If you have somehow managed to steer clear of a car accident during your life so far, consider yourself thankful, because the odds are that a person will get into at least one car accident in their lifetime. And when that time comes, you may very well need a car accident lawyer.
You’re probably thinking, “Okay, but how do I pick one? I don’t know anything about lawyers.”
The following are some tips on how to make the right choice in choosing a car accident lawyer.
What’s the first thing you do when you need work done on your house or want to try out a new restaurant? You will usually ask your friends or family for recommendations.
Recommendations are a great way to find reliable contractors and car accident attorneys. With so many car accidents happening every year, it’s a safe bet that someone you know probably needed a car accident lawyer at some point.
If anything, getting a recommendation can at least help you narrow down your list of choices. Sometimes all you need is a place to start.
Pick a Car Accident Lawyer with Experience
Every once in a while, a hyper-competent law school grad launches a law firm and makes it work; however, this is a very rare exception.
As a general rule, you will want to choose a lawyer with a lot of experience, as they not only know the ins and outs of the law, but the norms for negotiating and settling car accident cases too.
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.
Pick Someone You Can Stand
It might seem trivial, but legal cases can drag on for a long time. If the thought of dealing with a person you dislike for a long period of time makes you shudder, pick someone you’ll actually get along with. After all, you don’t hire a mechanic or a plumber you dislike or distrust.
Liking your lawyer is a bonus, but hating your lawyer is a losing proposition.
Picking a car accident lawyer isn’t that different from picking any other professional.
Get recommendations, pick someone with experience who you can also tolerate, and choose someone who communicates well with you.
And if possible, try to get someone with a reputation for tough negotiating with insurance companies.
Finding a reputable car accident lawyer to work with is more important than you might think. If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, you’ll want a car accident lawyer who can represent your best interests, so you can focus on recovery. A good accident lawyer will be able to make sure all the right paperwork is filed, provide general legal advice, determine an accurate settlement estimate, collect evidence to strengthen your personal injury case, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and represent you in court, if necessary.
To make sure you find a reputable car accident lawyer you can trust to handle your case to the best of their abilities, look for the following things when consulting with prospective lawyers:
1. Clear Communication
A good lawyer will make it easy for you to understand what they will do to help you with your case. They will provide you with clear information about their process, fees, values, and more. If you have any questions, they should be direct and to the point. You should not leave their office with more questions than answers. If they are unable to provide clear insight into their practice during your initial conversation, there’s a good chance you’ll have issues with communication further along the line if you hire them.
2. An engaged conversation
A good lawyer should be interested in your case. A lawyer that’s not engaged will only put in the minimum amount of required effort. You can end up getting a smaller settlement than you could have gotten because of this. How can you tell if a lawyer is engaged? They should ask you many detailed questions about your case and what your legal goals are.