Did you know there are over 8 million registered motorcycles? Nothing’s quite as satisfying as hitting the open road on a sunny weekend afternoon. But if you’re a motorcyclist, you have to watch for reckless drivers and other problems that could derail your experience.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you’ll need compensation to cover medical bills and lost wages. Read on to learn 11 questions you should ask your potential motorcycle wreck lawyer!
1. How Long Have You Been Practicing?
Ask any potential lawyer how long they’ve been practicing law. Specifically, ask about their work with personal injury claims. You want to choose a lawyer who knows the laws pertaining to personal injury cases in your state.
You don’t want to hire an inexperienced lawyer who’s using your case to build experience. Hire a lawyer with several years of experience under their belt and proper accreditation. They’ll be better equipped to negotiate with insurance companies and put together a winning case.
A less experienced lawyer may struggle to communicate in a prompt manner. They may lack connections with other attorneys, too, which could hinder the negotiation process.
2. What Experience Do You Have with Motorcycle Accidents?
When you’re looking for a motorcycle accident lawyer, choose one who knows the territory well. In other words, plan on confirming that they have experience handling other motorcycle accidents.
Choosing a generalized personal injury attorney could weaken your case. They may not know about the specific laws and risks that apply to motorcyclists. They also may be unable to connect with the sense of trauma that you’re feeling from your injury.
Further, you should choose an experienced attorney who knows the area well. They’ll have a feel for the roads, neighborhoods, and driving culture. They’ll also know the types of injuries and ongoing health problems that come with a motorcycle accident.
3. How Do You Evaluate My Case?
It’s fair to ask an attorney what they think of the strength of your case. When you’re hiring an attorney, you need someone who is willing to be honest with you from the start. An attorney who makes false promises may just be after your money.
A lawyer may not be able to confirm that your claim will result in the kind of big compensation you feel you deserve. This is a good thing since it shows a sense of honesty. But a lawyer should be able and willing to walk you through different scenarios.
For instance, they should tell you the risks of taking your case to court. And they should be able to use previous motorcycle accident cases as a point of reference in describing potential outcomes for your situation. Assess a potential lawyer’s directness and transparency as they give an evaluation.
4. What Are Past Case Outcomes?
A good motorcycle accident attorney would be happy to share examples of positive case outcomes. After all, they should be trying to win your business. You want to see evidence of verdicts that have worked in the favor of the victim.
And don’t be shy about asking about compensation dollar amounts. Successful lawyers will be able to tout cases where they’ve helped clients get hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If an attorney is unwilling to disclose details that could help sell their services, look elsewhere. An attorney without a long list of positive outcomes is a red flag. You could end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a case that doesn’t end in much or any compensation.
5. What Kind of Caseload Do You Have Right Now?
The last thing you want to do is hire an attorney who is already too swamped. If they’re knee-deep in other cases, they may not have time to address yours right away. This can be debilitating in the sense that it might be a while before you see any compensation.
You might also find that the attorney doesn’t give your case the time it deserves. If an attorney takes a while to get back to you, that could be a sign they are too busy. You’re better off looking elsewhere!
6. Who Will Oversee My Case?
Just because you talk with an attorney doesn’t mean that the attorney will be the lead on your case. Clarify who will be taking charge of your case. You want to be sure that person has the experience and qualifications you want.
In an ideal scenario, an attorney with knowledge of the medical and legal fields will be the biggest asset. They’ll understand the severity of certain injuries and the associated medical costs.
You also want to confirm that your case won’t be passed on to a less experienced associate. Make sure the fine print indicates who you’ll be working with most closely.
7. What Are Your Fees?
Before you hire an attorney, be clear on what kind of hourly fees you can expect. Many attorneys charge upwards of $100 per hour. And it doesn’t take long for those hours to mount as the attorney digs into your case.
For the sake of your budget, you should choose an attorney with reasonable fees and a sense of transparency. An honest attorney will tell you about deposition and witness fees, as well as filing fees. They’ll be upfront about costs for records and activities connected to the case.
Ask about the timetable for paying those fees, as well. You don’t want to receive a surprise bill in the mail each month if you’re not expecting one.
8. Will You Work on Contingency?
When a lawyer uses a contingency fee structure, this means that they won’t be charging you just for their efforts. They’ll only make money if you can get compensation from your case. If your case isn’t successful, you won’t be charged.
This scenario is ideal in that your attorney won’t be able to charge you simply for doing research. They’ll need to put together the best possible case to earn their cut.
Check your contract if you work with an attorney who uses contingency structuring. It should be clear how much of a cut they’ll take if your case is successful.
9. What Do I Need to Do?
Hiring an attorney can be a relief. But you’ll still need to do your part to give yourself the best possible outcome. It’s smart to ask your attorney what tasks you’ll need to complete for the case.
For instance, you may need to gather medical records and other documents that show your physical condition. Don’t assume that once a cast comes off, you’ll be back to normal. With over 50 million Americans experiencing chronic pain, there’s a good chance you’ll need some ongoing rehabilitation.
10. How Often Will We Speak?
After you hire a lawyer, you’ll need to be in touch with them about medical records, evidence, and other critical information. You might also have questions related to the legal process. You need to know that your attorney will be willing to communicate with you regularly.
An attorney should tell you their preferred method of communication. This may be done through email, phone, or video conferencing. They shouldn’t be evasive about this since it’s important to keep the lines of communication open.
Also, ask how quickly you can expect responses. Lawyers are busy handling other cases, so you might not get an immediate update. But you should be able to get a clear response within a reasonable timeframe, such as 48 hours.
11. What Will the Legal Process Look Like?
Unless you’ve dealt with other personal injury cases before, you may not know what to expect. And after a motorcycle accident, you may feel traumatized and struggle to understand what your options are. That’s why hiring a lawyer who is willing to take the lead on structuring your claim is so important.
Your lawyer can help you gather the necessary documents and reach out to witnesses. They’ll work as the negotiator when you’re dealing with insurance companies that don’t want to give you what you deserve. Make sure you find an attorney who can step into this role and navigate the legal process on your behalf.
Hire the Best Motorcycle Wreck Lawyer
When you have a strong motorcycle wreck lawyer on your side, you’ll be able to get the compensation you deserve. Ask a potential lawyer about their level of experience and familiarity with motorcycle accidents. They should be clear communicators with a successful record and reasonable fees.
Find more tips to help navigate the legal system. Check back soon for new articles!