About Our Lawyers
The Alsobrook Law Group was founded to help the people of eastern Alabama with a wide range of legal issues. Attorney Zach Alsobrook is native to Opelika Alabama and is passionate about protecting the rights of the citizens of Alabama. The law firm focuses it’s practice on personal injury, criminal law, family law, business law, as well as estate planning and probate.
To reach any of our attorneys directly, call (334) 737-3718, or contact us online for a free consultation.
How Do I Choose an Attorney for an Alabama Accident Claim?
Many personal injury attorneys, including Zachary Alsobrook, offer free consultations to learn more about their potential client’s case. We encourage you to schedule consultations with at least two personal injury law firms and then compare notes to see which one can best serve your needs. Pay attention to the attorney’s professionalism and whether he or she gives you their undivided attention during the meeting. This is a good indicator of what you can expect when you become his or her client.
Initial consultations can last anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. We encourage you to prepare questions in advance to maximize the time you have with the attorney. Some typical questions that clients ask us during the first meeting include:
- How much experience do you have representing people in cases like mine? This is one of the most important questions you can ask and vital to learn about a prospective personal injury lawyer. The person you meet with may have worked as an attorney for years and still have little experience helping accident victims obtain financial compensation. Mr. Alsobrook and Mr. Jackson are both experienced personal injury attorneys who will use their research, negotiation, and courtroom trial skills to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- When and how often will you communicate with me? Strong attorney-client communication is vital in any case. You want to work with someone who will return your calls and with whom you can speak directly whenever you have a question. An ethical personal injury attorney will contact you each time he or she receives a settlement offer on your case and never accept or deny an amount without your approval.
- How long will my case take to settle and how much can I expect if I win? While every personal injury case is unique, an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer should be able to provide an accurate estimate of how long it will take to receive a settlement or go to court. However, you should be wary of any attorney who promises a victory or quotes an exact amount you could win. A ballpark figure is acceptable based on similar cases in the past, but too many variables exist between cases for the lawyer to claim he or she would win the case and that you would receive a set dollar amount.
- How many other cases do you have right now? You want a personal injury lawyer who is busy enough to be in demand, but not so busy that he or she constantly takes on new cases and can’t keep up with them. You have the right to know how much personal attention you can expect.
- Ask the attorney about potential pitfalls. You want to make sure you hire an attorney that understands Alabama law, recognizes that every case could hit a speed bump or two and you want to partner with a firm that prepares every case as if it were going to trial.
Do I Need An Attorney?
When looking for in a lawyer, you should consider factors such as history of success and experience in the area of law that your case falls into. But how do you know whether you actually need an attorney in the first place? If you have suffered a personal injury and are on the fence about whether working with an attorney is a smart idea, here are some things to consider.
- The Value of Your Damages
Working with an attorney is more strongly recommended when the amount of damages you have suffered is high. For example, if you have incurred thousands of dollars in medical bills, have suffered permanent disfigurement or disability, have lost wages and will be unable to return to work soon, you should work with an attorney. In a case such as this, your damages may be valued at tens of thousands (or more) of dollars, and not working with an attorney may mean losing out on full recover of your compensation amount.
On the other hand, if your damages are relatively insignificant–i.e. a bumper needs to be replaced after a crash and you went to E.R., but were released without any long-term problems–you may be able to file a claim with the insurance company and have it settled without complication, and without the counsel of a legal professional.
- How Long Ago Your Accident Happened
How long ago your event happened may be a significant factor in the viability of your claim. First, note that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date that the accident occurred, which means that if more than two years have elapsed, you are likely barred from seeking damages. However, there are some situations in which the two-year period is extended, so seeking a free consultation with an attorney may be advantageous.
- The State of Your Claim
The state of your claim refers to the stage of development in the process your claim is at. For example, if you have suffered minor injuries, have filed a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party, and have been offered a settlement that you think is fair, you may not need a personal injury attorney.
On the other hand, if you have suffered serious injuries and have filed a claim, but your claim has been denied, reduced based on allegations that you contributed to the injury, or lowballed for reasons you don’t understand, hiring an attorney is recommended. An attorney can gather evidence, review your case, work with experts who add clout to your claims of negligence and damages, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
- The Likelihood of Success
Finally, before you file a claim or lawsuit and hire an attorney, you should think about the likelihood of your claim’s success. If your case isn’t likely to be successful, spending the time and money pursuing a suit may be against your best interests. One of the best ways to determine whether your case is worth pursuing is to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
Lastly, if you have been charged with a crime or are involved in a family law issue, working with an attorney is almost always strongly recommended.
Things to Consider When Hiring An Attorney
To answer that question be sure to consider the following factors:
- Compare Your Legal Need to Your Attorney’s Practice Areas
Hiring an attorney who is familiar with and experienced in the practice area in which your legal need falls is essential. For example, hiring a personal injury attorney to manage your family law need wouldn’t be sensible, nor would hiring a car accident attorney if you’ve been bitten by a dog. Consider the cause of your injury or your legal need, and be sure to search for a legal professional who is well-versed in that practice area.
- Fee for Service
Another important consideration is how much the attorney you hire will charge, and what type of fee system they maintain. There are multiple different billing methods that lawyers use including:
- Retainer fee. A retainer fee is a sum of money that is paid to an attorney in order to retain their services.
- Hourly fee. An hourly fee is the most common way that attorneys (with the exception of personal injury attorneys) bill clients. The amount that an attorney charges per hour varies on a case-by-case basis, so it’s important to ask.
- Flat fee. Less common is the flat fee, in which the client pays one, single fee throughout the course of the legal process.
- Contingency fee. The majority of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, in which the attorney’s fee is contingent on the winnings of the client.
If you are pursuing a personal injury suit and are asked to pay a retainer fee, flat fee, or hourly fee, you might want to think twice – most good personal injury attorneys won’t charge you unless your case is successful.
- Attorney Experience
The experience of your attorney could have a significant effect on the outcome of your case, and is therefore a crucial factor to consider before hiring a lawyer. Experience not only typically means a more developed and refined skill set, but also a better relationship with those in the court system, including expert witnesses, judges, prosecutors, clerks, and more. An attorney who knows what they’re doing and has more connections may be more effective at managing your case.
- Case Results and Reviews
Finally, you should ask about the attorney’s results in cases like yours before your hire him or her. Hiring an attorney who has a history of success in the practice area that your case falls into will be more advantageous than hiring an attorney who has lost cases time and time again.
In addition to case results, consider doing an online search to determine whether or not the attorney has any professional or client reviews. If the reviews aren’t positive, you may want to consider working with someone else.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
At the office of the Alsobrook Jackson Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients, a track record of success, and positive client reviews you can feel good about. If you have a legal matter, we want to help you. Please contact us today at 334-737-3718 to schedule a consultation with our lawyers, or send us a message online and we’ll get in touch with you shortly.