Auto accidents in Birmingham, Alabama, can occur due to negligence or unforeseen circumstances. In either case, victims may sustain minor or major injuries or fall victim to fatalities. Have you or someone you know been involved in an auto accident? One of the most important steps after an accident is finding a Birmingham personal injury lawyer to handle your case and help you achieve a fair settlement.
Norris Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the claims process post-accident, either through a settlement or a lawsuit. Contact us today and schedule a free case evaluation and consultation today.
How to Choose the Right Alabama Car Accident Lawyer?
You may find it overwhelming to choose a personal injury attorney, as many firms appear well equipped to handle your case. If you feel this way, you might shortlist a handful of personal injury attorneys you would like to consult with.
As you carry out your research, it is important to note that different car accident lawyers possess unique skill sets when handling car accident cases. Some may have little trial experience as they prefer to resolve cases out of court; others may have more experience in court because they are able to fight for their clients in that capacity.
Are you concerned about how long your case will take, what the fees will be, or how to communicate with insurance company representatives? You will require a lawyer whose work ethics and experience align with the requirements of your case. To determine these qualities, there are 13 important questions you must ask during your initial consultation with different lawyers.
“What are your fees?”
Your initial concern about hiring a personal injury lawyer may be the legal fees and payment terms surrounding your claim or lawsuit. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they will collect a percentage of the settlement or award if they obtain a successful outcome for your case.
Personal injury lawyers in Alabama typically charge between 33 and 40 percent. In some instances, an attorney may charge based on an hourly rate or a flat fee. Besides the contingency fee, other costs may be incurred. Norris Injury Lawyers does not charge fees for your initial consultation and case evaluation. Be sure to ask about all that will be required of you throughout the process so that you are aware of all costs.
“What is your background and education?”
Getting information about the attorney’s background can give you a track record of his or her success with car accident cases like yours. You can request information about their background, credentials, and client testimonials. This will give you a clearer picture of the lawyer’s capability.
“What area of law do you specialize in?”
Personal injury lawyers may focus more on some cases than others. You want to select someone who has experience primarily in car accident injury cases. He or she should also be well acquainted with the legal proceedings of the state and the negotiation tactics needed to navigate litigation procedures.
“What is your assessment of my case?”
When you are the victim of a car accident caused by negligence, it is easy to assume that your case will be easily won. However, the circumstances surrounding your claim or lawsuit must be taken into account. The personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case objectively and determine the likelihood of success. He or she can also give you an estimate of how much your case is worth.
“Who will be handling my case?”
Large firms often have many attorneys who specialize in various areas of law. The lawyer you speak to during your initial consultation may not be the one to handle your case. In this instance, you will want to find out who will be your primary contact.
Find out whether a team of lawyers will work on your case together and how they will communicate the progress with you. Although having a team of professionals with different specialties advocate for you is beneficial, you want to ensure that you meet the primary contact person at your consultation.
“How many cases like mine have you or your firm litigated?”
Although a personal injury lawyer or firm may have handled many cases similar to yours, you do not want to overlook their compensation process. Some lawyers may have little courtroom experience because they focus mostly on out-of-court settlements. Others may have a low success rate with similar cases to yours.
The personal injury lawyer’s record of success with cases like yours will vary from firm to firm. Determine whether you would benefit better from possessing the resources of a large firm on your side or having the dedication of a sole practitioner with experience in cases like yours. The circumstances may differ from firm to firm.
“How many successful verdicts have you won in court?”
This would be a good follow-up question to the previous one. A lawyer may not divulge all the details of previous cases out of respect for attorney-client privilege. However, he or she may present some pre-approved verdict summaries that show how effective that attorney is in obtaining a favorable verdict for their clients.
A high success rate does not guarantee that your case will be won. It is a good indicator, though, of how well the law firm fights for its clients.
“What deadlines do I need to meet?”
Each state has a statute of limitations for when you can file the case. To ensure smooth proceedings, the lawyer should set deadlines for submitting documents, meeting with other parties involved, or going to trial.
“What information do I need to provide?”
After being involved in a car accident, you need to focus primarily on your recovery. You may be unable to focus on gathering all the necessary information. A Birmingham personal injury lawyer, though, can provide you with a list of all the information and evidence you need. The lawyer should also be able to assist you with gathering the evidence. Your lawyer should take the lead and leave you free of the troublesome legal work.
“What damages can I recover?”
Injuries sustained in a car accident can range from minor and short-lived to life-threatening and long-lasting. The severity of each case is different. As such, the damages available will vary.
Typically, you can be compensated for medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. If you have sustained long-lasting injuries, an experienced attorney should be able to demonstrate the need for further medical treatment and expense coverage in court.
“If my case does not settle, will it go to trial?”
Throughout the ordeal, you want to hire someone with good defense tactics who can fight the insurance company on your behalf. A competent attorney with courtroom experience on your side is critical.
Personal injury claims can be settled out of court, but it is not uncommon for them to go to trial. It is worthwhile to note, however, that the contingency fee may increase if your case has to be settled in court.
“How much time can you dedicate to my personal injury case?”
To ensure your case is handled with the utmost care, find out about the lawyer’s workload. A qualified lawyer should honestly disclose his or her limits.
Is he or she currently working with multiple clients? If so, how much of that attorney’s time and necessary resources can the firm devote to your case?
You also want to get an idea of your claim or lawsuit’s timeline by asking when it will be filed and how long it may take to achieve a resolution.
“How long will my case take?”
An experienced personal injury lawyer can give you a general time frame of how long your case will take to resolve. Accordingly, your attorney should be thoroughly versed in the legal proceedings of a settlement or trial. Court cases can be unpredictable, each taking a few weeks or over a year to resolve. The reason is that insurance companies must carefully evaluate each piece of documentation provided.
How to Talk to a Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyer?
Talking to an experienced car accident lawyer can be intimidating, or perhaps your attention may be divided due to the injuries you sustained. There are a few things you can do to prepare for your initial consultation.
Below is a list of practical tips to assist you when talking to the lawyer:
- Create a checklist of the questions you want to ask the lawyer. You can carry a notebook to jot down extra notes.
- Produce all documents related to your case. This includes medical bills, car accident reports, insurance, and witness information. Take all documents and evidence related to your accident to the consultation.
- Conduct yourself professionally. Dress in formal or smart casual attire when going to meet the lawyer. Remember that private lawyers can choose whether to work with you, so you want to make a good first impression.
- Relax and be honest. Do not be afraid or intimidated by the lawyer. Ask all the questions you need to because this decision will affect your future. You want to leave the consultation feeling reassured and confident in the lawyer’s ability. If you are not, it’s fine to choose not to work with the law firm in question.
Our Alabama Lawyers Are Ready to Answer Your Questions Today
With over 40 years of experience helping injured car accident victims, Norris Injury Lawyers is ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your personal injury case. As a family law firm, we dedicate our time and resources to defending your rights, regardless of your ability to pay. That’s why we offer our exclusive No Fee Guarantee® policy.
Don’t settle for any Birmingham, AL, law firm. Contact Norris Injury Law for a free consultation and case evaluation today with no upfront costs and no hidden fees. Call us at (800) 477-7510 or complete our free online consultation form. Our Alabama injury attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.