Six Things to Look For When Choosing a Washington Truck Accident Lawyer
When it comes to negotiating a settlement for your injuries after a truck accident, not just any attorney will do. Without the right Washington truck accident attorney, your settlement could fall short or face a complete denial if you do not file your claim promptly.
Not all attorneys are capable of handling truck accident claims, but that does not mean they will not agree to take your case. Therefore, it pays to ask questions when consulting with a prospective attorney. A little extra thought now will save you from the headache of trying to change attorneys or learning your claim could have been settled for more later.
The following are six points to consider while researching attorneys in Seattle.
1. Does the attorney indicate he or she specializes in truck accident claims?
Accidents involving a commercial vehicle are not the same as car-on-car accidents. In truck accident cases, you are seeking damages from a trucking company that has an extensive legal team on retainer to avoid awarding settlements for accidents like yours.
Everything from the estimated damages to the gathering of evidence is different in truck accident cases, and an attorney with no applicable knowledge of the claims process will do your case no good.
Simply ask your prospective lawyer if he or she focuses on truck accident claims.
2. Can the attorney give you examples of cases he has handled that are like yours?
A good Seattle truck accident attorney should have a few similar cases that he can share details about to indicate his experience. Case examples not only show you that this attorney has worked on truck accident cases before, but they also give you a better idea of how the truck accident claims process works and the value of a typical settlement.
Better yet, check out a few of his client’s testimonials. You will be able to get a sense of whether he is successful as well as how his former clients feel about him.
3. How will the attorney communicate with you?
You do not want to be constantly tracking down your attorney for updates on your case while you are trying to recover from your injuries.
A competent Seattle truck accident attorney will provide you with several ways to keep track of your case and update you as soon as new information is available.
4. When will the attorney expect payment?
Most truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This type of fee schedule requires the attorney to win a settlement before you must pay legal fees.
Your attorney should disclose his fee rate (typically a percentage of your settlement) before you sign the client agreement. Make sure the contingency fee includes all work toward your settlement including document copying and filing fees.
5. Do you feel comfortable with the attorney and his firm?
Truck accident claims can take several months or even years to settle. During this time, you do not want to be working with an attorney that makes you uncomfortable or makes you worry about your claim.
Look for an attorney that makes you feel at ease about your right to recover damages and does not hesitate to answer your questions.
6. What is the attorney's reputation online and in the Seattle courts?
Before you even set up a consultation with a prospective attorney, review his online profile. If he has an AVVO profile, it will list if the Washington Bar association has taken any disciplinary action against him for violations of professional standards.
Even if the attorney has a clean disciplinary record, he might not be a good fit if he does not have trial experience.
If the insurance company denies your truck accident claim, you need an attorney who is willing to take the case to trial rather than settle for a low amount.