No one ever wants to get into an accident, but it can happen at the most unexpected times. Over time, although there has been a decrease in the number of accidents on the roads of America, there are still considerable reports of injuries and fatalities from motorcycle crashes every year. Irrespective of whether you have or haven’t gotten into an accident, there are several things you should always have access to in these situations, and a proficient lawyer sits at the top of the list.
Statistics indicate that more than 35,000 motorcycle accidents happen annually in the US, resulting in over 38,000 deaths. Even in Colorado, which doesn’t rank among the highest states for motorcycle accidents, the death rate for crashes is over 17% percent.
If you live in Denver, CO, motorcycle accident lawyers are abundantly available, but it is important to know that you hire someone with experience and reliability. Despite the state being amongst the safer locations for motorcyclists, 19% of all accidents in Colorado involved bike riders. This percentage is lower in comparison to other states, but deaths in motorcycle crashes still went up by 6% in the year 2022. Similarly, injuries and financial damages that come with these accidents also increased, which together make it imperative for every motorcycle rider to have an experienced lawyer at hand.
With that being said, what are the things to look for in a competent accident lawyer? Here are some of them:
1. Try and hire local
Lawyers are spread across the country, but if you are a resident of Colorado and spend most of your time within state borders, it is best to prefer a Colorado motorcycle accident attorney over an out-of-state lawyer. Every state has variations in almost all laws applicable in the area, and while country-wide attorneys sometimes know the legislature of most major states, they generally specialize in particular areas. This is why you must find a lawyer in Colorado rather than someone elsewhere.
Because of their proximity to the area, you can consult the lawyer and have them appear for your representation at the earliest. An attorney in another state might find it hard to fly in when you get into an accident, making it slightly cumbersome for you as well. Your Colorado lawyer will not only be aware of the intricacies of the laws in the state, but with his experience over time, he will hold a greater skill set in resolving the issue you may be facing.
2. Assess their experience and license legitimacy
Experience makes a lot of difference for any professional. However, when it comes to attorneys, the longer they have been practicing law means that their proficiency is at a higher level. Indeed, this might not always be true, just like the fact that sometimes even a fresh law graduate may be able to handle a case better than a long-time practicing attorney. It can all come down to the person’s professional and personal capabilities, but generally, more experience is better.
Additionally, it is also important that you check the legitimacy of the license that an attorney holds. There can be numerous individuals and businesses out there looking to make quick bucks off you, especially when you try to find a lawyer through a Google search. It is best to ask around with friends, family, or colleagues and have them guide you toward a qualified attorney. Even if you do decide to go through with what you find through Google search results, it is best to skip the “sponsored” links and go for a proper website and then question the lawyer or firm about their license as well.
3. Talk to previous clients
As it is with any service provider, analyzing a lawyer based on their previous record is imperative. As touched upon in the earlier point, hundreds of inexperienced and even bogus businesses are out there, along with those that are unprofessional. Falling for such an attorney can put you in more trouble rather than getting you out of it. It is best to avoid the added stress, monetary losses, and ruined reputation by performing thorough research first.
We have social media these days, which means that in order to talk to the previous clients of an accident lawyer, you don’t need to visit their homes or offices. Simply visit the attorney’s or firm’s website or social media pages and look at the feedback clients have left. You can find the customers and get in touch with them personally. It is ideal that you ask around in your trusted circle to know if anyone has worked with the lawyer you are considering. These people will give you much better and more reliable feedback.
4. Schedule a consultation
Before you finalize an accident lawyer, it is best to meet with them face-to-face. After all that you’ve learned through the assessment of previous reviews, experience, and license legitimacy, the next step is to check your own compatibility with them. Most lawyers offer a free consultation, which is a great way to gauge how they communicate, what their professional attitude is, and whether you think they will be a good fit for you.
If you have a case in hand or someone you know has been in an accident, you can take the case to discuss with the attorney you want to shortlist. Once again, many lawyers offer to review cases for free. Once you schedule a consultation with them, you can sit down to assess their professional capabilities, the way in which they lay out the legal strategy for you, and how well they invest themselves in your case. All these factors together help you determine if you want the attorney in your corner or not.
5. Check out their fees and billing reviews
When it comes to fees, the most crucial thing to check is whether the accident lawyer offers billing on a contingency basis or not. You don’t want to receive a legal bill when you don’t get a settlement because that will just mean you add more to your financial damages. At the same time, it is best to check whether there are any previous customer reviews stating that the lawyer puts hidden charges in their bill or not. This is a practice that some individuals can perform to push up their overall costs.
Finding a motorcycle accident lawyer in Colorado may feel relatively easy, but there are a lot of factors to consider before you can hire one. From experience and qualifications to verifying their license, from going through previous client reviews to sitting down with the attorney face-to-face, you’ll need to perform some vigilant steps because you must have a reliable professional by your side to assist in legal matters.