Have you been involved in an automobile accident? Do you believe that you're due compensation for the accident, but neither your insurance company nor the other party's insurance company want to compensate you for your loss? Unfortunately, you may need to take either or both insurance companies to court in order to get a fair settlement. In order to help you find a lawyer who will best handle your case, here are some questions to ask before hiring any attorney:
What is your success rate with this type of case? Each accident case will be slightly different, potentially involving different statutes and laws. One lawyer might be exceptional with cases that involve the other party running a red light, while a different lawyer might have better success with cases involving a rear-end accident. Knowing which cases an attorney usually takes on and wins can help you to decide which one might be best for your particular circumstances.
Is any money due up front? An accident lawyer will often work on a contingency fee basis. That is, you will pay them a percentage of whatever money you get in a court settlement. However, some attorneys may want you to pay a nominal fee in order to accept your case. This money will go towards filing the various court documents that are relevant to your case. If you are unable to pay this fee because you've been out of work since the accident, the lawyer may be willing to take a slightly higher percentage of your eventual settlement.
Is there any way to avoid paying court document fees? If your accident lawyer insists that you will take care of all court costs, you still might not have to pay them in their entirety. Most courts will waive or significantly lower court fees for people with low income or who are out of work. Your attorney should be able to help guide you through filing the paperwork necessary to get your court fees reduced or eliminated.
How long is left to file a court case? As soon as an accident happens, the clock starts ticking. Depending on what state you live in, you only have a certain amount of time before the statute of limitations for filing a case runs out. While you'll want to file a lawsuit as soon as possible, you also want to be able to collect as many supporting documents as you can. Your accident lawyer will be able to tell you whether you only have months left or if you have years to bring the case to court.