If you’ve been in a car accident in Knoxville and another driver or party is to blame, you should be able to collect damages to cover your accident-related costs. These can include property damage to your vehicle, medical expenses, ongoing care expenses, and even pain and suffering damages.
These personal injury cases require an in-depth knowledge of the law as it specifically relates to car accidents. You need a lawyer who can serve as a strong ally in your fight for compensation. However, not all attorneys are alike, and choosing the best car accident lawyer for your case can mean the difference between winning and losing.
The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC have the experience necessary to fight for your rights after a car accident. Call 865-546-1111 today for a free case evaluation.
What should I look for in a car accident attorney?
You should interview several attorneys who practice car accident law and look for someone who meets the following criteria.
The best attorneys have extensive knowledge of the law.
Most car accident attorneys deal with a wide range of personal injury cases, although some specialize in this specific type of case. You want to speak with an attorney who is well-versed in local and state transportation laws. You may want to ask questions specific to your case and gauge your attorney’s willingness to answer directly and accurately about the type of claim that you may have.
Ask your attorney what percentage of his practice focuses on car accident personal injury claims. If you have a disability, long-term injury, or specific type of medical case that requires specific experience or knowledge, ask the attorney if he has ever handled a case like yours before.
You can also ask your attorney about case law relevant to your specific incident. Chances are, if the attorney is able to reliably quote case law, statutes, and other information that demonstrates his knowledge of the law, you can feel confident moving forward.
Your attorney should have experience dealing with insurance companies.
Many car accident claims reach a settlement after negotiations with a negligent party’s insurance company. You will want to ask your attorney about their process for sending demand letters and working towards a settlement that covers your expenses without requiring lengthy delays when unnecessary.
You will want to ask specific questions about his or her background in similar cases. For example, you may want to ask:
- What kind of a settlement should I expect from a case like this;
- Is an insurance company likely to settle with a case like mine; and
- How long do cases like mine typically take to resolve?
Honesty matters. Look for an attorney who is willing to answer your questions honestly and frankly, even if you do not like all of the responses. Building a relationship with an attorney is like building a relationship with a business partner: It relies on trust.
Look for an attorney with a good reputation.
An attorney with an impressive educational background may not be as qualified to handle your case as one with a sterling reputation. You can find out a lot about your potential attorney online. Calling or searching state bar records can tell you whether your attorney is a member in good standing, whether former clients have filed complaints, or whether your attorney has faced disciplinary action in the past several years.
If your attorney has multiple complaints on file, it may be a red flag that he or she will not be handling your case as aggressively or efficiently as possible. Set expectations early. Ask your attorney how often you should expect to hear from them, how quickly they respond to contact from their clients, and if they have any examples of similar cases—and their outcomes—that they have handled in the past.
Your attorney should focus on personal service.
An attorney with an excellent reputation, lengthy resume, and major wins under his belt will be a great asset to your case—if he or she is the one handling it. Clarify with the attorney up front how involved he will be in managing your case, or if junior associates will take the lead. If so, ask to speak with them or get a sense of their credentials to ensure that they are a good fit for you.
During an initial consultation, an important question to ask your attorney is what initial roadmap they see for handling your case. All cases are different and inevitably new details or road bumps emerge that require an attorney to pivot their approach. However, a good attorney will be able to provide you with a plan of action based on the details you provide that will lead you to a positive outcome.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, our attorneys have a reputation as legal experts who will aggressively fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a crash. We offer our clients compassionate care and thoughtful guidance during the claims process and we are always available to answer any questions along the way.
What should I expect to pay for the best car accident lawyer?
Most car accident attorneys don’t charge hourly rates the way that family or criminal defense attorneys do. Instead, they operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they do not collect any fees unless you recover money from your case.
The rate an attorney can charge will vary from state to state, typically with percentages around one-third of your awarded damages. In some cases, the contingency fee percentage also hinges on the amount of work expended on the case and whether or not your case has to go to trial. For example, a case that required only a demand letter to an insurance company or negligent party to settle sometimes pays a lower contingency percentage than a case that involves extensive trial prep, research, and time in court.
An attorney who is willing to take your fee on a contingency basis is not only motivated to perform to the best of his ability—because his check depends on a positive outcome—but is also likely to be an attorney who believes in your case and believes in the likelihood of a positive outcome.
Just because your attorney has agreed to take your case on a contingency fee basis does not mean that you won’t have out-of-pocket expenses. Ask your attorney how he will handle costs for depositions and court reporters, court fees, paralegal costs, messenger or process server fees, medical record fees, expert witness fees, and any other out-of-pocket expenses you will have to pay before reaching a settlement.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing for our services until you get the compensation you need to recover from your car accident.
How can I contact a Knoxville car accident lawyer?
If you were in a car accident in Knoxville, you should move quickly to ensure that you are fairly compensated. The car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC can help ensure that your claim or lawsuit is sufficient to cover the extent of your damages, help you navigate the courts, and fight to get you a fair settlement. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free consultation.