Selecting an Orange County motorcycle lawyer can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. When researching attorneys, there are several things you should consider in order to ensure that you will receive the best possible representation. These include:
- Familiarity with similar cases
- Time commitment
- Fee agreement
When selecting a motorcycle attorney, it is important that the potential candidate specifically has experience litigating motorcycle claims. Each area of law is different, complete with its own intricacies and nuances, and a lawyer experienced in motorcycle litigation will already be aware of them. Having an experienced motorcycle lawyer may also save you money: if the attorney is charging you an hourly fee, you will be spared from having to pay a large amount of fees for preliminary research.
Familiarity with similar cases
Not only is it important to hire a lawyer experienced in motorcycle claims; it is also beneficial to select an attorney that has familiarity with cases that have the same facts and legal issues as yours. Not all motorcycle claims are alike and it is to your advantage to have an advocate at your side that is aware of the potential problems that can arise in a case like yours ahead of time.
In order to successfully litigate your claim, your attorney must be able to devote a significant amount of time to your case. When interviewing potential hires, ask how many clients they are currently representing to get an idea of the time commitment they can make to your case. While you do want an attorney that is experienced and successful, some attorneys take on hundreds of clients at a time, leaving them with little time to follow-up on issues, complete research, gather evidence and to meet with you or return your calls. It is important to have a motorcycle lawyer that is going to be responsive and work your case consistently, not just right before a court appearance.
Most motorcycle lawyers work on a contingency fee basis: this means that in order to recover their fee, they take a portion from the total amount awarded to you at the end of a successful suit or settlement. If you aren't successful, the attorney does not receive a fee. However, you will still be responsible for costs and fees associated with bringing your claim, such as court costs and records fees. Some attorneys do work for hourly fees which can have a broad range. Make sure you understand the fee agreement and that you are comfortable paying that amount of money for the attorney's services.
Although this may not be the most important thing for victims to look for in their motorcycle attorney, it is still important. If you don't like your attorney, it's going to be hard to work with them to close out your case. If they speak to you in a rude or better-than-thou manner, it's going to be hard for you to keep from pulling your file and going to another lawyer. Although most injury lawyers won't charge you unless your case is won, bringing your case to a new attorney means your new attorney has to split the case fee with your previous attorney if/when a judgement or settlement is reached.
This can make it difficult to find a new attorney if your case was worked on a lot by your previous attorney. The previous attorney will expect to be compensated for their time and expenses. Your new attorney might not be willing to take your case because they will have to split their fee with your previous lawyer. Making sure you get along with your lawyer, or paralegal, early on will help avoid situations like this.