77% of drivers have been in at least one car accident, and the average person has three to four accidents over the course of their lifetime. So, it goes without saying that you’ll probably need a car accident lawyer at some point in your life.
Before choosing a car accident lawyer, it’s important that you do a bit of your own legal research. You need to know that you’re choosing the best person and law firm for the job, especially if you end up in court.
But what does the best car accident attorney look like, and how do you find them? Keep reading for seven things to consider before hiring an attorney for your car accident case.
1. The Experience of the Car Accident Lawyer
You wouldn’t hire a car accident lawyer to handle your divorce, and the same goes for finding someone to pursue legal action on your behalf after a car crash.
You need to find a lawyer and law firm that has specific experience and expertise in dealing with car crash claims and cases. So the first step is finding a firm that has a lot of experience with car accidents.
Secondly, find a lawyer that has handled cases similar to yours and was successful. This is especially important if you consider your case to be unique or complex.
2. A Law Firm With a Good Reputation
Both the lawyer you decide to work with and the law firm that they represent should have a good reputation. Reputation is key when hiring a car accident lawyer.
A lawyer with a solid reputation means that they’ve been successful in their career and with claims similar to yours.
Asking friends or family members for referrals is a good place to start. If a lawyer has a good reputation amongst your most trusted associates, that’s usually a great sign.
Always check online reviews as the more happy clients, the better. You can also check with the state’s legal board to see if any complaints have been filed against the lawyer or law firm.
Check out this page for an example of a reputable law firm with a good reputation.
3. Effective Communication
A relationship between a lawyer and their client is very dependent on open and effective communication. The last thing you want is an attorney that doesn’t call you back or respond to your emails.
You need to have an open channel of communication with your car accident attorney. Additionally, your attorney should be able to communicate clearly, helping you to understand all the processes and legalities that may be confusing.
They should also communicate honestly so that you always know where you stand in the claims process or lawsuit, and you’re never caught off-guard by unexpected happenings.
4. Experience With Your Insurance Company
It’s important that the car accident attorney that you represent knows how to play hardball with insurance companies. This means that they need relevant experience negotiating with different insurance companies. If they have this experience, they will know all of the processes and loopholes.
A huge bonus is if you can find a lawyer that has experience with your insurance company. They will know when the insurance company is lowballing you and which tactics to use to ensure that you get the best possible settlement.
5. Lawyer Fees
There’s no avoiding the subject of fees. When choosing a car accident lawyer, the hope is to make a financial gain, not a financial loss. So you should always consider all of the lawyer fees.
Because filing a lawsuit can be an expensive and lengthy process, many attorneys offer their services on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t have to pay anything until the lawyer secures a settlement for you.
You need to understand exactly what sort of percentage you will be liable to pay the attorney from your settlement and how the fees are calculated. You don’t want to be caught off-guard by extortionate percentages or hidden fees.
6. Choose Someone You Like
It may seem like superficial criteria, but it’s actually important to hire a lawyer that you actually like. So, the personality of the attorney should be considered too.
The legal process is oftentimes very lengthy, and you may be closely connected to this person for a long time. Therefore, picking someone that you get along with is important.
Additionally, you want to be able to trust your attorney to support you and have your back no matter what. You’re unlikely to trust someone that you don’t get along with or that you clash with.
7. What is Their Availability?
Some huge law firms and lawyers handle plenty of cases at the same time. You need to understand exactly the availability of the attorney that you choose to work with. Will they be able to dedicate the time to you that you need?
Ask potential attorneys how often you can expect to meet them, catch up over phone calls, etc. Ideally, you’re looking for someone who has the time for you, who will be able to meet frequently and return your phone calls promptly.
Don’t Skip Out on the Legal Research
If you’ve been in a car accident and need the counsel of a car accident attorney, don’t rush into it. Make sure you do thorough legal research that will ensure you end up with the best lawyer and the highest chance of success.
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