Car accidents can happen in many ways, and if you believe your recent accident was the result of another driver’s actions, it is natural to wonder how you can hold them accountable for the harm they’ve done. A Sacramento car accident lawyer is the ideal resource in this situation, and it is vital for you to know how to find the right attorney to handle your legal efforts to recover from an accident.
Know What to Expect in a Consultation With an Attorney
As you try to find the Sacramento, CA, car accident lawyer who is right for your case, you will probably notice that most attorneys in the area offer prospective new clients free or low-cost initial consultations. While you research local attorneys and make a list of potential candidates to hire as your legal counsel, it is important to know what the consultation process entails and the benefits of taking advantage of these offers.
Think of a consultation as an interview. You will have the chance to ask a prospective attorney several questions about their professional experience so you can determine whether they are a good fit for your case. The attorney might want to hear a brief explanation of your recent accident, and you may be surprised by what they can clarify after giving them just a few important details.
If you schedule a consultation with an attorney, it is important to develop a list of questions in advance of the meeting that will help you gauge various aspects of the attorney. You should evaluate their experience to ensure they have successfully handled cases like yours in the past, their caseload and responsiveness to ensure you can expect timely updates as your case unfolds, and a clear explanation of their billing policy.
The following are a few good examples of questions you should ask a potential attorney during your consultation:
- “What is your initial impression of my case?” A good attorney should be able to quickly identify key areas of concern or unique recovery opportunities in your situation.
- “Do you think I can win my case?” Success with your recovery efforts will require proving fault and establishing the full scope of your damages. Asking an attorney for their honest interpretation of the situation can help temper your expectations for your case.
- “How much do you think my case is worth?” While an attorney will need time to accurately evaluate the total potential value of your case, they should be able to at least provide an estimate of the various damages you could claim from the at-fault driver.
- “What does it cost to hire you?” Every attorney has a different billing policy. Always take time to verify the terms of a prospective attorney’s billing policy before you sign a contract for their representation; this ensures there are no hidden surprises when it comes to the cost of hiring the attorney.
These are just a few general examples of good questions to ask during a consultation, and it is important to also think of a few questions more specific to your individual case. Take time to find a Sacramento car accident lawyer who makes you feel confident about their ability to handle your claim.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Sacramento?
A: Your recovery from a car accident is likely to begin with an auto insurance claim, and you may only have a few days after your accident in which to file this claim. If you plan to file a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the state is two years, and this time limit starts on the date your accident occurred. Filing your case as soon as possible increases your chances of success.
Q: What Happens if More Than One Party Shares Fault for an Accident?
A: California upholds a pure comparative fault rule that applies to any civil case in which more than one party is found liable for the damages cited in the case. When multiple defendants share fault, each will have a fault percentage assigned, and they will be responsible for these shares of the plaintiff’s damages. If a plaintiff is found partially liable, their fault percentage is deducted as a penalty from their case award.
Q: Is Hiring a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer Required After an Accident?
A: Technically, no, you are not legally required to hire an attorney after a car accident and have the right to pursue your recovery on your own if you wish to do so. However, even if the fault for your recent accident appears perfectly clear, you could encounter a wide range of complex issues that you will not be able to resolve on your own, and you are also more likely to maximize your final case award with an attorney’s assistance.
Q: How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth in Sacramento?
A: If you are able to prove that another party is directly responsible for causing your recent accident in Sacramento, they are liable for all damages resulting from the accident. Your final case award could include property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Some of these damages may be recoverable through auto insurance, and any damages you cannot claim through insurance may be secured with a personal injury lawsuit.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer?
A: Most of the attorneys accepting car accident claims and other personal injury claims in Sacramento take these cases on contingency, meaning the client pays a fee only if and when the attorney wins their case. The fee is a percentage of the total compensation the attorney obtains on the client’s behalf, and the client pays nothing if the attorney is unsuccessful with the case. Always verify an attorney’s billing policy before you hire them for a case.
The team at Kreeger Law Firm in Sacramento can provide the detail-oriented and responsive legal counsel you need on your side to approach a difficult car accident case with confidence and peace of mind. Our firm has years of professional experience we are ready to leverage on your behalf, so contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Sacramento car accident lawyer to learn more about how we can assist with your recovery.