How Can I Afford a Car Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been in a car accident, and you are not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. However, avoid speaking to insurance companies about the accident before talking to a car accident attorney. This is because car insurance companies will often try to get you to agree to unfair terms. Even if they are honest, accepting their offers without involving a lawyer is almost always a bad idea. Still, accident attorneys are not exactly cheap. A quick look at a personal injury lawyer homepage reveals that most of them charge between $150 and $500 per hour.
Choose a Lawyer Who Will Work For You Without Charging Up-Front Fees
When you work with a lawyer who charges an hourly fee, the time they spend on your case is directly related to how much money you’ll have to pay them. For example, if the attorney wants to look over the details of your case, they will charge you for the time they spend on it. An attorney who charges a flat rate in advance avoids this conflict of interest by creating predictability whether the case is resolved quickly or not. If you are involved in an accident get help from covina ca accident attorney.
Under this contingency setup, the lawyer only gets paid if they win the case for you, so you don’t have to worry about paying them regardless of the outcome.
Choose a Lawyer Who Offers Free Consultation
Speaking to an attorney is the best way to find out what you should expect in your case. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations so you can learn more about the type of services they offer.
Many people are afraid to speak with lawyers because they don’t know what to expect, but this fear is unfounded. Your attorney is required to work with you in a way that respects your time and rights to earn their retainer.
Ask to See a Case Study With Before and After Judgment Details
You want to find an attorney who is more interested in the outcome of your case than in their own pockets.
An attorney who refuses to show you any past cases may be trying to hide something. However, there’s no way to know for sure if you’re looking at a good lawyer without doing a little research on your own. That’s why you need to speak with more than one lawyer when seeking representation.
Most personal injury attorneys will be happy to explain their case history and show you any past cases they’ve worked on. You can also ask for a copy of judgments they have won in the past. If it’s not written up in an easily understandable format, ask if you can speak with the attorney again or seek a second opinion.
Ask About Any Out-of-the-Court Settlements
You may reduce the amount of time your case takes if you settle the dispute out of court. Some personal injury attorneys will work with you on this, while others do not negotiate before a case goes to trial.
There’s a chance that you may get your medical bills or other damages reduced through negotiation, but it’s not always possible. Your attorney should be able to explain the possibilities of settling out of court and advise you on whether it’s a good idea or not.
Review Your Contingency Fee Agreement
Once you have done a little due diligence on your own, sit down with the attorney to review your agreement. And make sure it covers everything you are expected to do.
This is also the point where you review the percentage the lawyer will receive. Some attorneys ask for a percentage of total awards, others charge an hourly rate and get a percentage of the total settlement, and the rest charge a flat rate for the entire case.
However, if an attorney is asking for too high of a percentage, or they won’t quote one before you sign, that’s a good sign that they are not looking out for your best interest.
You should also make sure they agree not to charge you anything out of pocket for starting your case. This includes court filing fees and insurance adjustments.
Meet With Your Attorney Regularly
Once you’ve hired your attorney, set up a regular schedule for keeping in touch. Don’t wait until they contact you with how much work they’ve done or when they need your consent.
You should also attend any meetings with insurance companies or other attorneys involved in your case. You may not do much, but you can make sure that your side of the story is being told.
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