Were you injured in a car accident the other driver caused? If so, there’s a good chance you’re facing expensive medical bills, pain and suffering, or lost wages.
On average, 30 million people in the U.S. sustain injuries as a result of an auto accident. Depending on the severity, these injuries may cause long-term disability.
If this happens to you, it’s important to retain the services of an experienced car accident lawyer. You need the very best representation to help get the compensation you deserve.
Let’s go over eight tips on how to find a good attorney in your area.
1. Look for Referrals First
Getting either a personal or professional referral is a great way to find an attorney you know provides quality service. The advantage here is that you get a firsthand account of a particular attorney’s process.
Ask family members and friends who have used an accident attorney in the past. Make sure you ask them how they felt about the experience and what the outcome was.
If you’ve used another type of lawyer, ask them if they can refer you to a personal injury attorney. Lawyers and legal professionals maintain a large network. There’s a good chance they know someone who can help.
If you can’t get a personal or professional referral, there are a number of online services you can use. For example, sites like US Attorneys are great for finding firms in your area.
2. Pay Attention to Online Reviews
Customer reviews aren’t only useful for finding a good restaurant. They’re very effective when looking for good lawyers for car accidents.
Before you call an attorney’s office, check out what previous clients have said. There’s a good chance you can find these reviews on the attorney’s website and social media profiles.
Keep in mind one negative review doesn’t necessarily mean an attorney is unqualified. However, if you notice more bad reviews than positive ones, continue with your search.
3. Seek Out Specialized Knowledge
The details of your case will affect the type of attorney you need to work with. Yes, you’ll need a personal injury attorney, but they must have the right specialization.
For example, if your accident involved a semi truck, you need to hire an attorney who’s devoted a large part of their practice to those types of cases. This ensures they have an intimate knowledge of trucking laws.
If your injuries are severe and you plan on taking the other party to court, you’ll need an attorney with extensive trial experience. Working with someone who hasn’t been in front of a jury many times can end badly.
Make sure you check a lawyer’s credentials before contacting them. They need to have a focused background handling cases like yours.
4. Only Work With a Local Attorney
It’s important you only work with an attorney in your area. This may seem like an insignificant detail, but there are a few ways it can benefit you.
First, a lawyer who works in your area will have a strong local network. This includes other attorneys, paralegals, and court employees. These connections can help your attorney streamline your case.
In addition, a local attorney will know the judges who work in the city courts. This could be a huge advantage if your case ends up in front of a jury.
5. Experience Counts
Car accident cases have the potential of becoming very complex. The last thing you want is a lawyer who only has a small handful of them under their belt.
Make sure the person you hire has years of experience working with victims of auto accidents. This means they’ve seen all manner of situations and can form a plan of action based on what’s worked in the past.
An experienced attorney will also know how to handle insurance companies. Many times, the other party’s insurance will try to get victims to settle out of court for less money than they deserve. You need a lawyer who can protect you from getting taken advantage of.
6. Ask the Right Questions
Before you hire an attorney, you’ll have a consultation with them. This is your chance to ask some questions that will help determine if they’re the right person for your case.
One of the most important questions is whether they’ll personally handle your case. Some firms schedule consultations then pass the case off to an associate attorney.
You should also ask about how they communicate with their clients. How long will it take the attorney to get back to with updates or answers to questions you may have?
Make sure you ask what approach they’ll take with your case. It needs to align with your expectations.
7. Consider Their Rates
Many personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. This means you don’t pay a fee until you reach a settlement.
If you’re on a budget, make sure you work with an attorney who does this. You should also nail down how much of a percentage they take if you win.
It’s important to note that high-quality representation comes at a cost. If an attorney advertises extremely low rates, this is an indication they may not have the experience you’re looking for.
8. Shop Around Before You Hire
You need to sit down with at least two or three attorneys before you hire someone. Don’t hire the first person you talk to.
If your car accident case is complex, there’s a good chance you’ll need to work with your lawyer for a while. The last thing you want is to hire someone and then realize you don’t like their work ethic.
When shopping around, narrow down your options by process of elimination.
Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
If you’ve sustained serious injuries in an auto accident, don’t risk losing out on the compensation you deserve. This can make things very hard on you and your family.
Use the tips above and find the very best car accident lawyer in your city.
Read more articles for tips on living a life of health and well-being.