According to the U.S Department of Justice, 1 out of 5 traffic accidents result in a lawsuit each year, and 96 percent settle out of court. The reason for the positive outcome for the plaintiff in most cases is a combination of evidence and a competent and effective attorney. (2)
Choosing an attorney for a personal injury vehicle accident case requires reviewing their credentials and to ensure that they have experience with the type of case you are involved in. You can ask friends and family for a recommendation and call the attorney’s office and request a professional experience profile, educational background and statistics about the percentage of wins, the average settlement amount and the average time it requires to reach a resolution in a case.
It is also important to verify that an attorney has a positive reputation in the area community court system where the accident case will be filed in case it requires a trial. You can ask a court clerk for a recommendation or assessment of the success of local personal injury vehicle accident attorneys.
An attorney’s website will usually have a description of professional background details and experience.
Professional and Communication Style
A professional style will also influence how effectively the attorney and plaintiff will communicate, which is key, particularly in a lengthy settlement or trial process. Feeling at ease with an attorney will give a plaintiff strength and peace of mind when the stressful moments develop. If you require a reassuring word or explanation, hire a compassionate and transparent communicator. Some attorneys’ support staff mainly interacts with clients. If you prefer someone to handle the details and only provide updates occasionally as client decisions need to be made, a more distant communication style may be an advantage.
Cost is also a significant factor. A personal injury attorney frequently operates on a contingency basis, which means the lawyer fee is based on a percentage of the settlement or trial award, a proportion that is included in the contract before the case is filed.
A contingency fee is a “no win, no pay” arrangement. More than 50 percent of cases have a 33 percent contingency fee, while the rest involve a 15 to 45 percent fee. (1)
An experienced attorney will valuate the strength of your case objectively, assess a logical percentage based on the amount of work expected and potential outcome and coordinate the case accurately and expeditiously, driven by the interests of the client.
If you need to hire a lawyer for a car accident in Alpharetta, select the names of three based on recommendations, online research and brief informational interviews. Make a list of criteria, such as:
- experience in the case type
- years of professional experience
- professional reputation
- wins vs. losses
- percentage of settlement vs. trial cases
- average settlement amount
- length of time the case requires to resolve
- cost or contingency percentage
- professional and communication style
After each potential attorney has been evaluated based on the criteria, a clear winner should emerge.
Intuition can be highly important, as well. The logical factors will point you in the right direction, but ultimately a gut feeling may be the deciding vote.