What to Look for in a Bike Accident Attorney
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael Chaloupka with Metier Law Firm.
Bicycle accidents are unique, both in the type of evidence available and general severity of the damages. It’s not surprising that injuries sustained in a car-on-bike accident tend to be serious. The effect of a bike accident can be long-term and even permanent; the changes to a bike accident victim’s life and that of their family are significant, and should weigh heavily in the process of seeking compensation. If you or a loved one were injured in a bike accident, it’s important to seek out a personal injury attorney with specific experience handling bike accident cases. These attorneys will know exactly what damages to pursue on your behalf and how to go about it in order to give you and your family the best chance at recovery.
Things to look for in a bike accident attorney include the following:
- Location: The laws governing personal injury cases can vary depending on where you live, so it’s important to reach out to an attorney in your state. Additionally, seeking an attorney who works in the same area of your state where the accident occurred may give them an advantage in regard to understanding and collecting evidence from the scene of the accident. An attorney who works in the same general area may also have helpful contacts nearby they can use to help investigate and build your case.
- Experience: Bicycle accidents are unique, so it’s important to find an attorney with a history of handling bike accident cases. Simply typing “bike accident attorney” into the search bar is a good place to start, but when it comes to the initial consultation, it’s a good idea to ask about an attorney’s experience handling cases like your own before hiring them. It’s perfectly acceptable to consult with several attorneys before selecting the one you feel has the necessary experience to handle your case.
- Success: It’s a good idea to consider the success rate of the accident attorney before you hire them. Law firms and lawyers that typically have a high success rate will often include that information on their website, and they may have received rewards in their industry. This is another topic that you can ask about in the initial consultation.
- Availability: Considering the availability of an attorney is an important factor to the hiring decision that is often left out. Before hiring a lawyer, it’s important to establish their availability. If an attorney already has a heavy caseload, they may not be able to devote the time and energy to your case that it deserves. A good test of availability is how quickly an attorney responds to your phone calls or emails. Long delays could be a sign that they are simply too busy, or a poor communicator; neither is a great option.
- Personality: It’s also important to consider the personality of the attorney you are thinking about hiring. Litigation for any one case could wrap up quickly or drag on for years, so it’s important to make sure that the attorney you choose has a complementary personality. Some attorneys may be friendly and warm, while others might come across as efficient and business-like. While these are not necessarily an indication of an attorney’s legal prowess, it is something to consider when choosing between attorneys to handle your bike accident case.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Hiring an attorney can feel like a big decision, but it’s important to refrain from putting it off. Due to the deadlines involved with bike accident cases, it’s important to move forward quickly if you decide to pursue litigation. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask questions or that you have to pick the first attorney you contact. The initial consultation for bike accident cases is typically free, and in this meeting you can ask any question you want to; a good attorney will not be afraid to answer your questions honestly and directly. If you are not satisfied with the answers you receive, you may want to contact another attorney.
As far as pricing goes, most bike accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not be charged for their legal services unless and until they win your case. This and other questions related to pricing is another topic that can be brought up in the initial consultation. If you or a loved one were injured in a bike accident, don’t wait to talk to an attorney about your options for physical and financial recovery.