Everything to Look for When Hiring a Forklift Accident Attorney
Did you know that a forklift operator must possess a valid license to use a lift on any worksite in the United States? Regardless of industry, workers using a forklift much have the proper certification.
Working as a forklift operator is a dangerous job that can lead to injury; OSHA estimates that between 35,000 and 62,000 injuries occur yearly involving forklifts.
If you were in a forklift accident, hiring a lawyer is crucial to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Keep reading to learn what to look for when researching and hiring a forklift accident attorney.
Look for Experience
Most firms include website sections dedicated to their areas of expertise. If you can’t find this information, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer about their past cases and outcomes.
A firm with a solid reputation and excellent ratings will be able to assist you with your case best.
Ask About Similar Cases
A forklift accident case is much different than other cases, and your lawyer must have experience with this specific type of case.
Qualified attorneys understanding the type of construction accident you’ve suffered can help you get the maximum benefits you deserve.
Consider Courtroom History
There are many options for attorneys, but not all lawyers make their way to the courtroom. Although not all cases go to court, you’ll always need to be prepared for the possibility.
A strong history in the courtroom will be beneficial to you as the victim.
You’ll need to appear before a judge if your case does not settle. A lawyer by your side who knows the courtroom’s ins and outs stands a better chance of providing you with the results you want.
Read Online Reviews
Reading online reviews is a great way to get an idea of what it’s like to hire a specific firm without actually hiring them.
Former clients post online reviews to detail their experiences. Reviews are a great tool to help you choose the best attorney for your specific case.
If you can’t find online reviews, ask a law firm for referrals of previous clients willing to share their experiences. You can also look through an attorney directory by your state’s Bar Association for more information on a lawyer.
Comparing attorney fees is crucial if you don’t have a lot of funds to work with.
After a forklift accident injury, you are likely to receive compensation when you win your case. For this reason, many lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. We’ll detail the possible fees you’ll come across below.
A contingency fee is when a lawyer charges for their services based on a percentage of the amount awarded in the case.
If you don’t win your case, the lawyer gets nothing. However, you might have to pay some expenses. With this arrangement, it’s essential to determine whether the lawyer calculates the fees before or after the additional costs.
Contingency fee percentages vary based on the forklift lawyer you choose. Courts often limit the amount a lawyer can receive, so you are sure to pay a fair fee.
This type of fee arrangement is common in injury cases.
A lawyer may make you pay a flat rate for certain expenses like consultations or referrals while still offering a contingency fee for the accident case.
A forklift accident lawyer can also charge you by the hours they work on your case; this is a typical fee arrangement for various case types.
Lawyers at firms have different fee scales. For example, a firm’s senior member is likely to charge more by the hour than a forklift attorney that started at the firm more recently.
If you come across this fee, ask the lawyer to estimate the amount of work they will put into your case to get an idea of the total amount you’ll pay.
The legal resources you require will depend on your situation. Legal assistance, office managers, private investigators, etc., might be necessary for more extensive cases.
If you work for a large corporation, winning your forklift accident case can be harder without the right resources to back you up.
Ask a law firm ahead of time if their legal counsel is equipped to handle the case properly.
Know How Much You Can Get
Workplace accidents that cause a forklift injury can compensate workers. When injured in the workplace, a forklift accident attorney will guide you through the claims process and ensure your rights are protected.
For a personal injury claim involving a forklift, you might qualify for the following methods of compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
During the assessment of your case, a lawyer can tell you what compensation forms you could win. Their main goal is to get you as much as you deserve after a forklift accident.
Ask How They Communicate
When searching for forklift attorneys, victims tend to forget to ask about communication.
While your claim is worked on, you’ll want to speak with your attorney regularly. A lawyer should give you updates about your case via their preferred method of communication.
Because you need to stay in touch throughout the process, you can find out which methods of communication your attorney uses. Some prefer to text, email, or call clients.
Make sure the method of communication they like is comfortable for you. It’s always a good idea to work with an attorney that uses a convenient form of communication in case you have questions, or something comes up in the case.
Get Answers to Your Questions
It’s best to prepare for a consultation with a lawyer by having a list of questions you need answers to. Noting how a lawyer answers your questions will give you a good idea of their experience and customer service.
If you don’t know what to ask a forklift injury lawyer, consider these questions:
- How much time can you devote to the case?
- How long does it take to resolve a case like mine?
- Is my case likely to go to trial?
- What is the value of my claim?
- Are you the one who will handle my case?
- What level of participation will I have in the matter?
These legal questions and figuring out the above information about a forklift injury lawyer will help you decide on the best person for the job.
Understand the Statues of Limitations
Cases brought too late after the incident occurred don’t have a chance of providing compensation to the victim.
Most states require that personal injury cases be filed within two years of the incident. Finding an attorney early is recommended so you can file before the deadline.
Although this might sound like a lot of time, the claims process can take a while, and a lawyer might not always have time to take your case right away.
Depending on the circumstances and state laws, the timeframe might be shorter or longer than two years. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury is two years from the cause of the action.
Hire a Forklift Accident Attorney Now
To find the right lawyer for the job, look for experience, consider their resources, ask how they communicate and get answers to your questions. Use the steps in this guide to have the best chance of winning your claim.