Even if your case seems like a “slam dunk,” finding the best Anchorage Attorney may mean the difference between collecting a fair award and going home disappointed. In order to determine that the attorney you are looking at is qualified, the following is a list of some basic criteria to consider.
First, for your personal injury case, is this attorney experienced with the type of case you have? Is this an Anchorage Attorney that regularly prosecutes cases arising out of a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall, train accident, bus accident, and so on?
Does this attorney charge a fee for consultation? The more common (and more experienced) personal injury attorneys only collect a fee if you prevail. There is no initial consultation fee.
Does this attorney require you to sign a retainer agreement? This something you MUST do, as it will define the attorney’s responsibilities and how he will be paid at the end of your case.
Does this attorney actually try cases? Although most cases will settle, the best accident lawyers will be ready to (and have the experience to) prove your case to a judge or jury.
Does this attorney have relevant certifications? There are organizations such as the American Association of Justice (AAJ), National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) and other national and state organizations offer accreditations that experienced attorneys often have. Not all are necessary, but it certainly shows experience and knowledge.
The best accident lawyers will know that (i) you only two (2) years from the date you are injured to file your lawsuit or, in most cases, you will be forever barred from recovering any money and (ii) Alaska uses a comparative fault analysis to award damages. In other words, a judge or jury will reduce any award based on any fault you are deemed to have in causing the accident.
The best accident lawyers will also inform you that, typically, awards for physical injuries may be had for both economic damages (such as lost wages, medical bills and the like), (ii) non-economic damages (pain and suffering).
Clearly, in any personal injury incident, it is important to speak with the best Anchorage attorney out there even before you speak with any representative of an insurance company. Whether or not you ultimately retain an attorney to pursue your claim, advice from a lawyer familiar with automobile accident and local laws can often help you avoid torpedoing your claim, no matter how strong it may be.