Car accidents are a scary, traumatic experience. Not only that, they can become a financial and emotional headache, an inconvenience that can last weeks, months, even years.
A great car accident attorney can help guide you through that battlefield. You’ll want to find someone you trust as soon as possible. Experts say it’s important to lawyer up before you even talk to any insurance companies.
If you’ve never worked with an attorney before, it’s natural to have some questions. You want to feel confident that you’ve picked the right person you can trust. But how can you know?
Read on to learn which questions you need to ask a Milwaukee car accident attorney.
1. How Do You Charge?
The norm for personal injury attorneys is to not charge up front. Instead, they charge on a “contingency basis.” This means that they will take a percentage from the settlement you receive.
What’s the difference between contingency vs. hourly fees? Paying on an hourly basis means you rack up a big bill a lot faster.
You’ll also want to know what court fees and miscellaneous costs you’ll be expected to pay. Ask now so you don’t end up surprised later.
2. Do You Specialize in Car Accident Cases?
Ask this even if the law firm says that they specialize in car accidents. Within a firm, some attorneys will have experience with car accidents, and others might be more versed in other personal injury suits.
You could also ask if they have experience with your type of car accident. For example, if you were struck by a commercial vehicle, company negligence could be at play.
For particularly difficult cases you want someone with that specific type of relevant experience.
3. How Long Do You Think This Case Will Take?
An attorney can’t know exactly how long your trial will take. You’ll at least want to hear a ballpark figure for your own peace of mind. You’ll also want to know how long it could take to get your settlement after it’s awarded. This is so you can plan how you’ll be paying mounting medical bills.
4. How Often Do You Go to Trial?
Insurance companies often want to settle out of court. That’s because if they go to trial, they often end up paying out a lot more. If your potential attorney rarely goes to court, it could be a sign that they want a quick, easy payday.
Of course, it might be in your best interest to settle, but that’s for you and your attorney to decide. It’s just good to know that your attorney will advise you without any ulterior motives.
5. Have You Been Disciplined by Any Ethics Committees?
The answer will probably be “never.” But you should still ask, just in case. It’s a legitimate concern, and a good attorney won’t be offended.
If they say they have, move on to another attorney or do some research on what happened. You want to be sure they can represent you effectively. And just as importantly, you want to know that your settlement money will be safe.
A Car Accident Attorney Should Be Open with You
If they seem annoyed or try to avoid your questions, think twice about hiring them. You have every right to make an informed decision before you hire an attorney.
Have you recently been in a car accident and need a lawyer? We specialize in these personal injury cases. Contact us today and we’d be happy to answer all of your questions.