Being involved in an auto accident is stressful. Motor vehicle crashes oftentimes leave people injured, without a vehicle and unable to work and provide for their families like they used to. For most, navigating the world of insurance companies and auto accident claims is new terrain and something that they are not familiar with. Injured victims need guidance and compassion, neither of which they usually get when dealing with insurance companies.
Personal injury attorneys can add great value to an auto accident case, both in terms of monetary compensation and simply taking the stress and burden of dealing with insurance companies off of the injured person’s shoulders. In fact, Allstate’s website even admits that “represented claims settle for 2-3 times more than unrepresented claims.” (See page C000011298). It may seem like personal injury attorneys are a dime a dozen, so how can you be sure you are making the right decision? While finding the right attorney may seem like a daunting task, here are some tips for making sure you are selecting the right attorney for your particular case.
#1: Schedule a Free Consultation
Most Wisconsin personal injury lawyers offer a free case consultation. Call the prospective law firm and ask to schedule a free consultation with one of the attorneys to discuss the facts of your case. The free consultations are very informative and you are able to get the attorney’s perspective on the legal aspects of your case prior to hiring him or her. During the consultation, the attorney gathers information to determine if it is a case the law firm will be able to pursue. Prospective clients also have the opportunity to ask the attorney any questions they have, which is especially helpful since dealing with injuries and insurance companies following an auto accident is not something most people do regularly.
#2: Read the Firm’s Online Reviews
When trusting a law firm with your case, you want to make sure that they have a good track record. Take time to read the feedback that past clients have left for the law firm. Not only will this give you a feel for what you can expect when you hire the firm, but you will read about the first-hand experiences others have had with the firm. Hiring an attorney is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. It is important that you do your research and make sure the attorney you chose has the requisite knowledge, experience and results to handle your case and achieve the best possible result for you.
#3: Make Sure You Feel Comfortable With The Attorney
Before signing a retainer contract with an attorney, make sure you sit down with them – or at least speak with them on the telephone – to make sure that you feel comfortable. Reading positive reviews and seeing creative advertisements from a firm may give you an idea of what the firm is like, but make sure to personally connect with the attorney prior to hiring him or her to make sure you feel comfortable talking with them. Depending upon the duration of your case, you may have a long-term attorney-client relationship, so it is important to make sure it is a good fit. By speaking directly with the attorney, you are better able to gauge how confident they are and how easy it is to communicate with them. Before hiring an attorney, it is important that they gain your trust.
#4: Make Sure The Attorney Works on a Contingency Fee Basis
Most people who have just been injured in a motor vehicle crash or a fall do not have the extra cash to put down as a retainer fee for an attorney. For these types of cases, you will want to make sure the attorney will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning the attorney does not get paid unless you get paid. This shifts the risk away from you – as the injured party – and allows you to rest assured that unless you are compensated, you do not owe any money out of pocket. Many personal injury firms handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, but it is a good practice to ask about the fee agreement up front so there is no confusion.
#5: Be Thorough In Your Search, But Don’t Wait Too Long To Make a Decision
While you want to be certain that you did thorough research before hiring an attorney, you also do not want to wait too long after an accident or injury to retain counsel. It is most advantageous to get an attorney on board sooner rather than later to ensure that your rights are protected. If an attorney represents an injured victim, the insurance company should not reach out to that person directly any longer, but rather, all communication from the insurance company should go to the attorney. This prevents the insurance company from trying to get an injured party to sign settlement documents prematurely or taking a recorded statement without an attorney present. The best practice is to have the least amount of contact possible with an insurance company and let a skilled attorney handle all communications.
Choosing the right attorney for you can be an intimidating task. At the Groth Law Firm, we make sure that our clients know that they are not in this alone. In fact, we dedicate our practice exclusively to representing people who were injured by the negligence of others. Our main goal is to make this process as stress-free for our clients as possible. We take all of the heavy lifting off of our clients’ shoulders so that they can focus on what is most important: treating and healing from their injuries. The skilled, dedicated and proven attorneys at Groth Law Firm offer free consultations and are available to speak with you seven days per week. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your potential case, answer any questions you might have and explain the ways we may be able to help. Give us a call at (414) 375-2030 today.