Questions To Ask Your Attorney
Choosing the right lawyer to represent you after a car accident
When you are looking for an attorney to represent you for your car accident in Pittsburgh, it is important to make sure you choose one who can help you obtain the specific compensation that you deserve. Romanow Law Group understands that choosing a lawyer after a car accident is an important decision. Here are some questions that can help you decide which lawyer is right for you.
We’re happy to answer all these questions and any others you have. All you do is call 1-844-GET-MORE or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Be sure to look for an attorney who can handle both your possible out-of-court settlement with an insurance company and a lawsuit against the other motor vehicle’s driver. Both stages are crucial to maximizing your own settlement value.
- Do I have a potential case?
In traditional legal theory, there are four elements to prove when alleging negligence on the part of another driver. A negligent car or trucker vehicle driver has (1) a duty of care not to injure other motorists on the road. If that driver made a (2) breach of the duty of care by not acting like a reasonable driver on the roadway, and that those actions (3) caused the auto accident or car crash, resulting in (4) harm or damages to you or your loved ones.
- What portion of my case costs and court filing fees do I have to pay?
Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that if your case does not result in a monetary award or settlement, then you do not owe them anything. Some attorney retainers may specify that clients are responsible for certain filing fees or other expenses that accrue when the lawyer documents, prepares, and files a lawsuit. Be sure to find out ahead of time exactly how much you might be responsible for in the event you lose, win, or settle the lawsuit.
- How much does the attorney charge?
Car accident clients should remember to ask about attorney’s fees. As a victim of a catastrophic accident, there may be significantly large outstanding medical bills and expenses that need to be paid out of a settlement or award. If the attorney works on a contingency basis, then the lawyer will receive his payment as a percentage of the final settlement that you receive. This percentage varies based on the experience and skill of the attorney. This allows the attorney to work for a client who will not have the means to pay for legal services until after a settlement of a lawsuit.
- How long will my case take?
Lawsuits can be long processes that will only arise long after your car accident. Trials in courtrooms may take even longer. Remember to consult with an attorney who will handle medical bills and debt collectors while the case progresses. Often, if a client is in dire need of money right now, then an out-of-court settlement is a good option. Other times, companies lend money to accident victims who are represented by attorneys, with the knowledge that after an expected settlement or courtroom trial victory they receive payment back.
- How long can I wait before filing a lawsuit?
In nearly every state or jurisdiction, there is a specified “statute of limitations”—this is the maximum time frame you have before you are barred from recovery. Make sure your attorney knows when this deadline passes and that you file a lawsuit or settle the case before the statute of limitations. Otherwise, you may be legally denied a chance to recover.
- What are my damages?
Different courts award money for different things, and insurance companies vary on the types of recovery that they permit. Most of the time this includes pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other emotional or bodily harms. Choose a car accident attorney who can obtain a fair and equitable settlement for all your anguish and loss.
- Should I settle my case?
Most accident cases settle out of court. As such, it is common for car accident lawyers to manage a variety of settlement offers from defendants, insurance companies, and other parties. Have your attorney discuss all offers with you before you decide whether to accept a settlement. However, once your attorney accepts a settlement, you give up your right to file a lawsuit.
- Should I file a lawsuit instead?
When you file a lawsuit, the case will go to trial and a judge or a jury will decide if the defendant is responsible for their negligent actions. Unlike settlements, a jury decides the amount of compensation you will receive, rather than you and your attorney. There are unique nuances to both settlements and lawsuits. Be prepared to discuss which you and your attorney are more comfortable with when handling your car accident claim or case.
- Are there any precautions I need to be aware of?
Many attorneys recommend that you refrain from posting on social media about the details of your car or truck accident. In addition, there may be evidentiary requirements for your case: police reports, medical records, and statements can be useful in supporting your case. Speak with your attorney about any additional steps you may need to take beforehand.
- Who can I sue?
The laws in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania related to motor vehicle accident negligence and placing the blame for car accidents are complex. Often, there are several parties who should be placed as defendants to a lawsuit following a car accident involving bodily harm to you. In addition to the person driving the at-fault vehicle, many attorneys file lawsuits against the vehicle owner. If the person was working when they caused an accident, their employer may be held responsible in certain cases as well. By naming several parties as defendants in a lawsuit, knowledgeable car accident attorneys in Pittsburgh like those at Romanow Law Group can allow you to scour every potential source of just compensation for your injuries and bodily harm.