It can be overwhelming to decide which lawyer to trust to handle your car accident claim, especially when you are already under stress from being in a car accident.
In this post, we will cover many of the important considerations that personal injury claimants should consider when deciding whether to hire a lawyer for their car accident claim and if so, which lawyer to choose.
Should you Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
It is important to carefully consider whether you need a lawyer to help you with your car accident personal injury claim. Lawyers typically charge 30-40% in contingency fees, so it is only beneficial to hire one if they add a minimum of 30-40% of value to your claim. Lawyers generally add more value to the car accident claim when the accident and injuries are more serious. If you answer yes to the following questions, then your claim might be an excellent opportunity for a lawyer-less settlement:
- The property damage (i.e. damage to the vehicle) was minor
- You did not require immediate medical care
- You did not need more than 21 treatments by medical providers such as a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or massage therapist
- You and your treatment provider agree that you don’t require any further treatment for accident-related injuries
- You missed less than a week of work
If you don’t fall into these categories, are close to the limitation period (generally two years post-accident), don’t know the value of your claim, or don’t feel comfortable negotiating with an insurance adjuster, you should contact a lawyer.
Get Recommendations for a Car Accident Lawyer
If your friends, co-workers or family members have had a personal injury claim before, find out what their experience was like with their lawyer and if they would recommend them. If you have worked with a lawyer on another matter and enjoyed working with them, it is a good idea to contact them and ask if they can recommend a personal injury lawyer to you.
Research the Potential Lawyer
Once you have a few options or referrals, you should start to do some research on the lawyers and their law firms. It is important to make sure that you are well-informed before choosing a personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer shouldn’t mind giving you some information about their background and experience. Some good questions to ask are:
- What is your educational and professional background?
- Do you practice 100% personal injury law?
- Do you have medical experts on your team to review files?
- Will you be personally handling the case, or will it be passed on to other legal practitioners or support staff?
- What are some results you have obtained for cases like mine?
It is also a good idea to make sure the lawyer is in good standing with their local bar association. If you wish to verify the status of a lawyer, you can do so by visiting the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.
It is also a good idea to research lawyers using online reviews. Reviews can help you to get an idea of the lawyer’s reputation and skill. Reviews by real clients can be found on Google.
At NOVA Injury Law, we encourage potential clients considering our firm to read our reviews. We are proud of the experience we offer to clients and trust that potential clients will consider the experience of past clients when deciding on a lawyer for their car accident personal injury case.
Consider the Lawyer’s Experience
There are many different types of personal injuries. Some lawyers only dabble in the area of personal injury while others dedicate 100% of their practice to injury claims. When choosing a personal injury lawyer, make sure that they have experience dealing with car accident cases that were similar to the type of accident you were in and experience dealing with injuries as severe as yours.
It is also important to learn about the lawyer's process for cases. The lawyer should be able to explain how they go about their work and what steps they envision for your case. You can learn more about NOVA Injury Law's approach to personal injury claims here.
How Do Legal Fees Work?
Another important aspect to consider when hiring a car accident personal injury lawyer is how they charge for their service. Lawyers typically charge on an hourly basis, but this can quickly add up. However, many personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingent fee basis.
A contingency fee arrangement means that you will only pay the lawyer and the law firm if they settle your case or win in court. Most lawyers charge between 30-40% in contingency fees. Some law firms charge graduated fees, which means that as your lawsuit goes on, the fee increases.
A lawyer or law firm with a contingency fee can be a good option if you are concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer, but make sure that you feel comfortable with the contingency agreement before you hire a lawyer or law firm.
Who Pays for Expenses?
It is also essential to determine who will pay the costs of running the claim. Law firms often refer to the costs that are associated with pursuing a legal claim as disbursements. Disbursements in a car accident personal injury claim can range from hundreds of dollars to tens-of-thousands of dollars. These costs can include filing documents at the court or hiring expert witnesses on your behalf. It is crucial to find out if you will have to pay these costs, or if the law firm will pay them on your behalf until the case is settled or won. If the law firm is the one who will pay for these costs up front, it is important to know when and how these costs are to be paid back to the law firm and if they will be charging interest on that amount.
Make Sure You Feel Comfortable with the Lawyer
It is important to make sure that you are well-informed before choosing a law firm for your personal injury case. At the end of the day, it is more important that you have a good personal injury lawyer than what law firm that lawyer works for.
It is important that you feel confident in your lawyers’ ability to effectively represent you and your personal injury claim. You should be comfortable contacting your lawyer and discussing your case with them.
Most lawyers provide a free initial consultation. A consultation is a good option to utilize so that you can get an idea of the lawyer’s professionalism and demeanour. Having an initial consultation does not mean that you are obliged to hire that lawyer. Take the time you need to find a lawyer that you feel confident about hiring.
Is Jeff Mitchell the Right Lawyer for Your Car Accident Claim?
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is an important decision to make during a stressful time. We want to make it easy for you.
Jeff Mitchell is the Principal Lawyer and Founder of NOVA injury Law. Jeff has dedicated his practice to the area of personal injury, accident, and disability benefits law. He founded NOVA Injury Law to help injury victims after an injury, be it a car accident, slip and fall, or any other kind of serious injury.
Jeff offers a free consultation for car accident personal injury claims as well as many other types of personal injury claims. He offers competitive contingency fee agreements and covers the costs of running your claim without interest.