It’s both overwhelming and devastating when you’re injured in a Baltimore County car accident, so the most important task – after seeking proper medical treatment – is to retain experienced counsel to assist in pursuing your rights to compensation. It’s a mistake to go it alone when dealing with pushy insurance companies and even more rash to represent your own interests in court. A skilled car accident attorney can assist you with obtaining the highest amount of financial recovery under the law, but you’ll need to first find the right fit. Here are some factors to consider when hiring a lawyer to take on your personal injury case in Maryland.
Background and Experience: A graduate from an accredited law school may take and pass the Maryland State Bar Exam, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into the legal skills necessary to take the lead on a car accident case. When talking to potential candidates to represent you, ask about the person’s experience as a litigator and familiarity with both state law and court procedure. You’ll feel more confident hiring an attorney that has years of experience in the court room setting and in negotiating with insurance companies.
Percentage of Personal Injury Cases: Many lawyers represent clients regarding a wide range of specialty areas, and that may work for certain cases. However, car accidents and personal injury cases are a very specific niche under state law. An attorney with broad legal knowledge may not possess the focused, in-depth background necessary to ensure you receive the highest level of compensation available. Inquire about the percentage of cases the attorney handles that fall within the personal injury field. If less than two-thirds of the practice is personal injury, continue your search.
Communications with Attorney Versus Support Staff: Law firms typically employ a number of staff members dedicated to assisting lawyers with providing legal services. Though these individuals may be helpful, they should not be your primary point of contact in communicating with your attorney.
Contingency Billing: Personal injury lawyers understand that times are tough financially after a car accident and you may not be able to afford qualified representation. Many attorneys adopt a contingency billing arrangement that allows you to move forward with your case immediately, and then pay legal fees from your award amount if you win. Usually, the fee for your lawyer’s services is a percentage of the compensation you receive. Keep in mind that, under Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct, there are certain requirements for contingency fees. The agreement must be in writing, signed by you, and include the specifics of how the billing structure works.
It’s wise to retain a qualified attorney to handle settlement negotiations on your behalf and represent you in a personal injury court case, but it’s even more critical to hire a lawyer that suits your individual needs. With these factors in mind, you have realistic expectations and can pick the candidate that will fight for your rights to compensation after a car accident. To hear more about the knowledge and experience that attorney Michael A. Freedman brings to the table, please contact our Baltimore County office.
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