Six Questions You Should Ask Before You Hire a Bike Accident Lawyer
There are multiple steps you should take after suffering an injury in a bicycle accident. One of the most important is to hire a lawyer. However, most people don’t understand how critical it is to hire the right one. It’s not as simple as conducting an internet search and selecting the first lawyer that pops up in the results. You should ensure they have the necessary experience and qualifications to handle your case.
Below are six questions you should ask a lawyer before hiring them to represent you in your bike accident case.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
It’s a good idea to hire someone with significant experience handling cases like yours. You wouldn’t want an estate planning lawyer to represent you in a bicycle accident claim. Ask them about the types of cases they specialize in and how many years they’ve been practicing. You should gain a thorough understanding of their knowledge and skills.
You’ll also want to ensure they know how to navigate insurance claims and lawsuits. Many lawyers don’t have trial experience. Unfortunately, not all insurance claims resolve with a settlement. Sometimes, it’s necessary to file a lawsuit and take the insurance company to court. If the lawyer you end up hiring has never set foot inside a courtroom, you’ll be at a disadvantage.
How Successful Have You Been in Cases Like This?
An attorney can have decades of experience but many more losses than wins. Just because they have been practicing personal injury law for the last fifty years doesn’t necessarily mean they have the ability to achieve your desired outcome.
It’s crucial to pick a lawyer with a proven track record of success. That means you might have to do your research. You could ask the person you’re meeting with if there’s a link to prior case results on their website. Many law firms include a section like this on their homepage to show the types of cases they have handled in the past and the settlement or jury verdicts they achieved.
Review these sites and focus on the cases involving bike accidents. You could also search online for client reviews or speak to people who had positive experiences with the attorney you’re considering.
How Often Do You Communicate with Your Clients?
Communication is essential after an accident. You want someone you can depend on to answer your calls or respond to emails. Ask the lawyer if they provide frequent updates so their clients know what’s happening with their cases. Ask if they have paralegals or other attorneys working with them who could offer assistance if your attorney is unavailable.
You can also gauge a person’s communication skills during your initial meeting with them. Pay attention to body language and whether the conversation flows easily. If you leave the office with more questions than answers, it’s likely because they’re not good at communication. You can probably count on receiving the same level of communication during your ongoing case. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney who will keep you regularly updated and informed on the status of your case.
How Much Are Your Legal Fees?
You likely already face a mountain of medical bills and other expenses from the bike accident. The last thing you want to deal with is additional costs for an attorney to represent you in your case.
The good news is that most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t have to pay upfront for legal representation. If they successfully recover compensation for you through an insurance claim or lawsuit, they will take a percentage of the total amount for their legal fees. This helps to reduce the financial burden you are already dealing with due to medical expenses, lost income, and other financial losses related to the accident.
However, you shouldn’t assume the lawyer works on contingency even if their website says they do. Ask them directly whether they will take a bike accident case on contingency and review the contract carefully before retaining their services.
You should also discuss case-related costs. There are times when they will need to charge certain expenses to the case. For example, it costs money to request copies of medical records from doctors. Instead of billing you for this, they will likely deduct it from any compensation you receive at the end of the case.
Will You Handle My Case?
Some law firms have dozens or even hundreds of attorneys. They might also have paralegals, case managers, support staff, and other employees working on different cases. Ask the lawyer you’re meeting with if they will handle your case personally. Sometimes, a well-known and reputable attorney will hand their case off to someone else without notifying the client.
There are situations where multiple attorneys and staff will tackle your case as a team. This can prevent critical aspects of your case from falling through the cracks. However, it can also become more difficult for you to get answers to your questions when different attorneys are handling various facets of your case.
How Long Do You Think My Case Will Take?
If you provide the attorney with the necessary information regarding the accident you were in, they should be able to estimate how long it might take to resolve your case. But it’s important to remember that every case is unique, and the time it takes to resolve your case will depend on various factors.
Your attorney can’t guarantee a specific outcome, but they should explain how they will handle the process. You should leave your consultation with a solid understanding of the steps involved and how long each one will take to complete. The attorney should also discuss the typical duration of insurance claims and lawsuits. An accident case could settle in just a couple of months or take years to litigate in court. It depends on the circumstances of the accident and multiple contributing factors.
Injured in a Bike Accident? Contact Willie D. Powells III Today
At the Law Office of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC, our legal team will advocate for your rights and fight hard for the full compensation you deserve. You can depend on us to prioritize your case while providing the services and guidance you need to navigate the complex legal process.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Houston, do not hesitate to contact Willie D. Powells III for a free consultation.