What To Look For In A Car Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a car accident is no easy experience for anyone. Especially if you have been injured. In the event that you need to hire a car accident lawyer or an auto injury lawyer, how do you make the right decision? There may be dozens to hundreds of potential attorneys who might be the right car accident lawyer for you, but it’s essential that you judge each attorney and law firm based on a few very important merits before deciding on which car accident lawyer to take your case.
Today, we’ve put together these essential merits in eight important things to look for in a car accident lawyer. If your attorney meets all of the following requirements, you know that they are the right choice to take care of you and your car accident case over the next few months.
Experience in Car Accident Injury Cases
First and foremost, you must have an auto accident attorney who is experienced in the field. Car accident cases are unique because they involve a complex interaction between traffic laws and insurance policies. Your lawyer must not only be informed but have a deep experiential understanding of how the elements in an auto accident case usually play out and how to deal with each hiccup along the way.
Car accident injury cases are no small matter, no matter how common accidents and injuries may be. Ensure that every auto accident lawyer you consider has significant experience and success in car accident cases. Ask about their previous cases and their previous wins. Get a sense of how many car accident cases each attorney has handled and whether they were similar to your current case.
Deep Understanding of How Insurance Companies Work
Your attorney also needs to understand insurance companies. In auto accident cases, usually, the insurance company is your ultimate opponent. The insurance business model is built on paying out as infrequently and in as small amounts as possible and they will try every strategy in the book to reduce your settlement. It’s just how they play ball.
This means your attorney needs to be a pro “ball” player as well. They need to know the traps that insurance companies lay, the ploys they try, and the fair amount you deserve that the insurance company will guarantee by try to underbid. By understanding insurance companies and their ways, your lawyer will always know what’s around the corner and anticipate each roadblock the insurance companies try to throw.
Detailed Advice on How to Protect Yourself & Gather Evidence
A good car accident attorney will also be ready to give you detailed advice on how to protect yourself. Insurance cases tend to be vicious and full of opportunities to make a mistake. Your lawyer should be telling you useful, self-protecting advice like how to avoid insurance company traps and how to gather evidence of your accident and injury that will be persuasive and legally admissible in your case.
Your lawyer should tell you not to see the insurance company provided doctors. They should tell you when to take photos, and of what. They should guide you in building a folder or collective document that contains all your medical records and information from the accident site. These things are all essential to a successful car accident case but you don’t know them automatically. Helping you with these precautions is a vital part of the attorney-client relationship.
A Good Car Accident Lawyer Specializes
Would you hire a car mechanic to design your home? Would you hire an interior decorator to fix up your car? Clearly, the answer to both of these questions is no. So why would you hire a divorce lawyer or a criminal law attorney to represent your car accident case? A lawyer who specializes in car accidents and knows the ins and outs of handling these types of cases will get you the best results, while a jack-of-all-trades-type lawyer who spreads themselves too thin amongst too many different practice areas will only get you middling or just plain bad results.
A Good Car Accident Lawyer Has Plenty of Resources
Car accident cases can get expensive to prosecute, especially when complex legal procedures are involved. Your lawyer should have the resources to cover all legal fees, hire investigators and experts, and carry out your case from start to finish without any financial impediments. Hiring a lawyer who lacks resources may result in your claim being compromised. Their financial challenges are not yours.
A Good Car Accident Lawyer Provides Personal Attention
It’s been observed that an okay attorney-client relationship nets okay results while a great attorney-client relationship nets great results. Therefore, make sure the lawyer you choose has a reputation for maintaining close communication with their clients; this means access to their phone and e-mail, and regular case updates. Also, get a lawyer who caters their legal advice and strategies to each client’s unique needs, not a claims “mill” that processes cases with cookie cutter approaches.
As you pursue your personal injury claim after an accident, you may be recuperating in the hospital bed or too weak to move around. However, this is also the time you need an update on every progress from your lawyer. A poor communicator may not provide you with the much-needed peace of mind, especially when it comes to case value, legal costs, and compensation estimates.
Legal Fees and Charges
Some lawyers’ charges can be too mean, especially those that charge you a consultation fee along with an hourly rate for you to access their services. However, this could be very costly, especially if they end up misrepresenting or misleading you and your personal injury claim ends up getting denied by the respective insurer or the party at fault fails to pay you. You’ll also lose money in case they were to lose the lawsuit. The best injury attorneys are clear about their fees and will only charge you when and if they win the case for you and manage to get you compensated fairly.
If you have foot pain, you will not visit an ophthalmologist, even though they are both doctors. Similarly, if you were injured in a vehicle collision, you need to partner with a car crash attorney. Another kind of lawyer may be very competent in another area, but come up short when it comes to vehicle collisions.
That being said, diversity is usually a good sign. A lawyer who does nothing but car crashes may be a one-trick pony. If the lawyer handles related claims, such as dog bites or slip-and-fall injuries, that’s typically a plus.
Nevertheless, your car crash attorney should devote a significant amount of time to car crashes. This dedication has a lot to do with experience, which is discussed below.
In the wake of a serious car crash, simply getting from Point A to Point B is a chore. That’s especially true on bad days. Most victims are barely able to get out of bed on many occasions. An attorney on the other side of town may score very high in terms of dedication, experience, and the other items on your list. But that long drive back and forth will get really old really fast.
So, your lawyer should be close to your home or job. Alternatively, your lawyer should be willing to meet you outside the office. Such meetings are not quite as good as an in-office visit, but they are almost as good.
There are so many lawyers nearby that you should not have to compromise on quality to find someone close.
Choose A Lawyer Who Communicates
Have you ever dated someone who never seemed to take your calls or answer your text messages? It’s frustrating and can sour the relationship, right? The relationship with your lawyer should never look like this.
Lawyers are busy professionals, but they should take and/or return your calls within a reasonable period of time. The same goes for emails with them too. It’s a business relationship and they should act like a professional with every client.
Pick Someone Who Plays Hardball With Insurance Companies
Car accidents mean dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies want you leaving with as little as possible, so they will offer the smallest settlement they think you will accept.
Depending on the insurance company, you may even see the first settlement offer before you have begun recovering from the car accident and injuries.
A good car accident lawyer will spot these lowball offers for what they are and advise you accordingly. You want a lawyer with a reputation for pressing insurance companies hard for better settlements.