Boating accidents might not occur as frequently as other traffic accidents. But then, if you have ever been in one, you will agree that it can be a traumatic and confusing experience. You might not even know the next steps to take after the accident. This is one of the reasons why you need a boating accident lawyer to guide you in such situations.
Indeed, people who have been in boating accidents often have to deal with medical injuries, psychological trauma, and even financial strain after the crash. Plus, according to the NMMA, about 5000 boating accidents occur yearly in the U.S.
But then, the good news is that you can win a fair settlement for your damages with the right boating accident lawyer for your case. First, you must hire a qualified and suitable attorney for your case.
Perhaps, you have been confused about how to find the right lawyer to help win your boating accident claim. Well, in that case, this article is here to help you! We will discuss some vital tips for hiring an attorney for your boating accident claim. So, read until the end if you want to discover these tips.
Top Tips for Choosing the Right Boating Accident Lawyer for Your Case
Having agreed on the need to hire a good and well-experienced lawyer for your case, let’s now consider some practical tips that will help you achieve this.
Draft an Initial List of Prospective Attorneys for the Case
One of the first things you should do when hiring an attorney for your boating accident claim is to draft an initial list of prospects for the job. Doing this will help you to have multiple options to choose from when making your final decision.
You can scout for excellent options to include in your list by making inquiries and asking for referrals. Perhaps, your friend, colleague, or family has been in a boating accident. In that case, you can ask them about the personal injury lawyer who helped win their claim. You should also request the lawyer’s contact and draft them into your list.
Another way to find these prospects for your list is by researching and checking out lawyer-listing platforms. Once you have gotten enough prospects for your initial list, you can move to the next stage.
Vet the List for a Shortlist of Top Contenders
After compiling your initial list, the next thing is to vet and trim it down to only the top contenders. There are a few ways to achieve this, and we will highlight a few of them below.
- Vet them by their area of specialization. You should know that the legal industry is vast, and there are many sub-niches within it. So, you first want to ensure that all the attorneys on your list are in the personal injury niche. Eliminate the lawyers who are not experienced in the niche or are only fairly knowledgeable about personal injury cases.
- Vet them by their area of practice (jurisdiction). Another crucial parameter for vetting the lawyers in your list is noting the area where they practice. You should know that various states often have specific safety and accident rules governing their area.
A lawyer who does not practice in your state might not know the rules that are obtainable there. So, they will make a mess of your case if you hire them. Therefore, you want to direct your focus to lawyers who practice in your state, so you don’t jeopardize your case. For instance, if you stay in Tampa, then you want to employ a boat accident lawyer in Tampa.
- Check Online Reviews. Another thing that can be used to vet the prospects in your initial list is checking their online reviews. These reviews are done mainly by previous clients who have employed the attorney’s services. So it means that you can gauge how people feel about the services from the reviews.
You can also check online lawyer listing platforms for how the lawyers on your list are rated. However, you have to be careful while doing all these because some attorneys pay for reviews and ratings. This means that the information you will find about such people might be deceiving.
- Are they boating accident lawyers? Finally, you want to eliminate anyone who is not an experienced boating accident lawyer. Of course, boating accident cases are often unique and different from other types of traffic accident situations. So, a lawyer who does not have specific experience in handling such cases might get confused along the way. This is why you want to ensure that the people who make your shortlist are all experienced boating accident lawyers.
Interview the Lawyers to Find the Right One for Your Case
After gathering information about prospective lawyers for your case and vetting them to get a Shortlist, your next step should be to interview each of them individually. This is so that you can find the one who is the right fit for your case. During this interview, you can ask them specific questions to determine their experience and how much they are prepared to win your claim.
If possible, ask all the prospects in your shortlist the same questions and note how well they answer. This is so that you can truly judge all of them with the same parameters. Also, be ready to answer their questions about the case and how you want them to handle it. A lawyer’s responsiveness during interactions with them is also essential to judge their professionalism.
Here are some of the Questions You can ask the attorneys during the interview:
- Ask about how long they have practiced personal injury law. Experience comes with age. This implies that the longer a person has practiced in a particular field, the more likely they have gained more experience there. So, you want to ask the prospect how long they have practiced in personal injury law.
- Ask about how many boat accident cases they have handled. Legal cases are often unique according to the situations surrounding them. Each case is most likely judged by various parameters related to its unique situation.
However, the more cases a lawyer has handled, the more likely it will be for them to learn about these parameters. So, it would help if you asked how many cases they have handled before hiring a boat accident lawyer.
- Ask them about the outcomes of the cases they have handled. It is one thing to handle many accident cases, and it is another to win a higher percentage of those cases. What you want is a lawyer whose winning ratio is considerably high.
Indeed, hiring this type of lawyer will boost your chances of winning your claim. Moreover, the more cases a lawyer wins, their confidence will grow in the field.
- Ask about how often they go to trial and their success rate. Insurance companies often want to make a settlement out of court. This is especially if you have presented a good case for your claim. However, there are other times when the case might be dragged to court for trial.
A good boat accident lawyer should be able to negotiate a fair settlement for your damages outside the court. But then, they should also be ready to go to trial for your claim when it becomes necessary.
That’s not all; your lawyer should also be able to present a good case in court and win your deserved settlement. So, it would help to ask how many times the prospect has gone to trial and how many trials they have won.
- Ask if they will handle your case personally or delegate it to another person at the firm. You also want to ask if the lawyer you have interviewed will personally handle your case or if they will give it to another lawyer from their firm. If the case is given to another lawyer, ask to speak with that lawyer before you hire them.
- Ask about their compensation structure. Finally, asking about how your prospective lawyer would like to be paid before hiring them is essential. This will help you to determine if they fit your budget for the case or not.
Hiring the right lawyer for your boat accident claim can add much value to your case and help you win the claim. Luckily, this article has offered some tips to guide you while making your choice.
Plus, you can contact us at Coleman Law Group now for more helpful information on how to win your boat accident claim. Rest assured, we are always dedicated to helping you make the most of your accident case.