11 Important Questions to Ask a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you were in a motorcycle accident and suffered any damages or trauma, you have been through quite the ordeal. And, your struggle isn’t alone. Did you know that in the United States, there are more than 80,000 motorcycle injuries per year?
Besides the medical bills or insurance issues, you may also face legal problems as a result of the accident. That’s why you need a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Professional attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of your accident. They have the skill to handle these accident cases. And whether you were at fault or deserve a settlement, a motorcycle accident attorney can offer the assistance you need.
But, before working with an attorney, what should you know? It’s important to prepare for your first meeting. This way, you can feel confident in your legal investment and get answers to the most important questions to ask a lawyer.
What Are Your Credentials?
Just like a medical professional has the credentials to perform surgeries or check-ups, a legal professional has a Juris Doctorate degree and permission to perform legal duties in specific state jurisdictions. You can search for a “motorcycle accident lawyer near me.” But, dive deeper than reviews or a website landing page.
Ensure that the lawyer has the proper degrees and licenses. You can even search if the attorney or firm members have been disbarred or not allowed to practice law due to illegal actions. It’s ok to ask your attorney where they went to law school and in what states they can practice.
This may prove especially helpful for your case. For example, you may have had a motorcycle accident in Florida but reside in Georgia. Work with an attorney who has the legal credentials to practice and represent your case.
What’s Your Experience?
Credentials and background are one thing. But, experience really matters. Ask your attorney about their legal experience.
Have they always practiced accident law? Is there another attorney in the firm who may be better suited to your needs? While admitted attorneys can technically represent any case in their jurisdiction, you should work with a lawyer who has specific experience.
For example, a family or divorce attorney could manage your case. But would they have the sharp skillset and tailored knowledge to get into the small details?
Have You Handled Cases Like This Before?
An attorney’s experience will reveal if they have handled cases like yours in the past. While each case and outcome are different, a previous case similar to yours can provide a roadmap and confidence to move forward with a particular attorney or firm.
While the attorney may not be able to provide specific details or intimate information about past clients, they can give you insight into how they handled the case or what the issues were. This can help set your expectations.
What’s the Overall Case Process?
Have you worked with an attorney before? Or have you ever filed a case in the U.S. legal system? You may feel overwhelmed by legal jargon and the overall case management process. Don’t be shy!
Express your concerns and admit any lack of knowledge. That’s why you hire an attorney. They should explain the details of your case and provide a step-by-step overview so you know exactly what to expect.
A good attorney won’t blindside you with fees or last-minute paperwork requests. There will be an organized process in place. And in the end, you’ll learn more about what goes into case representation and the legal system.
What Information Do You Need?
Ask your attorney what information or paperwork they require to represent your case. For example, are you a U.S. citizen? Do you have a visa?
There could be extra documents that may add complexities to your case. But in any case, you will need to know what documents or information to hand over to your attorney.
Take notes. So for your next meeting or email exchange, you can prepare. This will save both parties time and money.
What Are My Chances of Receiving a Settlement?
If you suffered a motorcycle accident, you may be at fault and may have to pay compensation. Or you have been injured and are owed compensation. A lawyer will explain both case sides and help you understand what is paid or owed.
But, they will also provide realistic expectations on receiving a settlement. When you invest in an attorney, you expect guidance and a more favorable outcome than if you represented yourself. But, be realistic about your case and expectations.
Have honest and open conversations with your attorney to get a sense of your possible outcome. This will prevent disappointment and aggravation later down the line.
How Long Will This Process Take?
While there is no definitive timeline for motorcycle accident representation, you need to ask your attorney the general length of time. This is important to plan your schedule and expectations.
For example, will the process go through summer? Are you planning to leave the country then? Will you need to be present during the workweek in court?
An attorney can explain the general timeline and communicate new occurrences that could quicken or lengthen your case resolution. For example, new evidence could add more time but potentially create a more favorable outcome. Or, due to an overwhelmed court system, your case may take longer to process than expected.
Will I Have To Appear In Court?
One of your fears around this accident may be the potential of appearing in court. If this is a major concern, ask your attorney if going to court will be necessary. If you have never been to court before, you will also need to ask your attorney what to expect and to explain the general process.
This is an important factor in your case that can affect the outcome and result in high expenses. Going to court takes time and money. It’s crucial to know this ahead of time and plan your legal budget accordingly.
Will My Personal Injury Impact My Ability to Work?
If you have sustained a personal injury as a result of your accident, you will need to communicate details and medical records to your attorney. But, the most pressing issue on your mind may be about returning to work after the accident.
If you can’t return to work or are no longer able to perform your employment duties, your attorney can explain the process of workers’ compensation claims and receiving a settlement for lost wages. You can check here for more information about your personal injury case and motorcycle accident.
Will This Affect My Record?
In many cases, the issue of liability or who is at fault can create stress. If you were at fault in the accident, your record could suffer.
For example, were you under the influence while operating the motorcycle? Did you ignore traffic rules? It’s crucial you ask about the impact on your record.
But don’t forget to ask the attorney what experience they have with any criminal offense records. And, it is also important to ask how a record could impact other parts of your personal or professional life. For example, if you have custody of children or a job, these could be affected in the courtroom.
Guidance Through It All
Attorneys understand criminal charges or hefty fines can be extremely stressful for clients. Remember that they are here to answer your questions but also offer clarity and guidance. So, consider a good attorney as a tremendous resource in securing your future.
What Are the Payment Plans or Expectations?
Taking in all this information and possible outcomes is a lot to learn! While an attorney may make promises to represent your case and you feel confident in their experience, don’t forget to get clear on payment plans and expectations. For example, does the attorney offer complimentary consultation calls?
Then, is the first meeting billed at an hourly rate? Does the attorney receive a retainer when the case settles? If your legal fees are high, ask if the attorney allows for monthly installments or payouts.
Confirm if you will need to pay by check or credit card. And make sure to budget and prepare your funds accordingly.
Ask a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer These Questions for the Best Outcome
Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer involves research and effort. While attorneys can tackle your case, don’t expect all questions answered in the first meeting. These legal questions can act as a guide for understanding your accident case, rights, and potential outcome.
It is important to set your expectations and work with your attorney to reach a settlement. And, if you have additional questions that were not answered, don’t hesitate to ask the lawyer.
Accident attorneys are professionals who want the best outcome for your case, needs, and record. If you found this information helpful, then check out our other legal stories.