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Tips for Choosing an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

If you have recently been involved in a car accident, there are no doubt a number of things on your mind. First and foremost, you probably need to seek medical attention for any injuries that you sustained in the crash. This often means taking time away from your job and other daily activities. Then you have to deal with any damage to your car or other personal property. This usually involves dealing with insurance companies and repair shops.

In addition, if your accident was caused by another driver, you may need to pursue a claim against their insurance company–or even potentially file a personal injury lawsuit. Obviously, that is a big step, one that you probably do not want to take without first speaking to a qualified Atlanta car accident lawyer.

But how do you know who to hire? After all, most people do not have a personal injury attorney readily accessible in their contacts list. And hiring an attorney is often the most critical step in successfully obtaining full and fair compensation for a car accident. So how do you go about finding a lawyer–and when you find one, how do you know they are the right fit for you and your case?

Searching for the Right Attorney

As with any product or service, the first step many car accident victims will take when seeking out a lawyer is to do an Internet search. Indeed, you may have found this very blog post by typing “Atlanta car accident lawyer” into Google. Of course, hiring a personal injury attorney is a bit more complicated than searching for the lowest price for a consumer product. That is why you need to look beyond the search rankings to help you identify a potential attorney.

One place to start is by looking at an attorney’s online reviews at sites like Google. There are also websites that specialize in lawyer search and reviews such as Avvo or SuperLawyers. Ideally, you can also seek out testimonials directly from a car accident lawyer’s former clients. As with many services, word of mouth is often the best source for a referral.

Interviewing Your Potential Car Accident Lawyer

Once you have identified a few Atlanta personal injury lawyers that you believe will meet your needs, you should schedule a telephone call or in-person consultation to speak with them directly. Most personal injury lawyers offer initial consultations at no charge, so there is no risk to you in simply talking with them. And when you do meet, it is important to ask the attorney questions about their background, experience, and what they can actually do to help you.

Here are just a few sample questions you should consider asking a lawyer:

  • What Is Your Personal Injury Experience? More precisely, what is the attorney’s experience in dealing with your specific type of accident or injury. Ideally, you want a lawyer who focuses primarily or exclusively on personal injury cases. You should ask how long the lawyer has practiced, both in general and with handling car accident cases specifically.
  • Do You Work on Contingency? Many car accident victims never even speak with a lawyer because they are afraid of having to pay exorbitant fees just to get their case heard. Fortunately, most Atlanta car accident lawyers handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Put simply, the lawyer will not charge you any upfront fees or costs. They only receive compensation if they recover money on your behalf, either by negotiating a settlement with the negligent driver and their insurance company, or by going to trial and winning a jury verdict. The actual contingency fee may vary between 25 and 40 percent, so it is important to ask the lawyer about their charges before you agree to their representation.
  • Can They Win in Court? Statistically speaking, most car accident claims are resolved out of court. But you should never assume your case will settle. Every car accident claim is unique and sometimes a settlement is just not possible. So you need to know if your attorney has the experience to build and present a compelling case to a jury. Even if you are looking to avoid a trial, you still need to be prepared for that possibility.
  • How Long Could My Case Take? There is no one-size-fits-all approach to car accident cases. Some claims settle within a few weeks. Other cases, especially if it goes to trial, may take several months or even more than a year. You should always be skeptical of a car accident attorney who offers you a definitive timeline. But if they have the experience, they should be able to give you a realistic estimate of how long things will take. Additionally, you should not hesitate to ask an attorney about their current caseload. After all, if they are overbooked or overworked, that can mean your case ends up being delayed longer than necessary.
  • Who Will Actually Handle My Case? While some car accident lawyers are pure solo acts, most are part of a larger team, even if they are the only practicing attorney in the office. With a larger firm, you may initially meet with a senior partner, only to find the day-to-day work is actually handled by a junior associate. Even when working with a smaller firm, you may find that your direct contact is handled by a paralegal or legal secretary. So it is important to ask an attorney about who will actually handle your case.

Contact Ponton Law Today

Hiring an Atlanta car accident lawyer is often the most important decision you will make when it comes to seeking compensation following a serious crash. It is not a decision you should feel rushed into or compelled to make for the wrong reasons. If you would like to speak with the team at Ponton Law about whether they are the right lawyers for you, contact us today to schedule a free evaluation.