You will need to hire the services of an accident lawyer should you suffer an injury or harm as the result of an accident that was not your fault. Many people feel that they can handle a claim for injuries sustained through an accident themselves, but in most instances hiring a lawyer is the only way to ensure your legal rights are protected and more importantly, you get the compensation you deserve.
If you are looking to hire an accident or personal injury lawyer it is important not to hire the first one you come across. Finding the right lawyer for you relies on doing some research and asking the right questions, the answers to which will help you to make your final decision.
The following questions are all things you need to ask any lawyer before you proceed any further:
- Is there a fee for the initial consultation? Most lawyers will not charge a fee for the initial meeting, which can take place either at home, at their offices or some other place of your choosing. You may wish to avoid those firms that do charge for an initial consultation.
- What is their experience? The experience of your accident lawyer will be paramount when it comes to making a successful claim. Personal injury compensation is a lucrative area and many lawyers will take on claims even though they have little experience of dealing with insurance companies and accident claims. It is important therefore that you ask how many years they have been practising and how much experience they have of accident and personal injury claims.
- Are they trustworthy, responsible and reliable? This is perhaps not a question you should ask them but one which you should ask yourself and answer through your own observations. Do you feel comfortable in their presence? Ask for previous client testimonials or references to see what they thought of the service they received.
- Will they be the one handling your case? Some law firms will send assistants or juniors to the initial consultation but they will not actually be handling the case directly. Do ask who will actually be working on your claim and if you can meet with them too.
- What are they fees? For many this is the crucial question as the cost of hiring an accident lawyer may negate the amount of compensation you could expect to receive. Most lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis meaning you will not have to pay them unless they win the case, although you should ask about other fees such as admin charges and court fees.
- How long will your claim take? With personal injury claims it can be difficult to put a deadline on the process as there is often much communication going on between all parties involved. The time it will take to complete your claim will depend upon the nature of your injuries, how they occurred and when the accident happened.
The answers to all these questions will have a bearing on the you choose to hire. Although personal recommendations from friends or family will give you confidence that a certain lawyer is worth hiring, you should take some time to meet with them first and decide for yourself if they are the one for you.
Georgina C Clatworthy is a freelance writer writing extensively on personal injury and accident claims.
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