it’s time to take the doctor’s sworn testimony (sometimes called a deposition), your lawyer’s knowledge of orthopedic medicine and the back’s anatomy can help you fight back.
This is important right off the bat. You want to be sure that the person at your initial consultation will be the actual attorney that will be handling your case. After all, this is someone with whom you are trusting your livelihood and your ability to get your life back under control. It’s someone with whom you’ll likely have a relationship that will last a long time.
You don’t want to be talking to a different person every single time you contact your attorney. If you pick an attorney based on how you get along with them, only to find out that you’ll be working with someone else, it can feel like a breach of trust.
Communication is everything when it comes to a personal injury claim. The right attorney will be available whenever you need to talk. They’ll be compassionate and understanding about your case and what you’re going through, and they will commit to regular and clear communications. Transparency means a lot. You want to know what steps your attorney is taking at all times, and why.
It’s all right for your attorney to work with others—in fact, almost every attorney has a team. However, you need the peace of mind to know that when you need to speak with your attorney, you will be available to do so, or they’ll get back to you promptly.
You want to understand if your communication will be limited to only emails, or if you can call in and ask for updates. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we build close relationships with our clients and treat them like family. You’ll work with a close-knit team of professionals, including your injury attorney. We’re also happy to talk to you by phone, email, video chat, or even text.
Sometimes, insurance adjusters will encourage you to settle your case without a lawyer, arguing that legal services are too expensive and a waste of money. However, most injury attorneys charge contingency fees. With a contingency fee, you’ll pay the lawyer a percentage of your settlement or jury award if you get compensation. If you get nothing, the lawyer doesn’t get paid either.
However, make sure you understand the lawyer’s fee structure. There are two essential questions:
Case costs are expenses associated with your case, like filing fees, expert witness fees, and charges for your medical records. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we advance these costs for our clients; you’ll only have to pay your case costs if you get a settlement or a jury award.
We touched on this earlier; a busy caseload can mean less time and attention to your lawsuit. However, a lawyer with no cases at all could be a sign of a poor reputation. You want to find a delicate balance that you’re comfortable with. Ideally, you want a lawyer that is busy enough to be in-demand, but not so busy that your case will be given minimal attention.
You would ask for references when hiring many types of professionals, so why not ask your lawyer? A great lawyer will be more than happy to provide recommendations from past clients. These reviews and testimonials can tell you how communicative the attorney was throughout the case, if the client felt pushed to settle, and if they thought they got the best outcome.
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we proudly share our clients’ success stories, testimonials, and reviews on our website. You can also read reviews from satisfied clients on our social media profiles, like Facebook and Google My Business.
While a lawyer’s credentials and experience are important, you also need to get their opinion about your car accident claims. Take advantage of your free consultation and ask a lot of questions about your case and their strategies.
First, start with the details of your case. Ask them about your claim’s strength and if they see any glaring issues that may make it more challenging to win. A great lawyer will be honest and insightful when answering these questions.
Next, ask the car accident lawyer about their approach to litigation. Are they ready and willing to take a case to trial? Do they have any sense of how much your case is worth? Admittedly, it can be hard to answer some of these questions early on, but a lawyer’s answers can help you gauge their interest in your case and their willingness to fight for you.
Hiring the right car accident lawyer is incredibly important. You have taken the time to research questions to ask a car accident lawyer because you understand the gravity of this decision. Throughout your case, you may be spending a lot of time communicating with the lawyer, so it needs to be someone you feel comfortable with. If you feel uncomfortable with a lawyer or don’t feel like your personalities mesh well, it’s probably not the right fit.
If you’re ready to talk to an experienced, respected injury lawyer who will go the extra mile for you, call Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys. We’ve helped thousands of people get the help and compensation they deserve. We offer free consultations throughout Alabama, either in-person, by video, or over the phone.
ABA national lawyer population survey, 2019. American Bar Association. Retrieved from https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/market_research/national-lawyer-population-by-state-2019.pdf
Our Promise to Our Clients: You Won’t Pay a Dime Until We Win
That is why our team supports its clients at every step of the way. We handle almost every detail of your legal claims and make sure you have the information you need to make the best choice for your family and your future.