Specific Questions to Ask When Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer
No lawyer can truly know everything there is to know about truck accident cases. Many cases are unique and involved facts that no matter how many prior truck accident cases a lawyer has handled, are in someway new or distinct. However, there is likely to be a common thread to most truck accident cases in which prior experience plays a crucial role in future success.
A client would be wise to ask a prospective truck accident lawyer some if not all of the following questions:
How many similar cases they have handled in the past?
Because no two cases are exactly alike and there are always subtle differences, it is highly unlikely that one truck accident lawyer has handled the case that is exactly like another. However, despite subtle differences is important to select an attorney who has experienced firsthand the nuances of truck accident litigation.
Specifically, a client will be better served if their attorney has them through the process previously and is aware of what to expect. Our truck accident lawyers have handled numerous semitruck cases ranging from multivehicle to single vehicle accidents. We have associated with various experts when necessary to strengthen our case, or make it less vulnerable to attack. Having gone through the process on many different occasions helps us anticipate not only what we believe is necessary to pursue the case, but also what the other side is likely to do in challenging it.
How will the lawyer get paid, and will the fees go up?
Fully understanding the attorney fee is important in any case and definitely true in truck accident cases. The lawyer's fee is a crucial ingredient in determining what a client will recover when the case resolves. Some attorneys write their contracts in a way that allows for the attorney fee to increase as a case progresses. As a result, when a lawyer is hired, the fee may be , however, by the time the case resolved it may be as much as 50%. Understanding the fee agreement early is helpful for a truck accident victim not only to hire the attorney, but to know what to expect as the case moves forward.
The attorney's at the Fine Law Firm do not charge fees in this way. Instead, the fee at the beginning of the case is the same as the fee at the end.
Does the lawyer anticipate the need to associate with other lawyers or law firms?
There are some lawyers that do everything they can to get hired. They may tell the client what they think will help with that process and leave out some important details. The same is true for many lawyers handling truck accident cases. Occasionally, shortly after these lawyers are hired for a semi truck accident case, their first step is to call an experienced truck accident lawyer and share the fee. Although there may not be anything legally or ethically wrong with such a process, it is again wise for a client to know exactly who will be handling the case as it progresses and whether or not the lawyer they hire at the beginning of the truck accident case is in fact the one who will be doing the majority of the work.
Can truck accident lawyers handle accidents even if they occurred in other states?
The majority of the truck accident cases that the Fine Law Firm handles are within the state of New Mexico. However, we have also been involved in cases throughout the region and litigation all over the country. Part of this is because truck accident cases often involve parties from all over the nation.
Various court rules and acquirements may allow for attorneys from one state to file and pursue a case in another state. Any time there appears to be an issue of whether a lawsuit will be filed within the same state or the attorneys primary office is located, it is again wise for a client to find out if there are any barriers or requirements that must be satisfied before a lawsuit can be filed.
Will it be necessary to hire any truck accident experts, and if so, who would you recommend?
Asking a truck accident lawyer about whether or not expert witnesses would be necessary can often times provide a good indication of how experienced lawyer is. Admittedly, it may not be possible for a truck accident lawyer to provide the exact name of the expert will be used, that he or she should be able to give a good indication of what type of expert would be necessary and who would be contacted to begin the selection process.
It is also helpful to know if an attorney believes an expert will be necessary to gauge how far the lawyers willing to go to pursue the case. Common experts used in truck accident cases include accident reconstructionists, commercial drivers, life care planners, economists, and numerous medical practitioners.