Springfield, the third-largest city in Missouri, USA, is densely populated. With most of the population highly educated, many households are employed in reputed avenues in Springfield.
As most people in Springfield drive to work, the average car ownership per household in Springfield is two cars. If you have been hurt in a vehicle accident, one of the most important things you can do is find an experienced Springfield car accident lawyer.
Springfield has many lawyers specializing in personal injury cases, but not all of them will be a good fit for you. Finding the right lawyer to fight your accident case in court is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Here are six tips to help you find the right lawyer for your case:
Check the Experience
The accident lawyer you choose should be able to answer your initial questions without hesitation. A long wait for a response should be considered a red flag. You can ask any potential attorney these questions:
- How many years of experience do you have handling car accident cases?
- Have you ever handled a case like mine before?
- What can I expect to take my case through the legal process?
If the lawyer cannot answer your initial questions, you should look elsewhere.
Easy Location and Communication
When you find a law firm that is a good match, their main office number should be easy to find on their website, and they should have 24/7 availability for answering all your questions.
Above all else, communication is essential when dealing with any legal matter. You want a Springfield car accident lawyer whose priority is to keep you informed and updated about your case. A recent news article reported a car accident in Springfield after a 2006 Chevy Impala had reportedly made a left turn to travel east on Chestnut Expressway. Incidents like these show how important it is to have good legal support. Even if you are on the right path, a mistake by the opposite party can cost you your life and property.
Find Out What the Initial Costs of Hiring the Lawyer Will Be
There are generally three different fees included in a car accident settlement:
- Attorney’s fees (what the lawyer charges for their services)
- Court costs (filing, copying, and other fees)
- The client’s out-of-pocket expenses (medical bills, car repairs, etc.)
When you first talk to a potential attorney, be sure to ask what their legal fee will be and if they will cover all of your out-of-pocket costs.
Even though most personal injury lawyers will take your case on a contingency fee basis, you need to know if they will be billed a percentage of your settlement or if their fee will come from the money you receive.
Check for Up-front Payment
If the lawyer asks for an up-front payment, don’t hire them until they explain what that money is for and how it will be used.
Many personal injury lawyers will ask for an up-front payment before they start working on your case. Depending on the damages you seek to recover, it can be thousands of dollars.
However, if the lawyer asks for this money as a retainer fee, some states have stringent guidelines about charging you.
If the lawyer does not tell you exactly how much they are charging you or if their quote seems unreasonably high, you should be suspicious right off the bat.
Easily Accessible During the Case
You should find out how accessible your lawyer will be during your case and what kind of communication protocols they have in place.
You need to find a personal injury attorney who can answer your questions (and will do so promptly) and offer you frequent updates about your case. The lawyer should provide you with their direct phone number, email address, and office address.
If they expect you to call their secretary’s cell phone or wait several days for them to respond via email, find another lawyer.