After an accident, you are likely to receive a lot of advice. One of the most important tips is to find a good Arizona lawyer. If you suffered injuries due to someone else’s neglect, you may have a case worth fighting. Your settlement could make the difference between being able to take care of yourself and pay your medical bills or failing to do so. When compensation is essential, it makes sense that you need an experienced lawyer to help.
How do you know you have a quality lawyer on call? Before you hire a Phoenix personal injury attorney, you have every right to put him or her through a vetting process.
How Should You Choose an Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer?
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, you need to find the best possible match. Every accident has different circumstances, and you cannot always know which lawyer will be best for your specific case until you do a little extra legwork on the subject.
Most lawyers have reviews and testimonials posted online. If you’re unsure about the trustworthiness of an attorney, reviews from real people can help you determine it for yourself. People post reviews to either help others find the best possible Arizona lawyer or warn people away from those who may not have a lot of experience or made mistakes during their case. As a potential client, you may trust other past or current clients more than you would trust the word straight from the lawyer’s mouth. After all, other clients do not have a service to sell you.
In addition, ask your potential lawyer for referrals. Some may have a list of phone numbers or e-mail addresses that you can reach out to. These are typically former clients that can talk to you about the benefits of hiring a specific lawyer on his or her behalf.
Look into the attorney’s experience. If you were in an accident, you should hire a lawyer experienced with accidents rather than a general attorney who may not have dealt with many personal injury or accident cases. Those who have experience should have a clearer understanding of the laws that apply to your case. Likewise, the more experience a lawyer has, the more likely he or she is to have access to various resources, such as medical professionals, to build your case.
In addition to general experience, don’t be afraid to ask about success rates. Attorneys should have more than just experience taking on cases. They should also have a history of winning cases or settling in their clients’ favor. Look for a lawyer who has successfully negotiated or litigated a case similar to yours.
While you should do your due diligence before the initial consultation, you should continue to vet your attorney when you meet for the first time. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as possible. You need to feel comfortable with the lawyer, and the only way to ensure that you’re making the right choice is to ask questions about your prospective attorney and how he or she will handle your case.
When Should You Ask Your Potential Lawyer Questions?
Prepare to ask your lawyer questions during your first consultation. Typically, the initial consultation is free and is the first time you sit down and have an honest conversation with a potential attorney. You decide, following the consultation, whether you want to hire the firm or move on to other options.
Draft questions that you have before the consultation. It is easy to forget essential points during the conversation. Bring your questions with you and feel free to take notes during the meeting. The lawyer may answer some of your questions before you ask them, and some of his or her answers may lead to other questions.
Following the consultation, go over your notes and think about your decision. If you interview other lawyers, keep the notes together so you can compare your choices. If you come up with additional questions following the consultation, call the office. Most law firms will be willing to answer whatever questions you have before becoming a client.
Arizona Lawyer FAQ: Your Questions Answered
Hiring an Arizona lawyer after an accident is a significant decision. Your lawyer should be someone whom you can trust, get along with and can see yourself communicating with in the future. If you do not feel comfortable asking questions, you may want to move on to someone else. After all, you will probably have more questions as time goes on. The legal process is complex and you deserve to feel comfortable with the person fighting for your compensation.
If you’re still on the fence about whether a personal injury lawyer is right for you, here are some of the most common questions and their answers to help you determine if hiring a lawyer is in your best interests.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
The average cost of a disabling accident is about $101,000. Following an accident, you may be saddled with medical bills, lost wages and other expenses that won’t stop stacking up. It’s important to take a step back to consider what you can afford. If your injuries were caused by another person’s negligence, then you don’t deserve to carry the burden of the costs on your own. You are entitled to compensation.
Many clients hesitate before hiring a personal injury lawyer. They understand that they deserve compensation but still aren’t sure that an Arizona lawyer is worth the cost.
Lawyers have various fee structures. An attorney may charge based on competition in the area, the overhead cost of your case or the value of your case. For example, if you work with an attorney who has a lot of experience and has high ratings, he or she may charge more for services.
There are a couple of different ways law firms may charge you. In personal injury cases, contingency fees are the most common. At Sargon Law Group, we utilize contingency fees in our billing structure. The attorney does not bill you until after the settlement when working for a contingency. Instead of paying by the hour, you pay out of your settlement. Contingency fees may range between 25% and 40%. We don’t receive any fees if you do not receive a payout; you do not pay us anything unless there is a recovery.
Some lawyers may charge by the hour or a fixed fee or retainer. For example, some firms might charge a pre-determined upfront fee, whereas others may charge a retainer fee and combine it with an hourly fee.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
It’s normal to be hesitant about approaching a personal injury lawyer if you’ve never dealt with one before. However, there are a number of advantages when you take the time to talk with an attorney about your case. While it is legal to represent yourself, you are more likely to receive a fair settlement if you have legal representation.
Personal injury law is complex. To be awarded compensation, you have to prove the other party was negligent. Liability may not always be clear and sometimes, the other party may try to argue that he or she did not have liability in your case. An Arizona lawyer understands how liability works.
Unless you are in the legal field, you may not know your way around the law. Between the fallout from the accident and your personal life, you might not have time to do extra research on injury law. Instead, when you hire a lawyer, you can relax and rely on his or her knowledge.
Insurance adjusters are not easy to work with. Generally, they are more interested in making a profit than helping accident victims. Many will try to offer you less money than what your case is worth. Some might even offer you nothing without an attorney arguing for your side.
Lawyers have experience with negotiation. Not only are they skilled in persuasion, but they know the law and can use it to your advantage in discussions with the insurance company.
Most insurance companies have more legal knowledge than their clients and have teams of legal professionals on their side. They know how to give a low offer without any repercussions. Your lawyer, on the other hand, can spot a low offer and will level the playing field. Once an insurance adjuster knows you have a lawyer, the company may offer a higher settlement.
Attorneys navigate courtrooms regularly. They understand the ins and outs of legal proceedings, including courtroom decorum. A lawyer in your area may also be familiar with other attorneys and the judge who may oversee your case.
If you have to go to court, your lawyer can prepare you for your day before a judge or jury. He or she can discuss the types of questions you should expect to answer and what to expect of your time in court.
Can an Arizona Lawyer Keep You Out of Court?
Most Arizona accident cases settle out of court. It costs more money for you and the other party to go to trial, so insurance companies often are willing to settle first.
When working with a lawyer, he or she cannot guarantee that you will not go to trial. Most will do what they can to help you obtain a settlement without going to court. However, if an insurance company only offers low settlements or refuses to settle, you may have to go to court to fight for fair compensation.
What Is the Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The role of your injury lawyer is to be your advocate. He or she represents you in the fight for compensation after an accident. There are various roles your attorney will fulfill while working for you in the battle against a negligent party.
Collection of Evidence
When you call an Arizona lawyer, he or she can help collect evidence that you may not have. For instance, he or she can retrieve police reports, talk to witnesses, and even gather photographic evidence of the accident scene. Personal injury lawyers have access to experts and other resources to help build your case.
Presentation of Facts
You know the facts of your case, but unless you are a lawyer, you may not know how to present these facts convincingly to the insurance adjuster or in front of a judge or jury. After a car accident, you have to prove that the other driver is responsible for your injuries. Your Phoenix car accident lawyer will take the evidence, organize it, and present it to show a clear connection between the accident and your injuries.
Organization of Deadlines
Following an accident, there are various deadlines you have to meet. The first major deadline is to file your claim within the specified statute of limitations. There are deadlines for filing paperwork, including court dates and other meetings. It can be challenging to keep track of every appointment you have with your other obligations.
Why Should You Choose a Local Attorney?
Choosing a local attorney makes sense because you will want to talk to and communicate with your attorney regularly. An Arizona lawyer understands the local laws and can prevent legal issues from springing up beforehand. Rules can vary depending on your state and, in some instances, your county or city.
Local attorneys may also be more familiar with the scene of your accident. They may have traveled the same roads, know the same police and understand your case better than someone not from the area.
Discover Your Answers With an Arizona Lawyer
You are less likely to receive a fair settlement without the help of a personal injury lawyer. While it is possible to represent yourself, you are unlikely to have the legal knowledge, experience or time needed to successfully fight for your settlement alone.
When you work with an Arizona lawyer after an accident, you can take a step back and relax while your attorney handles the difficult and complex aspects of your case. If you have more questions before your first consultation, contact us today. The team of attorneys at Sargon Law Group are more than happy to answer any question we can regarding our experience.