If you have recently been involved in a car accident, you may want to know how to hire a motor vehicle personal injury lawyer. You must consider several motor vehicle personal injury lawyers to find one for your unique legal matter. Start by creating a list of motor vehicle injury lawyers in your area. You can find these lawyers through personal referrals, online services, lawyer directories, and lawyer referral services. Next, narrow down your list by considering the track record of handling motor vehicle accident cases and online reviews.
The next step is to schedule an initial consultation with each potential lawyer on your list. Walk each lawyer through the specifics of your case and ask the right questions. Review the answers you receive and choose the lawyer who you feel is the perfect fit for your situation.
Where Should I Look for a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Finding the best Nevada motor vehicle accident lawyer for your unique needs requires due diligence. You must do more than google and listen to television advertisements. Here are some options for finding a skilled lawyer:
Talking to people in your circle who have used a car accident lawyer in the past is a great place to start. You can ask relatives, friends, coworkers, or neighbors. Who were their lawyers? What was the outcome of the case? Would they recommend the lawyer? Asking these questions will give you a handful of excellent leads.
However, you should not solely rely on personal recommendations. Instead, schedule a meeting with the lawyer and discuss your case. Doing this will help you determine whether that lawyer is a good choice for you.
A simple Google search will give you a long list of online sites that can link you with local lawyers. Many of them allow you to find lawyers using your location and the kind of legal matter you have. You simply provide some basic details of your case and your contact information. A lawyer in your location then reaches out to you directly.
Some sites offer a comprehensive listing of different lawyers available in different locations. These sites also feature a detailed profile of each lawyer. The profiles highlight the lawyer’s credentials, track record, fee structure, and litigation style. The sites also provide guidelines to help you make an informed choice.
Lawyer Referral Services
You can get leads from lawyer referral services. You, however, need to compare different referral services to identify those with quality referrals. Gather as many details as possible about their criteria for adding a lawyer and the background check process. Then seek referrals from services that inspire confidence.
What Questions Should I Ask a Lawyer?
Most motor vehicle personal injury lawyers provide free initial consultations. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know the lawyer and how he or she can help you. You will generally have a few minutes to an hour to interact with a prospective lawyer. So, prepare in advance to utilize your time effectively.
Carefully go through the specifics of your motor vehicle crash and any injuries suffered. Gather documents, such as your insurance policy, accident scene photos, police report, and medical records. Your prospective lawyer might want to see these documents during the initial consultation.
Note down the questions you want to ask your prospective lawyer. Here are some questions you should consider asking before making a hiring decision:
What Is Your Track Record of Handling Vehicle-Accident-Related Injury Cases?
Ask about the accomplishments your would-be lawyer has realized when representing injured victims of motor vehicle accidents. If the injury victim is your child, ask the lawyer how a minor’s personal injury claim is handled.
A lawyer with an excellent record of accomplishment in that area will know the tactics insurers use to lowball injury victims. The lawyer will know how to maximize the compensation when negotiating with insurance companies. More importantly, the lawyer will competently represent you in court should the case proceed to trial.
Good lawyers have a track record of getting reasonable personal injury settlements or awards for their clients. Most of them will have a website section outlining the results of completed cases that may be a helpful resource.
Are You the Lawyer Who Will Actually Handle My Case?
Large firms have several lawyers, legal assistants, paralegals, and other staff members. It’s possible that the person you are interviewing won’t be the one working on your case. What’s more, different staff members may be involved in handling your case at different stages of its life.
Some staff members may handle investigations and fact gathering, while others handle settlement negotiations. For these reasons, you should find out who will be working on your case at every stage. You should also find out whom you will be communicating with during the process.
Do You Practice in My State?
Personal injury and car accident laws vary from one state to another. Motor vehicle personal injury lawyers can only work on accident cases occurring in the states where they practice. Be sure to choose a lawyer with an established practice in the state where your accident happened. Such a lawyer will know the statutes relevant to your case and guide you through your state’s civil justice system.
How Long After a Motor Vehicle Accident Can I Sue for Damages?
Find out how long after a car accident you can sue for personal injury. A competent lawyer will advise you to initiate a claim for damages against the at-fault party as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of getting a reasonable settlement or court award.
In Nevada, the deadline for bringing personal injury lawsuits is two years. The “clock” for this deadline starts counting from:
- The date of the injury;
- When you noticed the injury; or
- When you should have reasonably noticed the injury.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Charge?
Most car accident lawyers accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. In this fee arrangement, a lawyer who fails to win or settle a case does not get paid. If the lawyer settles or wins the case, he or she will collect a fraction of the injury settlement or award.
The lawyer’s percentage will depend on the nature of your case and your negotiating abilities. Most accident lawyers take 33% of the injury settlement or award. Besides the attorney fees, you may also incur other case costs that you will be responsible for paying. These costs are owed in addition to the fee the lawyer earns.
How Do I Hire a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer?
Once you narrow your options to one motor vehicle accident lawyer, the next step is to ask for an attorney-client fee agreement. This document will specify the attorney fees, other case expenses, and payment terms.
Sign and return the document to the lawyer’s office if you are satisfied with the fee agreement. Note that it will be hard to adjust the fee structure once you sign it. The best time to negotiate the attorney fees is before you sign the attorney-client fee agreement.
Your lawyer will also require your consent to talk to your medical providers. Signing a HIPAA release will enable your lawyer to obtain your medical records and other relevant information about your injuries.
Provide your lawyer with copies of your time cards and payslips if you have missed work because of your accident-related injuries. The lawyer will review these documents to calculate an amount that will fully compensate you for your lost wages. Other documents and evidence you should give your lawyer include a copy of the police report, witness list, information exchanged at the crash scene, and crash scene pictures.