Tips for Hiring Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Australia

Every year, thousands of Australians are involved in car accidents. Between 2019 and 2020, 62,700 Australians were hospitalized, while 1,300 died due to motor vehicle accident injuries. Some of these accidents were a result of negligent and reckless driving.

Motor vehicle accident victims can claim compensation from the at-fault party in an accident. Motor vehicle accident lawyers help car accident victims, to get the settlement they deserve in car accident injury claims. However, finding the right lawyer is not always easy.

Hiring the wrong person to represent you can cost you your settlement. So, do not hire the first lawyer whose name pops up after searching the term “lawyer for car accident near me” on Google.

Here are handy tips for hiring lawyers for motor vehicle accidents in Australia.

(1) Ensure Your Lawyer Has Relevant Experience

Experience is vital in legal matters as law is a broad discipline. The number of years a lawyer has practised is an important consideration when evaluating experience. More importantly, you should hire a lawyer who has handled many similar cases.

Some law firms specialise in car accident injury cases. Such a law firm will likely have strong, experienced advocates with substantial knowledge of personal injury law.

Experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers also know how to negotiate with insurance companies. These lawyers leverage their knowledge of insurance company policies to maximise your settlement.

Besides negotiations, it is good to hire a lawyer with trial experience. All car accident injury cases begin with negotiations.

If negotiation fails, the case moves to trial. Since many cases get settled during negotiations, it is possible to have a lawyer with no trial experience.

Please settle your claim during negotiations. But, that is not guaranteed.

Therefore, do not take chances. Hire a motor vehicle lawyer who can represent you in trial and win your case.

(2) Verify the Lawyer’s Credentials

Before hiring a motor vehicle accident lawyer, check if they are licensed. A call to your local bar association will help you learn more about a lawyer’s credentials. While at it, check if the lawyer has ever been sanctioned and if there are disciplinary cases leveled against them.

When you check the government website, it also shows where an lawyer graduated from and when they got admitted into practice.

(3) Schedule Consultation Meetings With Lawyers

When you find lawyers for motor accidents you might hire, schedule a consultation with their office. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation. So, it does not cost you to have a one-on-one consultation with an lawyer you are thinking of hiring.

A consultation meeting allows you to determine whether you feel comfortable working with an lawyer. Some factors to consider when evaluating the meeting include:

  • Whether you felt you could communicate freely with the lawyer
  • Whether they answered all your questions
  • Whether you felt you could trust the lawyer
  • Whether the lawyer kept you waiting when you arrived
  • Whether the lawyer was patient and took time to address all your inquiries

Prepare a list of questions to ask your lawyer beforehand so you don’t miss anything. The questions may relate to some of the abovementioned factors or your case. If you do not feel comfortable during a consultation, continue your search for an lawyer.

(4) Ask About Fees Before Hiring Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

Most lawyers for car accidents charge clients on a contingency basis. This means they derive their payment from a percentage of the settlement amount. Hiring an lawyer who charges a contingency fee means you can get legal representation without paying an upfront fee.

The percentage of the contingency fee varies for different law firms. Hence, before hiring an lawyer, ensure you are comfortable with the amount they charge. Remember to ask if the contingency fee percentage changes if the case goes to trial.

You may have to pay for other costs besides the contingency fee. Typical costs related to personal injury cases include:

  • Deposition fees
  • Document request fees
  • Investigation costs
  • Administrative costs
  • Expert witness fees
  • Travel expenses

Some vehicle accident lawyers will ask you to pay an upfront fee to cover the costs of the case. Others pay the fees and deduct the total costs from your settlement amount. In this case, ensure you ask who caters to fees if you lose the case.

Do not sign a retainer until you understand all cost details. Also, ask the lawyer to provide a written cost agreement to avoid future disputes.

(5) Consider a Lawyer’s Winning Record Before Hiring

Ask a lawyer how many cases they have won and lost in and outside of court to determine their winning record. The best motor vehicle accident lawyers are excellent negotiators with high success rates in and outside court.

Get specific statistics to have an accurate picture of a lawyer’s winning record. If a lawyer has more losses than wins, they may not be your best option. Remember to ask about the settlement amounts a lawyer won for former clients.

(6) Consider The Lawyer’s Availability

You do not want to do all the above research only to discover that the lawyer you hire plans to hand over your case to another person. Thus, ask if they will personally handle your case before hiring a lawyer.

You also want a lawyer who is accessible. Some car accident lawyers are so busy that they may be unavailable to meet to discuss your case. Having a lawyer you can meet at your convenience or who answers calls promptly sets your mind at ease.

Hire the Best Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

Following the above tips when choosing motor vehicle accident lawyers assures you of the best legal representation. It also helps to consult with prospective lawyers before making a choice.

Barwick Boitano Lawyers are an accredited specialist personal injury law firm serving clients in Sydney and Parramatta. Our car accident lawyers have extensive knowledge in personal injury law and offer insights on the best way to handle your case.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our lawyers.