Have you recently been involved in a car accident? Are you looking for legal representation to help you file an insurance claim or take your case to court?
If you’ve recently been in an accident, you may be wondering, “How do I choose a good car accident lawyer?” We know that after an accident, you may be shocked, distressed, injured, overwhelmed— or all of the above. You know you need an attorney to help you through this difficult time, but you’re not where to start. Here are some important points to keep in mind to help you choose the best car accident lawyer in Louisiana.
Should a lawyer in Louisiana charge me a consultation fee?
Some law firms may charge a small consultation fee (no more than $150), which helps them make sure you’re seriously considering retaining a lawyer. However, at Brandt & Sherman, we strongly believe that every citizen has a right to legal representation, and we don’t want finances to be a barrier to that. As such, Brandt & Sherman, like many other law firms, does not charge a consultation fee. Your initial meeting with us is 100% free.
How do I know if a lawyer is right for me?
It’s a great idea to meet with the actual lawyer you want to hire. Your relationship with your lawyer needs to be a good one: you may be spending weeks, months, or even years together depending on the complexity of your personal injury case. Our Brandt & Sherman lawyers want you to feel comfortable with them, because if you’re at ease, it will be easier for them to understand your situation, obtain the information they need from you, and represent you to the best of their abilities because they know your case inside and out. You may feel nervous while meeting with lawyers, but remember, you’re in control since you’re the one doing the hiring, not the other way around.
What questions should I ask a lawyer before hiring them?
When interviewing a potential personal injury lawyer, there are a few key questions you should ask:
- What kind of cases do you typically work on? You want to make sure the lawyer has handled cases similar to yours. If you’ve sustained life-long injuries from an impaired driver or if you have whiplash from being rear-ended, it’s useful to know if the lawyer has experience with similar cases.
- Do you have courtroom experience? This is important in case your claim can’t be settled out of court and needs to go into litigation (trial).
- How are your fees charged? You want to know if they charge by the hour, by the case, or by the amount won. At Brandt & Sherman, if we don’t win your case, you do not owe us a penny.
- Do you think my case will need to go to trial, or can it be solved through less time-consuming and less-expensive means? A good lawyer will know that there isn’t only one way to win a case. Your lawyer should illustrate all the options they would pursue in order to get you the compensation you deserve.
- What do you think my odds are of winning my case? If the lawyer you’re interviewing declares that there is no way you could lose, question them on that. You want your lawyer to be confident, of course, but realistic, too.
What kind of fees does a good personal injury lawyer in Louisiana charge?
The go-to rate for personal injury lawyers in Louisiana is pretty standard: 33.3% of your settlement, with the potential for a slightly higher rate if your case goes to trial. However, a key factor to look out for when choosing a Louisiana lawyer is whether they work on contingency or not. At Brandt & Sherman, we work on contingency: if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us a penny.
How do I know if my lawyer is doing a good job?
There are a few things you can look out for while being represented to see if your personal injury lawyer is measuring up.
- Does your lawyer make time for you? Sometimes you need to have a meeting or call with your legal team so that you can feel updated and included on the details of your case, as well as given the opportunity to ask questions. If your lawyer’s availability is less than satisfactory, you may want to consider a change. Of course, a successful attorney should be busy, but between them and their legal team, which knows your case inside and out, someone should be available to get back to you within a reasonable time frame and answer whatever questions you may have about the status of your case.
- Is your lawyer upfront and honest about their billing? Nobody likes a surprise bill. During your initial consultation, your lawyer should have clearly expressed how much they charge for their services, when they expect to get paid, and what that fee encompasses. If you’re unsure about what you’re paying for, or are getting hit with surplus “expenses” that have never been explained, then your lawyer might not be doing a very good job.
- Has your lawyer been acting unprofessionally? There are a number of things that could fall under the umbrella of “unprofessional” when it comes to your personal injury lawyer. Things like failure to file important documents on time, filing paperwork incorrectly, sending the wrong documents to the courts or the insurance company, or even missing meetings or court dates can all be red flags that your lawyer is not taking your case (or their legal practice) seriously.
Can I change my lawyer and get a new one?
In Louisiana, there is no law stopping you from replacing the lawyer who is handling your personal injury case. In fact, if you are unhappy with your legal representation, it is advised that you part ways and find the attorney who can best serve you. There are no fees or additional costs for changing lawyers at any time.
If you’re unhappy with your current lawyer and would like to change your lawyer and work with Brandt & Sherman instead, we would be happy to draft a letter of notice to your previous attorney for you, as well as work out all the details of the file transfer. Then, when your case is settled, Louisiana regulation dictates that the legal fee (usually 33.3% of the settlement) will be split among all the attorneys who worked on your case.
Changing lawyers midway through your case will not delay the process for you. At Brandt & Sherman, we’re adept at picking up where another lawyer left off. We’ll quickly get up to speed on all the details of your case and seamlessly take over your representation without missing a single filing deadline or court date.
At Brandt & Sherman Injury Lawyers, we are committed to being the best possible legal representation for you. With over 60 years of combined experience, we’ll help you get the help you need and deserve. Contact us today, and see how we become your lawyer, your voice.