Tips for finding the best accident attorney in Montana
Personal injury lawsuits are often lengthy and stressful. You will spend a lot of time communicating with your attorney and, depending on the nature of your case, you may need to share sensitive or embarrassing information.
For this reason, it’s important that the Montana personal injury attorney you hire is qualified, experienced, and someone you get along with.
Do I need a personal injury attorney?
You may be wondering whether you need an attorney at all.
If your accident didn’t result in any injuries, it may not be necessary to hire an attorney. You should, however, be careful when reaching the conclusion that you didn’t suffer any injuries. Often, symptoms don’t appear until days or even weeks after sustaining an injury.
Fortunately, most attorneys offer free initial consultations. These consultations give you an opportunity to talk through the details of your accident and get a feel for whether the attorney thinks you have a valid legal case.
How do I find a Montana personal injury lawyer?
If you believe you have a valid legal case, start by locating a handful of qualified local attorneys near you. Evaluate each attorney and choose the right one for your case. There are a number of resources to help you do this.
Let’s take a closer look at 3 of the most common resources:
1. Family, friends, and colleagues
Many good personal injury attorneys in Montana do little advertising and instead rely on word of mouth. When looking for an attorney, don’t hesitate to ask your family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations.
There are also a number of private social networks that allow you to request recommendations from people in your neighborhood. Nextdoor is one such network.
2. Online legal directories
Using Google or another search engine to locate an attorney can be overwhelming and often produces confusing results. Perhaps a more targeted way to find a licensed attorney in Montana is to use an online directory. One option is the free online directory right here on Enjuris!
Another option is the State Bar of Montana Online Attorney Search, which allows you to locate an attorney by practice area or geographic location.
Once you click on an attorney’s name, a page will appear that includes the following information:
- A photograph of the attorney
- Contact information for the attorney
- A list of courts to which the attorney is admitted
All lawyers that appear on the State Bar of Montana Online Attorney Search offer “standard fee arrangements.”
3. Free help
There are a number of attorneys in Montana that provide legal assistance for free (or at reduced rates). Each attorney has different eligibility requirements, but generally your household income must be less than 125% of the federally recognized poverty level.
There are a number of additional free or reduced-rate services available to individuals who meet certain qualifications. Take a look at the chart below to see if these services might match your circumstances.
|Free and Low-Cost Legal Services in Montana|
|Court Help Program||Walk-in legal information for self-represented litigants||Cascade County (406) 205-0347
Flathead County (406) 758-2496
Gallatin County (406) 582-2158
Missoula County (406) 258-3428
Yellowstone County (406) 869-3531
|Legal Services Developer||Free legal information and assistance to seniors 60 and over||1 (800) 332-2272|
|Public Defender’s Office||Criminal defense representation for qualifying dependents||(406) 496-6080|
|National Veterans Legal Services Program||Legal services for veterans||www.nvlsp.org|
|American Civil Liberties Union of Montana||Resources on civil rights matters||www.aclumontana.org|
|Consumer Protection Office||Assists with consumer problems, filing complaints, and education on consumer rights||1 (800) 481-6896|
What questions should I ask an attorney I’m considering hiring?
Now that you’ve hopefully located the contact information for a handful of licensed Montana attorneys, you’ll want to arrange an initial meeting with each attorney so that you can be sure to choose one that you get along with.
When you meet with potential attorneys, be sure to ask the following questions:
- How long have you been a lawyer?
- Have you handled matters like mine before?
- How do you charge your fees? (per hour, per task, contingent fee basis, etc.)
- Do you require a retainer payment before providing services?
- Will you be handling all aspects of my case or will I work with an associate or paralegal?
- How do you like to communicate with clients (telephone, email, in-person, etc.)?
- How do you see my case proceeding?
Keep in mind that your attorney will also want to ask you some questions about your case. Review and download the chart below so that you’re prepared.