Even though many people don’t believe it, working with a lawyer shouldn’t be challenging at all. This is especially true when it comes to car accident attorneys. If you have been injured in any way and need time to recover, the last thing you want is to overthink and analyze every step the lawyer takes.
Now, not many people know enough about the law, so they really cannot understand perfectly how the professional is handling their case. Unless it is something really obvious, you probably won’t even notice it. The most common issue is regarding their fee. As you know, attorneys always find ways to charge extra fees, and in some instances, these are justifiable. However, sometimes, they aren’t, so here is a list of tips on making sure your lawyer is not overcharging you.
1. Poor communication
When collaborating with a car accident lawyer, it is imperial to communicate freely and honestly with them. This is one of the main requirements they have to meet before you employ them, and truth be told, it is more than enough of a reason for you to fire them. It is their job to be at your disposal 24/7. If you notice they are starting to avoid your phone calls, don’t answer your emails, or simply don’t provide you with the information you need, you should start thinking about hiring someone else.
If any of these is true, it can also mean that they are overcharging you. Why? Well, the fact that they don’t want to provide you with all the details can be a red flag. Keep in mind that they should be the ones contacting you to give you regular updates, and not the other way around.
2. Vague billing
Even if the lawyer wins your case and leads you step-by-step through the entire process, it still doesn’t necessarily mean everything’s okay. Once everything is concluded, they will send you an invoice you have to pay. Now, this is where you may notice some problems.
Some professionals will leave the details out of this report and make it vague on purpose. This way, they can easily overcharge their clients if they don’t read the entire thing carefully. It is why you should meticulously go over every item on that list. Firstly, you may find some ridiculous additional expenses that no client should pay to their lawyer. Secondly, the professional may be doubling billing, meaning that he is charging you and another client for the same hour, or they may be paddling hours, meaning that they may charge you for three hours even though they only needed one to complete the work.
Unfortunately, there are many tricks attorneys can use if they want to, which is why you have to go over the invoice if you don’t feel confident with them. If you have any doubts or questions, make sure to contact them and ask for an explanation.
In addition, some red flags may occur before you formally employ the lawyer. Most of them work on contingency, meaning that you pay them only if they win your case. If they don’t, they cannot charge you for anything. However, they may ask you to pay for certain services beforehand in some cases. You need to be careful about this, especially if they want you to make cash payments.
3. Making promises
Promising a successful outcome if you employ them is another telltale sign something might be wrong. No lawyer can guarantee they will win the case. Yes, they can be confident about it based on their previous success rates on similar cases, but they cannot promise a win. You should always go with a confident professional with a lot of experience working on similar cases. Still, there is a fine line between being confident and making false promises.
If the attorney starts talking about the successful outcome the moment you meet with them, without providing details on why they are so confident, they are probably planning to overcharge you by using some of the aforementioned methods. This probably isn’t the first time they are doing this, which is why this type of behavior needs to be a red flag.
4. Convincing you to accept an alternative outcome
Another essential requirement you need to have when employing an attorney is to ensure you have the same vision: that your goal is to reach the best outcome for you. As already mentioned several times, the lawyer works for you, meaning that you are the one in charge. Now, in some cases, a car accident lawyer may try to convince you to accept an early offer from the insurance company, even if it is obviously too low, and it doesn’t even begin to cover the hospital and rehab expenses. If this occurs, they may be trying to overcharge you. Do you remember when we said they work on contingency? Well, they cannot charge you unless you accept the offer, and they may throw in some additional fees for trivial tasks, such as delivering documents to the court. Due to this reason, you need to stay on top of everything that is happening and ask your attorney for regular updates. It also may be a good idea to investigate similar cases and outcomes to know what to expect.
5. Bad attitude
The combination of all the above-described signs leads us to another red flag, which is bad behavior, poor empathy, and ethics. You do not want your car accident lawyer to possess any of these qualities. If they cannot identify with your current situation and understand how the accident and injury affected your life, they probably won’t be able to help you win the case and get the compensation.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to do thorough research before hiring them, and online reviews from previous clients will tell you everything you need to know. Respectable companies will enable these comments on their websites, like https://www.royceinjurylawyers.com/ and it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to go over these.