If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Aside from seeking appropriate medical care, hiring an attorney is one of the most important things that you can do. So, what do you need to know when looking for a personal injury lawyer?
First things first:
“Personal injury” is a term used for a variety of case types. For example, some personal injury lawyers focus on a specific type of case – e.g., medical malpractice, auto accident, or nursing home abuse. Other personal injury lawyers work on several different types of cases.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you should consider choosing an attorney who focuses on auto accident cases.
Think about it this way:
If you wanted to be evaluated or treated for a heart issue, you would (hopefully) want to see a cardiologist and not a general practice doctor. The same is true when choosing an attorney.
That leads us right into 7 things that you should consider when hiring an auto accident attorney. Keep in mind that this list, in no way, is exhaustive of the items you should consider; however, this is a good starting point.
(1) Ask your prospective attorney about the scope of his or her work.
Does he/she have experience in auto accident injury cases? Does he/she focus solely on auto accident cases, or several personal injury case types? What percentage of the attorney’s auto accident cases have been successfully resolved?
(2) You should expect a complimentary consultation with the attorney to discuss the details of the accident.
Albuquerque is lucky to have several qualified personal injury attorneys. Most reputable personal injury lawyers will offer a free and non-obligatory consultation.
(3) Is it in your best interest to hire an attorney?
After consulting with you and understanding the basics of what happened, a knowledgeable car accident lawyer should be able to let you know whether it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. Depending on what happened, you may be able to successfully resolve your claim on your own, without being subject to attorney’s fees. However – if you or your passengers were injured in an accident caused by someone else, it is likely in your best interest to have legal representation. Check out our article that lays out when you should hire a car accident injury lawyer for more information on this point.
(4) Most reputable auto accident attorneys will not be paid unless they win your case.
Once monetary compensation is recovered for you, the attorney is then paid a percentage of the amount. This is called a contingency fee. During your initial consultation, be sure to ask the attorney about the details of his or her fee structure, which should also be presented in writing. The attorney’s fee depends upon each firm, though typically ranges between 33%-40% and may be a graduated fee schedule. At Baskerville Law, we’re proud to offer high-quality legal representation at a discounted fee – and we only get paid if you get paid.
(5) Take a look at professional memberships, awards, experience, and reviews.
When researching an attorney, look for reviews that are clearly from clients. You’ll want to get a good sense of how the attorney works with his or her clients. Is the attorney accessible? Is there evidence of good relationships with prior clients? Would prior clients recommend the attorney to friends and family? These are just some of the things to look out for and consider. (See all client reviews submitted to Baskerville Law LLC on our Client Reviews page.)
(6) Be sure that you’re clear about what your next steps will be.
While auto accident cases can be very complex, you should have a good understanding of what the next steps are and how the overarching process will work. If you have questions, ask them! If you don’t quite understand something, ask for clarification. Don’t leave things “clear as mud.”
(7) Ask who will be working on your case.
This one might seem strange to someone who is seeking an auto accident attorney. After all, won’t the attorney who you researched and called be the one who is working on your case? Not necessarily. Some attorney firms may have one lawyer perform the initial consultation and, afterward, the information is passed on to another attorney who will actually work on the case. Or, you might meet with an “intake specialist” or paralegal instead of an attorney at first. Make sure that you know who will be working on your case, so that you know who to contact with questions. If the attorney working on your case is not the person that you meet with, request to meet them if it would make you feel more comfortable. In light of tip #5 on this list, you might also want to perform a little research on the attorney and see if any reviews are available.
At Baskerville Law LLC, you’ll always meet with our owner attorney, Rob Baskerville, and Rob will always be the attorney working on your case.
Auto Accident Attorney in Albuquerque NM
Baskerville Law LLC is a car accident law firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rob Baskerville – our auto accident attorney and founder – is honored to help individuals who have been injured in accidents caused by the carelessness of someone else.
Call us at 505-247-2774 to schedule your complimentary, no-strings-attached consultation. You can also fill out the contact form below and we’ll contact you at a time that works well for you.
If you’re unable to come into our office for any reason, our auto accident lawyer can come to you! That is just one of the many ways that we try to make the process as easy as possible for our valued clients.